threatening processes session - our presenters
Pete graduated with a Bachelor of Systems Agriculture from UWS Hawkesbury in 2000. Since that time he has been involved in working in the NRM space for 15 years working with the Rice Growers Association of Australia, Hawkesbury Nepean CMA and now with Central Tablelands Local Land Services since its inception 4 years ago. Pete has worked on a domestic cat tracking project to highlight the distances travelled by domestic cats within the Lithgow Area. He is involved with the Threatened Species Project and oversees the Sustainable Agriculture project within Central Tablelands Local Land Services.
Presentation: Feral Cat Control and its Impact on Biodiversity
The Central Tablelands Local Land Services are undergoing a feral cat control program, following concerns that were raised about significant feral populations at 3 rural waste depots. Baseline fauna surveys have been collected prior to the commencement of the program, and repeat surveys have been undertaken throughout the duration the control program. One of the sites on the edge of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area has had a consistent control program, whilst 2 of the sites had an initial control program and have only undergone monitoring since. Interesting results have been recorded at all three of the sites where the program has been undertaken. The program is due to be completed in June, where the full outcome of the program will be investigated.
Dr Julian Reid
Julian completed his PhD on ‘Bird Diversity in the Australian Arid Zone’ at the ANU in 2014, and has researched birds in arid Australia over the past 35 years. Julian spent 20 years surveying plants and animals in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, focusing on parts of the Lake Eyre Basin (Coongie Lakes, Goyders Lagoon, Channel Country), and MacDonnell Ranges and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. For ten of those years he periodically conducted aerial survey counts of waterbirds in the Lake Eyre Basin. Julian's professional career started in the southern temperate and mallee zones of South Australia, where he studied the impacts of vegetation clearance on birds. He has been based at CSIRO and latterly the ANU for most of his career, and has resumed studying ‘Declining Woodland Birds’ and fragmentation ecology since moving to Canberra 20 years ago. Julian serves on the Night Parrot Recovery Team and Cowra Woodland Birds Program management committee.
In the settled, agricultural regions of the tablelands, western slopes and near plains of New South Wales, landscapes continue to evolve. Birds are adapting to these and other contemporary forces while still adjusting to historical landscape change. Two of the current significant landscape changes involve the death or removal of mature paddock trees, and reafforestation, whether for farm forestry, landcare, shelterbelts or biodiversity. In parts of these regions native, semi-colonial Noisy Miners exert intense competitive pressure, effectively excluding smaller woodland bird species from their large territories, with negative impacts on the conservation prospects of a large suite of threatened and declining bird species. Data from 15 years of woodland bird surveys in the Cowra district reveal Noisy Miners can colonise and dominate both small native woodland remnants and former paddocks revegetated for biodiversity outcomes under Landcare, Bushcare and similar government restoration initiatives. It is possible that a large revegetation effort close to a small native remnant facilitated the invasion of miners into the latter, tipping the previously high-quality woodland bird community into its new Noisy Miner dominated state. An extensive study that reviews and investigates the composition of bird communities in and adjacent to plantings and revegetation is urgently required.
Dr michael drielsma
Dr Drielsma leads a team that develops and applies computer-based spatial modelling techniques to assess the state of biodiversity and to guide conservation efforts. Projects range from regional scales up sub-continental scales. In order to bring more ecological process to biodiversity assessments his team develops new modelling techniques that straddle landscape ecology and metapopulation ecology, which assess and map ecological condition, connectivity and occupancy. Recent work is informing conservation efforts in the face of a range of threats, including climate change. His team provided spatial prioritisation and project evaluation to the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Link Partnership between 2011 and 2017.
Michael Drielsma12*, Jamie Love12, Hanieh Saremi2, Rajesh Thapa2
1 – Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW)
2 – University of New England, Armidale NSW
Habitat fragmentation is considered a major threat to biodiversity persistence as it effectively reduces the size of populations making them more prone to extinction, and hinders migration. Habitat fragmentation is now also recognised as an obstacle to the adaptation of biodiversity to climate change. Habitat fragmentation is a necessary consideration in any assessment of biodiversity persistence, best integrated with other considerations, such as the amount and quality of habitat, as well as other threats. At regional and sub-continental scales we have been developing ways to quantify and integrate habitat fragmentation (and habitat connectivity more generally) into generic landscape assessments, whole of biodiversity assessment and species-level metapopulation assessments. As part of this work we seek to highlight places where conservation and restoration will most benefit regional biodiversity outcomes. Recently this work has been extended to consider the influence of (multiple) climate projections on the outlook for biodiversity, and to help identify management options.
Carl is recognised as an innovative leader in urban ecosystem monitoring and management and over the past few years has been involved in multiple projects focusing on managing urban ecosystems in the growth centres of the Western Sydney region.
Carl is a specialist aquatic and riparian ecologist with an in-depth knowledge of the development and application of waterway and catchment monitoring frameworks, ecosystem health guidelines, ecological indicators and adaptive waterway management.
Carl has a high level of research and communication skills, evidenced by numerous peer reviewed publications, presentations and workshops and is currently undertaking a PhD focusing on ecological indicators, waterway health guidelines and the development of a management framework specific to urban waterways.
Presentation: Managing the complexity of aquatic and riparian ecosystems
The management of waterways is traditionally undertaken by monitoring water quality and comparing results to generic water quality guidelines that have been developed for application across broad geographic areas. Although the purpose of water quality guidelines is to protect aquatic ecosystems, they are used to primarily and often misleadingly determine if a waterway is polluted or not. Managing biodiversity of aquatic and riparian ecosystems requires an understanding far more detailed than simply applying a set of generic guidelines. These complex ecosystems, which more often than not provide a range of ecosystem services to both natural and human communities requires a multilayered approach to their management to ensure long term viability. In this presentation we explore the complexities in managing the socio-ecological system of urban waterways. We present an alternative to waterway management which moves away from the use of generic guidelines which can be applied across both urban and rural landscapes.