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Chapters

Wallach, A. 2014, 'Strongly interactive carnivore species: maintaining and restoring ecosystem function' in Glen Alistair & Dickman Christopher (eds), Carnivores of Australia: Past, Present and Future, CSIRO, pp. 301-322.
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Journal articles

Ashcroft, M.B., Gollan, J.R. & Ramp, D. 2014, 'Creating vegetation density profiles for a diverse range of ecological habitats using terrestrial laser scanning', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 263-272.
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1. Vegetation structure is an important determinant of species habitats and diversity. It is often represented by simple metrics, such as canopy cover, height and leaf area index, which do not fully capture three-dimensional variations in density. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) is a technology that can better capture vegetation structure, but methods developed to process scans have been biased towards forestry applications. The aim of this study was to develop a methodology for processing TLS data to produce vegetation density profiles across a broader range of habitats. 2. We performed low-resolution and medium-resolution TLS scans using a Leica C5 Scanstation at four locations within eight sites near Wollongong, NSW, Australia (34·3834·41°S, 150·84150·91°E). The raw point clouds were converted to density profiles using a method that corrected for uneven ground surfaces, varying point density due to beam divergence and occlusion, the non-vertical nature of most beams and for beams that passed through gaps in the vegetation without generating a point. Density profiles were evaluated against visual estimates from three independent observers using coarse height classes (e.g. 510 m). 3. TLS produced density profiles that captured the three-dimensional vegetation structure. Although sites were selected to differ in structure, each was relatively homogeneous, yet we still found a high spatial variation in density profiles. There was also large variation between observers, with the RMS error of the three observers relative to the TLS varying from 16·2% to 32·1%. Part of this error appeared to be due to misjudging the height of vegetation, which caused an overestimation in one height class and an underestimation in another. 4. Our method for generating density profiles using TLS can capture three-dimensional vegetation structure in a manner that is more detailed and less subjective than traditional methods. The method can be applied to a broad range of habitats not j...

Bekoff, M. & Ramp, D. 2014, 'Cruel to be kind?', NEW SCIENTIST, vol. 222, no. 2974, pp. 26-27.
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Ben-Ami, D., Boom, K., Boronyak, L.J., Townend, C., Ramp, D., Croft, D.B. & Bekoff, M. 2014, 'The welfare ethics of the commercial killing of free-ranging kangaroos: an evaluation of the benefits and costs of the industry', Animal Welfare, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1-10.
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The commercial killing of kangaroos provides multiple benefits to society, but also causes both deliberate and unintended harms to kangaroos. The ethics of the kangaroo industry is assessed in terms of whether the assumed benefits justify the welfare costs. An analysis of the stated benefits indicates that killing for damage mitigation is beneficial mainly during drought and not at current levels; that there is a commercial value, although considerably lower than previously estimated, and that demonstrable environmental benefits from commercial killing of kangaroos are lacking; and that the commercial kill may ameliorate the suffering of kangaroos during drought. Welfare practices are very difficult to assess and regulate due to the size and remote nature of the industry. A combination of empirical data on welfare outcomes and inferences drawn from behavioural and reproductive knowledge of the commercially killed species are utilised to assess harm. The welfare costs include deliberate and indirect harm to dependent young (a by-product of the commercial kill), and a number of unintended harms to adult kangaroos, including increased mortality during drought, inhumane killing of a portion of adult kangaroos, and a disruption of social stability and the evolutionary potential of individuals. Furthermore, a substantial gap exists between the intended welfare standards of the code of practice governing the kangaroo industry and the welfare outcomes for both dependent young and adult kangaroos. We found that, on balance, the benefits are lower than expected and the welfare costs are likely to be considerably higher than acceptable. More research, particularly at the point of kill, is necessary to verify and assess the extent of harms. A number of improvements are suggested to the code of practice to improve welfare outcomes.

Bino, G., Ramp, D. & Kingsford, R.T. 2014, 'Identifying minimal sets of survey techniques for multi-species monitoring across landscapes: an approach utilising species distribution models', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 28, no. 8.
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Monitoring for species occupancy is often carried out at local scales, reflecting specific targets, available logistics, and funding. Problematically, conservation planning and management operate at broader scales and use information inventories with good scale coverage. Translating information between local and landscape scales is commonly treated in an ad hoc manner, but conservation decision-making can benefit from quantifying spatial-knowledge relationships. Fauna occupancy monitoring, in particular, suffers from this issue of scale, as there are many different survey methods employed for different purposes. Rather than ignoring how informative these methods are when predicting regional distributions, we describe a statistical approach that identifies survey combinations that provide the greatest additive value in mammal detection across different scales. We identified minimal sets of survey methods for 53 terrestrial mammal species across a large area in Australia (New South Wales (NSW), 800,000 km2) and for each of the 18 bioregions it encompasses. Utility of survey methods varied considerably at a landscape scale. Unplanned opportunistic sightings were the single largest source of species information (35%). The utility of other survey methods varied spatially; some were retained in minimal sets for many bioregions, while others were spatially restricted or unimportant. Predator scats, Elliot and pitfall trapping, spotlighting, and diurnal herpetofauna surveys were the most frequently included survey methods at a landscape scale. Use of our approach can guide identification of efficient combinations of survey methods, maximising detection and returns for monitoring. Findings and methodologies are easily transferable and are globally applicable across any taxa. They provide guidelines for managing scarce resources for regional ?monitoring programs, and improving regional strategic ?conservation planning.

Brandis, K.J., Koeltzow, N., Ryall, S. & Ramp, D. 2014, 'Assessing the use of camera traps to measure reproductive success in Straw-necked Ibis breeding colonies', Australian Field Ornithology, vol. 31, pp. 99-106.
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Nest monitoring may influence reproductive success and rates of predation. This study compared data from two methods of monitoring nests repeated visits to nests by investigators and collection of data by camera trapsin Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis breeding colonies in the Murrumbidgee catchment in New South Wales. There was no significant difference in reproductive success between nests monitored by these two methods. These data show that (1) nest monitoring using camera traps is a valid survey method that reduces the need for investigators to engage in intensive and costly monitoring in the field, and (2) there was no detectable interference from repeated visits to nests by investigators on the reproductive success of ibis.

Driscoll, D.A., Catford, J.A., Barney, J.N., Hulme, P.E., Inderjit, Martin, T.G., Pauchard, A., Pysek, P., Richardson, D.M., Riley, S. & Visser, V. 2014, 'New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk', PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol. 111, no. 46, pp. 16622-16627.
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Felix, I., Horgan, F.G. & Stuart, A. 2014, 'Flying heroes of Ecuador's rice fields', Appropriate Technology, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 44-45.

Gollan, J.R., Ramp, D. & Ashcroft, M.B. 2014, 'Assessing the Distribution and Protection Status of Two Types of Cool Environment to Facilitate Their Conservation under Climate Change', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 456-466.
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Strategies to mitigate climate change can protect different types of cool environments. Two are receiving much attention: protection of ephemeral refuges (i.e., places with low maximum temperatures) and of stable refugia (i.e., places that are cool, have a stable environment, and are isolated). Problematically, they are often treated as equivalents. Careful delineation of their qualities is needed to prevent misdirected conservation initiatives; yet, no one has determined whether protecting one protects the other. We mapped both types of cool environments across a large (~3.4M ha) mixed-use landscape with a geographic information system and conducted a patch analysis to compare their spatial distributions; examine relations between land use and their size and shape; and assess their current protection status. With a modest, but arbitrary, threshold for demarcating both types of cool environments (i.e., values below the 0.025 quantile) there were 146,523 ha of ephemeral refuge (62,208 ha) and stable refugia (62,319 ha). Ephemeral refuges were generally aggregated at high elevation, and more refuge area occurred in protected areas (55,184 ha) than in unprotected areas (7,024 ha). In contrast, stable refugia were scattered across the landscape, and more stable-refugium area occurred on unprotected (40,135 ha) than on protected land (22,184 ha). Although sensitivity analysis showed that varying the thresholds that define cool environments affected outcomes, it also exposed the challenge of choosing a threshold for strategies to address climate change; there is no single value that is appropriate for all of biodiversity. The degree of overlap between ephemeral refuges and stable refugia revealed that targeting only the former for protection on currently unprotected land would capture ~17% of stable refugia. Targeting only stable refugia would capture ~54% of ephemeral refuges. Thus, targeting one type of cool environment did not fully protect the other. Evaluación de ...

Horgan, F.G., Imelda Felix, M., Portalanza, D.E., Sanchez, L., Moya Rios, W.M., Farah, S.E., Wither, J.A., Andrade, C.I. & Espin, E.B. 2014, 'Responses by farmers to the apple snail invasion of Ecuador's rice fields and attitudes toward predatory snail kites', CROP PROTECTION, vol. 62, pp. 135-143.
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Horgan, F.G., Stuart, A.M. & Kudavidanage, E.P. 2014, 'Impact of invasive apple snails on the functioning and services of natural and managed wetlands', ACTA OECOLOGICA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, vol. 54, pp. 90-100.
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Horgan, F.G., Yanes Figueroa, J. & Almazan, M.L.P. 2014, 'Seedling broadcasting as a potential method to reduce apple snail damage to rice', CROP PROTECTION, vol. 64, pp. 168-176.
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Hudson, L.N., Newbold, T., Contu, S., Hill, S.L.L., Lysenko, I., De Palma, A., Phillips, H.R.P., Senior, R.A., Bennett, D.J., Booth, H., Choimes, A., Correia, D.L.P., Day, J., Echeverria-Londono, S., Garon, M., Harrison, M.L.K., Ingram, D.J., Jung, M., Kemp, V., Kirkpatrick, L., Martin, C.D., Pan, Y., White, H.J., Aben, J., Abrahamczyk, S., Adum, G.B., Aguilar-Barquero, V., Aizen, M.A., Ancrenaz, M., Arbelaez-Cortes, E., Armbrecht, I., Azhar, B., Azpiroz, A.B., Baeten, L., Baldi, A., Banks, J.E., Barlow, J., Batary, P., Bates, A.J., Bayne, E.M., Beja, P., Berg, A., Berry, N.J., Bicknell, J.E., Bihn, J.H., Boehning-Gaese, K., Boekhout, T., Boutin, C., Bouyer, J., Brearley, F.Q., Brito, I., Brunet, J., Buczkowski, G., Buscardo, E., Cabra-Garcia, J., Calvino-Cancela, M., Cameron, S.A., Cancello, E.M., Carrijo, T.F., Carvalho, A.L., Castro, H., Castro-Luna, A.A., Cerda, R., Cerezo, A., Chauvat, M., Clarke, F.M., Cleary, D.F.R., Connop, S.P., D'Aniello, B., da Silva, P.G., Darvill, B., Dauber, J., Dejean, A., Diekoetter, T., Dominguez-Haydar, Y., Dormann, C.F., Dumont, B., Dures, S.G., Dynesius, M., Edenius, L., Elek, Z., Entling, M.H., Farwig, N., Fayle, T.M., Felicioli, A., Felton, A.M., Ficetola, G.F., Filgueiras, B.K.C., Fonte, S.J., Fraser, L.H., Fukuda, D., Furlani, D., Ganzhorn, J.U., Garden, J.G., Gheler-Costa, C., Giordani, P., Giordano, S., Gottschalk, M.S., Goulson, D., Gove, A.D., Grogan, J., Hanley, M.E., Hanson, T., Hashim, N.R., Hawes, J.E., Hebert, C., Helden, A.J., Henden, J.-.A., Hernandez, L., Herzog, F., Higuera-Diaz, D., Hilje, B., Horgan, F.G., Horvath, R., Hylander, K., Isaacs-Cubides, P., Ishitani, M., Jacobs, C.T., Jaramillo, V.J., Jauker, B., Jonsell, M., Jung, T.S., Kapoor, V., Kati, V., Katovai, E., Kessler, M., Knop, E., Kolb, A., Koroesi, A., Lachat, T., Lantschner, V., Le Feon, V., LeBuhn, G., Legare, J.-.P., Letcher, S.G., Littlewood, N.A., Lopez-Quintero, C.A., Louhaichi, M., Loevei, G.L., Lucas-Borja, M.E., Luja, V.H., Maeto, K., Magura, T., Mallari, N.A., Marin-Spiotta, E., Marshall, E.J.P., Martinez, E., Mayfield, M.M., Mikusinski, G., Milder, J.C., Miller, J.R., Morales, C.L., Muchane, M.N., Muchane, M., Naidoo, R., Nakamura, A., Naoe, S., Nates-Parra, G., Navarrete Gutierrez, D.A., Neuschulz, E.L., Noreika, N., Norfolk, O., Noriega, J.A., Noeske, N.M., O'Dea, N., Oduro, W., Ofori-Boateng, C., Oke, C.O., Osgathorpe, L.M., Paritsis, J., Parra-H, A., Pelegrin, N., Peres, C.A., Persson, A.S., Petanidou, T., Phalan, B., Philips, T.K., Poveda, K., Power, E.F., Presley, S.J., Proenca, V., Quaranta, M., Quintero, C., Redpath-Downing, N.A., Reid, J.L. & et al. 2014, 'The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts', ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, vol. 4, no. 24, pp. 4701-4735.
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Johnson, C.N., Crowther, M.S., Dickman, C.R., Letnic, M.I., Newsome, T.M., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G. & Wallach, A.D. 2014, 'Experiments in no-impact control of dingoes: Comment on Allen et al. 2013', Frontiers in Zoology, vol. 11, no. 1.
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There has been much recent debate in Australia over whether lethal control of dingoes incurs environmental costs, particularly by allowing increase of populations of mesopredators such as red foxes and feral cats. Allen et al. (2013) claim to show in their recent study that suppression of dingo activity by poison baiting does not lead to mesopredator release, because mesopredators are also suppressed by poisoning. We show that this claim is not supported by the data and analysis reported in Allen et al.'s paper. © 2014 Johnson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Riley, S. 2014, 'Rio + 20: What Difference Has Two Decades Made to State Practice in the Regulation of Invasive Alien Species?', William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 371-424.
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ABSTRACT Invasive alien species (IAS) are alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats, or other species. Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires the contracting parties to prevent the introduction of or control or eradicate those alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats, or species. Members are also required to lodge National Reports with the Secretariat of the CBD, specifying how they are fulfilling their international obligations with respect to IAS. While the threats to biodiversity posed by IAS have been extensively documented,to date, no study has examined states perceptions of their IAS regimes. This Article collects and analyzes information available from the CBD National Reports to consider what members themselves have identified as their regulatory strengths and weaknesses. Against this backdrop, the Article evaluates the effectiveness of international environmental law in guiding domestic regimes, highlighting that where international law is imprecise or inconsistent, it can hinder the development of successful State practice.

Riley, S. & Li, G. 2014, 'Internationalisation and Intercultural Skills: Using Role Play Simulations to Build Bridges of Tolerance and Understanding', Macquarie Law Journal, vol. 14, pp. 127-147.
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Although the notion of internationalisation does not have a settled meaning, its main theme focuses on enriching ‘the international dimension’ of the higher education experience. Internationalisation traditionally includes promoting student mobility and embedding international elements in existing curriculum. Yet, in order to achieve true internationalisation, teachers also need to consider how students develop intercultural skills. The literature indicates that it may be difficult to implement learning strategies that achieve these outcomes. In an attempt to fill this gap, this paper evaluates a project that the authors undertook, which utilised role-play simulations in order to build bridges of tolerance and understanding amongst a diverse student cohort. The project reflected an integrative approach that incorporated international elements into the existing curriculum. It was conducted in two stages, commencing with a pilot exercise in an undergraduate law subject taught to business students and concluding with a workshop designed to shed light on some of the challenges underscored by the pilot exercise. In particular, the workshop explored findings that role-play simulations were an effective tool in encouraging students to engage with each other at a disciplinary and personal level, but somewhat less effective in facilitating meaningful intercultural exchange. Both the pilot project and the workshop highlight the need for teachers to build on their role as intercultural facilitators and to innovate and explore all students’ experiences of ‘internationalisation’. Moreover, while educational institutions consider internationalisation to be one of their strengths, more work needs to be done to assist teachers in developing and implementing internationalisation of the curriculum at the subject, course and program levels.

Ripple, W.J., Estes, J.A., Beschta, R.L., Wilmers, C.C., Ritchie, E.G., Hebblewhite, M., Berger, J., Elmhagen, B., Letnic, M., Nelson, M.P., Schmitz, O.J., Smith, D.W., Wallach, A.D. & Wirsing, A.J. 2014, 'Status and ecological effects of the world's largest carnivores.', Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 343, no. 6167, p. 1241484.
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Large carnivores face serious threats and are experiencing massive declines in their populations and geographic ranges around the world. We highlight how these threats have affected the conservation status and ecological functioning of the 31 largest mammalian carnivores on Earth. Consistent with theory, empirical studies increasingly show that large carnivores have substantial effects on the structure and function of diverse ecosystems. Significant cascading trophic interactions, mediated by their prey or sympatric mesopredators, arise when some of these carnivores are extirpated from or repatriated to ecosystems. Unexpected effects of trophic cascades on various taxa and processes include changes to bird, mammal, invertebrate, and herpetofauna abundance or richness; subsidies to scavengers; altered disease dynamics; carbon sequestration; modified stream morphology; and crop damage. Promoting tolerance and coexistence with large carnivores is a crucial societal challenge that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth's largest carnivores and all that depends upon them, including humans.

Slavich, E., Warton, D.I., Ashcroft, M.B., Gollan, J.R. & Ramp, D. 2014, 'Topoclimate versus macroclimate: how does climate mapping methodology affect species distribution models and climate change projections?', Diversity And Distributions, vol. 20, pp. 952-963.
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ABSTRACT Aim: We analyse how and why `topoclimate mapping methodologies improve on macroclimatic variables in modelling the distribution of biodiversity. Further, we consider the implications for climate change projections. Location: Greater Hunter Valley region (c. 60,000 km2), New South Wales, Australia. Methods: We fitted generalised linear models to 295 species of grasses and ferns at fine resolutions (< 50 m2) using (a) macroclimatic variables, interpolated from weather station data using altitude and location only, (b) topoclimatic variables, interpolated from field measurements using additional climate-forcing factors such as topography and canopy cover, and (c) both topoclimatic and macroclimatic variables. We conducted community-level analyses and examined the reasons for differences through single-species analyses. We projected species distributions under 03° warming, comparing biodiversity loss predicted by topoclimate and macroclimate variables. Results: At the community level, the topoclimatic variables explained significant variation (p < 0.002) in the distribution of both ferns and grasses not explained by macroclimatic variables, resulting in increases of 0.0360.061 in the pseudo R-squared. Topoclimate performed better (as determined by AIC) than macroclimate for grass species living in cold extremes under topoclimate and most fern species. Models using topoclimatic temperature variables projected different locations of biodiversity loss/retention and in general projected substantially fewer species becoming critically endangered in the study region than models using macroclimatic temperature variables in one scenario, topoclimate projected 10% of species becoming critically endangered where macroclimate projected 28%. Main Conclusions: How climate variables are constructed has a significant effect on species distribution models and any subsequent climate change predictions. Misleading conclusions may result from models based on fine-resolution c...

Stuart, A.M., Palenzuela, A.N., Bernal, C.C., Ramal, A.F. & Horgan, F.G. 2014, 'Effects of fertiliser applications on survival and recruitment of the apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck)', CROP PROTECTION, vol. 64, pp. 78-87.
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Vu, Q., Quintana, R., Fujita, D., Bernal, C.C., Yasui, H., Medina, C.D. & Horgan, F.G. 2014, 'Responses and adaptation by Nephotettix virescens to monogenic and pyramided rice lines with Grh-resistance genes', ENTOMOLOGIA EXPERIMENTALIS ET APPLICATA, vol. 150, no. 2, pp. 179-190.
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Yanes Figueroa, J., Almazan, M.L.P. & Horgan, F.G. 2014, 'Reducing seed-densities in rice seedbeds improves the cultural control of apple snail damage', CROP PROTECTION, vol. 62, pp. 23-31.
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Conferences

Jacobs, B., Boronyak, L.J., Dunford, S., Kuruppu, N., Lewis, B. & Lee, C. 2014, 'Towards a resilient Sydney - supporting collective action to adapt sub national government services to regional climate change', 3rd International Conference on Climate Change and Social Issues, 3rd International Conference on Climate Change and Social Issues, International Center for Research & Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka, pp. 12-14.
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We report the findings of a vulnerability assessment of government service delivery to climate change for Sydney, Australia. Climate projections indicate that in addition to increases in average temperature, Sydney can expect higher incidence of extreme climate events such as heat waves, bush fires, intense low pressure weather systems leading to riverine flooding, and coastal inundation from sea level rise. We employed a participatory integrated assessment process with public sector employees representing five key sectors. Vulnerability stemmed from: lack of perception of climate risk, inadequate skills and knowledge to understand climate impacts, pressure from population growth on human settlements, insufficient consideration of climate change in strategic planning, pressure on natural resource supply and security, and an inability to direct government funding to adaptation action stemming from current political ideologies.

Riley, S. 2014, 'INVASIVE ANIMALS: KILLING FOR THE GREATER GOOD OR SHSORT-TERM EXPEDIENCY?', All Things Great and Small: Interdisciplinary Interspecies Community, UC Davis Conference Center – The Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Group at UC Davis.
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Abstract The regulation of ‘invasive’ or ‘pest’ animals presents decision makers with many challenges. These include how to manage species that are instrumental in the decline of native biodiversity, or otherwise conflict with the human use of natural resources. In this context, philosophies of environmental ethics regard the value of animals as an integral component of the decision-making process. This calls into question how regulators appraise competing interests and whether regimes should be shaped by utilitarian notions of welfare or extend to consideration of the life of individual species. Using the Model Codes of Practice for the Humane Control of animals such as goats, camels, donkeys and horses (Model Codes), the paper explores how invasive or pest animals are regulated in Australia. The description of pest animals in the Model Codes includes species that are ‘troublesome’ or a ‘general nuisance’. While these descriptors considerably widen the reach of the regime they do not automatically determine how society should deal with ‘pest’ species. The paper argues that the Model Codes become a locus for acquiescing on the impacts of ‘pest’ animals as well as deciding what welfare considerations are relevant to their eradication. At the same time, welfare concerns are rationalised to the point that killing becomes the preferred regulatory option. Indeed, by invoking the risk that invasive or pest species pose, the Model Codes conclude that the species must be killed otherwise management goals remain unfulfilled. Killing animals thus becomes an assimilated part of the reality of natural resource management. Yet this approach does not adequately consider either the long-term effectiveness of culling or the morality of wholesale killing.

Reports

Jacobs, B., Boronyak, L. & Mikhailovich, N. Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2014, Enabling Adaptation in the Australian Capital Territory, pp. 1-57, Sydney, Australia.
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This report presents a synthesis of the findings from two participatory workshops conducted as part of the Enabling Adaptation in the Australian Capital Territory (EnAACT) project. The aim of EnAACT is to build a shared understanding of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) vulnerability to climate change and to catalyse adaptation through responses that are sensitive to the reality of regional systems. The workshops were conducted in September 2014 with 71 representatives drawn from the six Policy Directorates of the ACT Government. The information gathered from the consultation will inform ACT Government policy to enable adaptation to climate change in the ACT and the broader South East region of NSW. The EnAACT project considers climate change impacts and adaptation to the year 2060, with the major focus on actions that are required within the timeframes of the ACT’s Climate Adaptation Strategy. This report synthesises the process and outcomes of each of the activities conducted during the workshops and is intended to provide an information base to identify responses and opportunities that assist ACT Directorates to enhance resilience and realise transformations in which the impacts of climate risks for the ACT are minimised.

Ramp, D., Dougherty, E. & Bino, G. University of Technology, Sydney 2014, Impact of roads on swamp wallaby populations on Sydney's Northern Beaches, pp. 1-44, Sydney, Australia.
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The persistence of wildlife in altered environments is increasingly problematic as urbanised and production landscapes become ever more developed. The tipping point for many wildlife populations is the expansion of road networks and subsequent fragmenting effects. Patches of remnant vegetation become restricted in size and become infiltrated by roads with impacts that extend beyond the road edge. The primary mitigation method for addressing this complex problem is to either improve roads to allow safe passage of wildlife (through installation of under- or over-passes) and/or to prevent access to roads by wildlife to reduce rates of road-kill (through fencing). Crossing structures are expensive and governments require confidence that costs directly secure population persistence. Although not as expensive, fencing carries with it ongoing upkeep costs and can restrict wildlife movement, thereby increasing isolation. The question of how to distribute resources to both crossing structures and anti-crossing structures is often site and situation specific, yet decision frameworks for examining the trade-off between the two are in their infancy. Here we present the case of a medium-sized mammal, the swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), that appears to be eminently suited to surviving in urban remnants. However, roads are a major contributor to annual mortality rates. We surveyed four adjacent sub-populations living in reserves surrounded by suburbia, with each sub-population segregated by roads. We estimated population densities and annual fatality rates and used this information to examine the sensitivity of each sub-population to different levels of connectivity (movement across roads). We found that Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park was acting as a source population for Garigal National Park and surrounding regions. At current rates of fatalities and without connectivity, the likelihood of localised extinction in sink populations (Garigal National Park and surrounds) was h...

Riley, S. The Australian Senate 2014, Submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry Into Environmental Biosecurity (Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, INQUIRY INTO ENVIRONMENTAL BIOSECURITY, pp. 1-10, Canberra.
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