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In the Media ...

Date Description
11 Nov 2010

Blueprint to protect the Future of Australia's oceans revealed

Australian Sea Lion, Kangaroo Island by Trevor Ward Released Thursday 11 November 2010

For the first time, a scientifically-based blueprint for managing Australia’s oceans has been developed to safeguard marine life and protect economic and social interests as well.

Media Release, 10 November 2010 (.pdf, 1pp, 273Kb)
Executive Summary (.pdf, 2pp, 393Kb)
Full Report (.pdf, 150pp, 4Mb)

Media coverage:

The Greens response ...

The Tasmanian Liberals  response ...


Conservation Biology paper - assessing the capacity of Australia's Protected areas to protect endangered species

A new paper has come out in Conservation Biology entitled The capacity of Australia’protected-area system to represent threatened species. by James Watson et al. See thepaper in full at
Picked up by the media as follows:

Australasian Science Magazine:

1. February 2010: Will REDD payments save threatened species?, David Salt
2. February 2010: Is conservation too conservative, Hugh Possingham
3. March 2010: Real conservation targets, Hugh Possingham
4. April 2010: A world of biodiversity challenges – so different yet so similar, Hugh Possingham
5. May 2010: The case for biodiversity offsets, Phil Gibbons
6. July 2010: What do greenies want?, Hugh Possingham
7. September 2010: The news is not good..., David Salt
8. October 2010: Australia’s acoustic environmental accounts, Hugh Possingham
9. November 2010: Does fishing kill fish?, Hugh Possingham 
29 Oct 2010

Could big business carbon investment save endangered species?

An ABC News Web Editorial from AEDA's Sarah Bekessy (RMIT) & Brendan Wintle (Uni Melb)
31 Aug 2010 Fantastic world media for Croc work at UQ, involving AEDA's Matthew Watts

An article from Notes and News in the Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 2010 details tremendous media coverage for research done by UQ's Dr Hamish Campbell & Dr Craig Franklin.  It is also significant for AEDA, as our own Matt Watts played an important part in the research.

A press release from the Bulletin has apparently had more coverage than "any other jounal paper in the past 10 years, with more than 325 individual items of coverage in the UK, US, [and] Australia in print and on TV and radio". The Bulletin estimates that the total audience could be over 15 million!! 

Well done Hamish, Craig and Matt!  Full article HERE and see the YouTube coverage too.
1 July 2010
A new paper on improving protected area networks was published this morning in Nature. We show that dramatic improvements to the performance of a protected area system can be made by replacing a small number of poorly performing areas with new ones that are more cost-effective for conservation.

This can be done without spending any more money, by trading up poor quality sites with those that achieve more for conservation. See the paper at:

Comment on this in the Economist
19 June 2010- The Age
Professor Hugh Possingham's [UQ, AEDA Director] idea is simple - it is called the endangered species lottery. First the federal government creams off $20 million from taxes on gambling revenue as a prize. Then the names of Australian endangered species are written on balls and put in a barrel.
On Melbourne Cup day the federal environment minister draws a ball from the barrel live on television just before the big race. Landholders who have populations of the winning species on their property are given a slice of the $20 million pie, with more money apportioned for larger populations.
Possingham, a world-renowned ecologist and mathematician at the University of Queensland, says the lottery would encourage landowners to look after and even increase these populations of endangered species in the hope of winning money ... READ ON
15 June 2010
Nature News - New UN science body to monitor biosphere
Representatives from close to 90 countries gathering in Busan, Korea, this week, have approved the formation of a new organization to monitor the ecological state of the planet and its natural resources. Dubbed the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the new entity will likely meet for the first time in 2011 and operate much like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In essence, that means the IPBES will specialize in "peer review of peer review", says Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Programme, which has so far hosted the IPBES birth process.
Read the article HERE
14 June 2010 The Age - Safeguarding our species

Declared the `Year of Biodiversity' by the United Nations, 2010 provides an opportunity to celebrate life on earth and to safeguard biodiversity, the variety of life. Nerissa Hannink reports on projects projects at the University of Melbourne that reevaluate the number of species on the planet and explore the most innovative ways of keeping them alive.

Work by Dr Tracy Rout & Dr Michael McCarthy from Uni Melbourne is discussed.
January 2010

Paper discussing cross-boarder conservation, an AEDA international collaboration, gets lots of press.  The paper:

Kark, S., N. Levin, H. S. Grantham and H. P. Possingham, (2009). "Between-country collaboration and consideration of costs increase conservation planning efficiency in the Mediterranean Basin." Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 106(36): 15368-15373 (web pdf or email for reprint)
The press:
13 December 2009 Science Alert .com features our article on Climate Change - Twenty years on, what don't we know? by Phil Gibbins & Adam Felton
30 November 2009 Oscar Ventor in an article on REDD carbon trading scheme published in Time Magazine Banking on Trees
26 November 09 Hugh interviewed at Conservation Bytes
24 November 09

ABC NewsMail - morning edition - WEB SITE

*Grizzlies, polar bears breeding because of climate change*

An Australian biologist says climate change is speeding up the creation of new species through the merging of habitats.
Scientists in the United States are trying to find more examples of a hybrid "grolar bear" - a wild animal that was discovered in 2006 and found to have genetic material from both polar and grizzly bears.
It is thought the changing habitats of both animals have led to occasional interbreeding between the two species.
The University of Queensland's Dr James Watson has told Triple J's Hack program that such examples of cross-breeding could happen more often.
"There's a lot of evidence now that with the climate changing, a lot of species will have range shifts which are changing in accordance with this," he said.
"We're seeing more and more evidence that different species are being forced together and are genetically quite similar and therefore it's not surprising that there's some inbreeding because of this."


November 09


Drs James Watson and Liana Joseph were commissioned by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the ARts (DEWHA) to prodice an independent report on the recent annd ongoing Timor Sea oil slick.  More than 20 different media outlets have picked up on this. Click on any one of the links below to go to media reports:

2. ABC breakfast radio - LISTEN
7. The Age 1 Nov 09


10 November 2009 BBC One Minute News - Koalas 'could face exctinction' - report with short video of Hugh and Deb Tabart (Aust Koala Foundation) speaking about the plight of koalas
October 09 NATIVE BIRD POPULATIONS DECLINING RAPIDLY: ABC 7:30 REPORT, including comments on Australia's National Biodiversity Strategy 2010-2020.
October 09 Hugh interviewed by a French journalist in Australia reporting for Le Monde national newspaper (apparently the French equivalent of the NYT or The Guardian) about marine bioregional planning, and Carissa Klein by La Croix.

Sylvaine and Iadine did a bit of translating of Carissa’s interview (see link below) and basically it says that MPA are very important and have been successful in Australia.  It also discusses the new reserves system that Canberra will invest in, mentioning Peter Garrett and GBRMPA, and says that Canberra signed an agreement with the six countries from  the coral triangle to help them protect their pretty-beautiful marine areas.

However, Iadine thought the journalist was playing on words “… comparing marine areas to “beautes marines” e.g. beautiful things from the sea (mermaids?). He’s trying to make us dream. There must be some king of advertising for travelling on the next page” and in fact she was right!  Yes, Sylvaine found an add for holidays on the next page of the paper!

For anyone who can read French, the article itself

September 2009  

Carissa Klein, American Australian Association Fellow from American Australian Association on Vimeo.

June 2009

An AEDA paper published in Conservation Letters on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and biodiversity conservation hits 65 media outlets and radio.  Lead by Oscar Venter, an AEDA PhD student (, researchers from around the world have determined that REDD could offset deforestation if used in cost-efficient areas, such a Kalimantan.

Oscar was interviewed by Phil Kafcaloudes and Adelaine Ng from the Breakfast Club on Radio Australia on 10 June 2009 - LISTEN HERE

Media outlets from all around the world have reported on this paper, including:

BBC;   Scientific American;   New York Times;   Los Angeles Times;   Washington post;   Reuters;   The Jakarta Post;   Associated Press  China Post;   CNBC;   Science Daily;   The Huffington Post;   CBS News;   Chicago Tribune;   Jakarta Globe;   Indonesia Post;   Kansas City Star;   The Boston Globe;   Yahoo news;   Taiwan news;   Southern Ledger;   SeattlePI;   WCTV;   The Monteray Herald;   Seattle times;   San Francisco Chronicle;   Newsday;   Baltimore Sun;   Forbes;   Agence France Presse-English;   Agencia EFE (Spain);   Reuters—Portuguese;   RedOrbit;   WNYT News Channel 13;   Star Tribune;   Salem Radio Network News;   ClearNet Business (NZ);   NewsER;   Fort Mill Times;   First Science;   FAO United Nations: Forest News;   WTOP 103.5;   Intell Asia;   Journal Gazette;   The Daily Reflector;   The Star;   Statesman;   World Environment News;   Fox 13 Now;   Straits Times;   Environmental News Network;   KSTP News;   The News Tribune;   KSL News Radio;   Daily Advance;   Science Daily;   Sun Sentinal;   AL;   Sulekha;   Morning Star;   Planet Ark;   News Guide;   Terra Daily;   PhysOrg,

The Abstract is below, and the full paper can be downloaded HERE:


One reason for the rapid loss of species-rich tropical forests is the high opportunity costs of forest protection. In Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), the expansion of high-revenue oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) plantations currently threatens 3.3 million ha of forest. We estimate that payments for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) could offset the costs of stopping this deforestation at carbon prices of US$10–33 per tonne of CO2, or $2–16 per tonne if forest conservation targets only cost-efficient areas. Forty globally threatened mammals are found within these planned plantations, including the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Borneo pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis). Cost-efficient areas for emissions reductions also contain higher-than-average numbers of threatened mammals, indicating that there may be synergies between mitigating climate change and conserving biodiversity. While many policy and implementation issues need clarification, our economic assessment suggests that REDD could offer a financially realistic lifeline for Kalimantan’s threatened mammals if it is included in future climate agreements.

May 2009

Los biólogos reclaman una red de ríos protegidos - Virgilio Hermosa and Simon Linke.

WEB SITEall in Spanish, but contact Virgilio for an interpretation

March 2009
Hedley Grantham Save or study in Nature News re discussing how modelling can help conservationists decide when they have collected enough data.
April 2008

Bikini corals recover from atomic blast

Half a century after the last earth-shattering atomic blast shook the Pacific atoll of Bikini, the corals are flourishing again. Some coral species, however, appear to be locally extinct.

These are the findings of a remarkable investigation by an international team of scientists from Australia, Germany, Italy, Hawaii and the Marshall Islands. The expedition examined the diversity and abundance of marine life in the atoll.

Read the full report by Zoe Richards from JCU and Maria Beger, UQ & AEDA

 also reported on in New Scientist and bio-medicine



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