The cost of being internationally relevant

Are Australian species and ecosystems really that freakishly different from the rest of the world that our work isn’t applicable elsewhere? And are conservation efforts in Australia ultimately losing out because of this?
 

One seriously unique freaky Australian: the platypus. Image: Stefan Kraft.

I have just returned from Germany, where I had the pleasure of presenting the findings of my Travelling Stock Route-related work to the Institute of Ecology at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. I think the presentation was well-received, and at the end I got asked lots of probing questions from apparently interested people. Now, of course there is a chance that this nice group were just being polite, and taking pity on me with my ridiculous accent and excessive gesticulation. But others I spoke to during the week also seemed to show a genuine interest.

Why did I find this so surprising? Read more of this post

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Biodiversity for the people

An increasingly common road sign for our future

Crack open the champagne, pass out the cigars – we have a birth to celebrate! Well, actually, many births. According to the United Nations’ Population Division, the world’s population has just reached seven billion. But the celebrations have undercurrents of despair. With human population pressure cited as one of the biggest stressors on global sustainability, how many more people can the earth realistically support? And given that the majority of people live in urban areas (with urbanisation a massive stressor in itself) is there anything can be done? Or, more importantly, is there anything ethically that can be done? Read more of this post