Resilience – what’s all the buzz?

Are buzzwords valuable devices that serve to inject emerging ideas into the national debate? Or are they shameful deceits used by political leaders to avoid being held to account? And is ‘resilience’ the new buzzword of our times?

In recent years I’ve been amused and somewhat cynical about the use and abuse of buzzwords such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘ecosystem health’. It seemed that while valuable thought had gone into promoting these terms as goals of policy and management, less consideration had gone into how you actually account for them.

For some, however, maybe that’s not a problem. These words represent noble aspirations. Maybe it doesn’t matter if what they mean is a bit blurry. Read more of this post

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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

Facts for a burning issue

coarse woody debris in nature reserve

Woody debris on public land provides precious habitat. Collecting it as firewood is a threatening process to biodiversity and should not be encouraged.

The Victorian Government has abolished fees for collecting firewood on public land despite expert advice that removing dead trees from forests threatens native bird species. This strikes me as outrageous but when I attempted to find a bit of information to support my stand I found myself struggling. Can you help me?

The facts of this story were presented in a short article in The Age newspaper titled Firewood fee given the chop. The story says the Victorian Government was making firewood collection easier in state parks by scrapping a $28 a cubic metre charge and permit application process. Critics accused the government of being environmentally irresponsible and putting at risk a growing farm forestry industry.

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Should we manage kangaroo numbers in the ACT?

Eastern grey kangaroo. Photo: Brett Howland

“To compare it to any European animal would be impossible” Joseph Banks describing a kangaroo in 1788.

Much allure and myth exist about one of the worlds most unique animals, the kangaroo. There is not one, but 47 different species of kangaroo ranging from the size of a small dog, to the massive 85kg red kangaroo. In the Australia Capital Territory, four species of kangaroo and wallaby exist, the swamp wallaby, the red-neck wallaby, the common wallaroo and the eastern grey kangaroo. The eastern grey kangaroo is by far the most numerous and attracts a significant amount of attention and controversy over its management.

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