Articles on Conservation

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Beware the hyperbole: Campbell Newman has vowed to axe the Wild Rivers legislation, but what’s the reality beneath the rhetoric? AAP/Alan Porritt

Overturn, axe and bury: the LNP and Queensland’s Wild Rivers Act

Those who follow the Wild Rivers debates in Queensland probably know better than to trust the headlines. When, in January 2010, Tony Abbott announced a federal intervention into the state’s environmental…
No simple matter: logging and conservation are not polar opposites, and controlled harvesting can fund the protection of forests. AAP/Greenpeace/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Can forest conservation and logging be reconciled?

Is there a role for logging in ensuring the future of the world’s tropical forests and their rich diversity of plants and animals? For many this idea is absurd, because timber production achieving conservation…
Extinct: the Christmas Island Pipistrelle. Lindy Lumsden

Threat of extinction demands fast and decisive action

When it comes to mammal extinctions, Australia’s track record over the last 200 years has been abysmal. Since European settlement, nearly half of the world’s mammalian extinctions have occurred in Australia…
An important ‘apex predator’ that should neither be hunted as an enemy nor treated as a pet. With respect and wisdom, we can coexist. AAP/Tony Phillips

The Australian dingo: to be respected, at a distance

It’s the dry season in the Northern Territory, and for many people that means camping under a clear winter’s sky in the Top End. Yet rediscovering nature can be a fraught exercise in wilderness areas like…
Our parks are an incredible asset, and if we ran them more like a business we would see that. AAP/Patrick Horton

Thinking corporately: getting national parks on national balance sheets

National parks are among Australia and New Zealand’s most precious assets. But we don’t account for them properly, so they’re struggling. It’s time for a rethink. The assets managed by the parks agencies…
Quarries and quandaries: Australia’s natural splendour is a major source of income, yet it sits uncomfortably with mining’s spread. AAP/Fantasea Adventure Cruising

Mining and the environment: the future of Australia’s brand

Australia has built a strong global brand based on its iconic natural beauty. For example, the new Australia Tourism campaign, “There’s nothing like Australia”, features icons like the Kimberley, Uluru…
To know how to ease the damage we do, we must first take stock of the natural world. New Zealand does; Australia does not. Flickr/borkazoid

Seeing the wood for the trees: Kiwi lead in biodiversity conservation

In 1992-93, 168 countries including Australia and New Zealand signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) acknowledging an urgent need to halt ongoing decline in the planet’s biodiversity. In its…
Queue for iPad 2 in Sydney: green activists targeting companies and governments should realise that those ‘enemies’ reflect the values of the money and consumption-hungry populace. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why the global environmental movement is failing

The recent news out of the RIO+20 summit is dire. No collective pre-agreement, no institutional change, no investment. The difference between RIO+20 and Kyoto was that at least Kyoto created an agreement…
Arise marsupial: the NSW town of Campbelltown could be the place to claw back Big Koala status from this one at Dadswell Bridge, Victoria. Flickr/pixelhut

High time for NSW to have a Big Koala debate

One of Campbelltown Council’s councillors, facing re-election in the upcoming elections, recently suggested that the city should construct a “Big Koala” (BK) in the style of other “big local features…
Networks of nature: a potato cod with striped cleaner wrasse at Osprey Reef, an area in the expanded marine reservations announced today. Flickr/richard ling

Big splash: welcome back to top-shelf marine conservation

Today’s announcement of a national network of marine parks is really a memorable day for Australian nature conservation. The political rhetoric and self-congratulation associated with major events is often…
A shortage of their usual food sources may be pushing wombats to eat toxic weeds. Jenny Scott

What’s happening to the southern hairy nosed wombats?

Over the past 18 months, increasing numbers of southern hairy nosed wombats in the Murraylands region have been found in poor to emaciated condition with damage to their skin and other organs. The skin…
When you buy imported products, are you buying dead endangered species as well? Mark Hudson

Globalisation’s dark side: how shoppers consume threatened species

The tide of globalisation drives development, providing jobs and much needed dollars. But development and trade consumes local biodiversity, much of it in the iconic biodiversity hotspots of tropical countries…
We don’t have enough money to save all species, but would invertebrates get a look in if the public chose what lived and died? Howard Rawson

The public should help decide which species to save and which to let go

At current levels of funding, it is not possible to save all threatened species in Australia from extinction. Trade-offs are required. For example, managers could concentrate efforts on the most threatened…
Vietnam’s growing economic prosperity, and demand for cute pets, has given its gibbons a bleak future. Clare Campbell

Southeast Asia’s small apes swing close to extinction

Gibbons are among our closest living relatives. These small apes are beautiful singers and glorious swingers. But a new survey of their numbers has found an economic boom in Vietnam is eating up their…
Conservation doesn’t fare well once the miners move in. Kate Ausburn

Mining is digging the heart out of conservation covenants

Across Australia, landholders are signing conservation agreements or covenants to protect biodiversity on their property. These agreements, offered by state governments, create private protected areas…
Decades of work to reduce rhino poaching has achieved little. Farming rhino is one alternative, but what happens to a species when it’s domesticated? Jim Epler

Farming endangered species to save them - extinction by another means?

When we talk of conserving an animal species what do we actually mean? We are likely to have in mind a vision of a rhinoceros (or any other species, for that matter) being given the opportunity to pursue…
The dingo fence is a blunt instrument; we could do better. Paleontour/Flickr

Can Australia afford the dingo fence?

We feel we have to set the record straight after some of our (Bradshaw’s) comments were taken grossly out of context, or not considered at all (Ritchie’s). A bubbling kerfuffle in the media over the last…

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