Wildlife

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The debate on whether animals should be kept in captivity or not continues to rage on. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Carnivores in captivity: a question of motive and ethics

Some say that keeping wild animals in captivity is cruel. Others believe they promote conservation and give people a link to nature.
There’s nothing feral about this Australian wildcat. Photograph by Angus Emmott

Let’s give feral cats their citizenship

There's been a lot of talk about killing feral cats, with the government's recently announced war on cats, with a goal to kill two million by 2020. But let's embrace cats as part of Australia's environment.
Humpback whale populations have leapt on both Australia’s east and west coasts. Ari S. Friedlaender (under NMFS permit)

The big comeback: it’s time to declare victory for Australian humpback whale conservation

Chalk it up as a rare conservation win: humpback whales have bounced back so strongly since the whaling era that there is no longer a need to include them on Australia's official threatened species list.
Waterbugs are used for the monitoring of river ecosystem health across the world. Amanda Woodman

How healthy is your river? Ask a waterbug

Around the world, waterbugs are the most widely-used indicator of environmental health and pollution of rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Not all bees are honeybees. This is a green ‘sweat’ bee. Ian Jacobs/flickr

Losing bees will sting more than just our taste for honey

Data from all over the globe suggest that bees are in decline, and we may lose a lot more than honey if bees are unable to cope with the changing climate and increasing demand for agricultural land.
The tropical orange blotch surgeon fish has been moving south into New South Wales. Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey

Following Nemo: marine life is heading south

As warmer seas move further south, tropical wildlife is going with them, giving us a dramatic insight into how global warming is changing our oceans.
The critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums is just one of Australia’s animals threatened by habitat loss. Greens MPs/Flickr

We need to tighten the law to protect wildlife homes

Three recent reports make clear that we should be saving habitat in order to save species. It is pretty simple. Destroy a species' habitat and you destroy its home.
Will synthetic rhino horns decrease demand or aid law enforcement? David W Cerny/Reuters

The trouble with using synthetic rhino horn to stop poaching

A company plans to flood the market with synthetic rhinoceros horn in an effort to slow poaching but these types of commercially driven conservation efforts are fraught with problems.
Stoats (Mustela erminea), feral cats (Felis catus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and black rats (Rattus rattus) are invasive predators in different parts of the world. Clockwise from top left: Sabec/commons.wikimedia.org (CC BY-SA 3.0); T Doherty; CSIRO/commons.wikimedia.org (CC BY 3.0); 0ystercatcher/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife

Research published this week shows saving wildlife is much more complicated than killing introduced predators. Killing predators often doesn't work, and is sometimes actually worse for native wildlife.
The Mountain Pygmy Possum, which is the only Australian mammal confined to the alpine zone of Australian Alps. is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Matthew Pauza

Meet the Australian wildlife most threatened by climate change

Nearly half of 200 Australian species are threatened by climate change, according to new research, including the iconic mountain pygmy-possum.
Research shows monocultures of crops - such as this canola field - can be bad for the environment. Peter Hayward/Flickr

Single-crop farming is leaving wildlife with no room to turn

Monocultures - vast expanses of a single crop - may look pretty, but mounting research shows they are likely bad for environment. And in turn that's bad news for farms as well.
Leadbeater’s Possum is dependent on large, old trees that produce hollows for its survival. David Lindemayer

Victoria must stop clearfelling to save Leadbeater’s Possum

The Leadbeater's has been formally listed as critically endangered. But unless clearfelling in the possums' stronghold stops, it will continue down the road of extinction.

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