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Loggerhead turtle populations are facing a brighter future, but many other species are still in decline, while for others there are no data at all. AAP Image/Lauren Bath

We’ve only monitored a fraction of the Barrier Reef’s species

The Great Barrier Reef is home to some 1,600 species of bony fish, 130 sharks and rays, and turtles, mammals and more. Most have had no population monitoring, meaning we don't know how well they are faring.
Research by James Cook University was rapidly translated into policy that is helping to preserve Queensland’s regions against the effects of climate change. Nathan Siemers/Flickr

Science can influence policy and benefit the public – here’s how

It's rare for research to have an immediate impact on policy, but lessons learnt from a successful venture in Queensland can show how it can be done.
When World Heritage sites are under threat, like Florida’s Everglades National Park, they are added to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Flickr/slack12

Explainer: what is the List of World Heritage in Danger?

The United Nations is set to decide whether to add the Great Barrier Reef to the List of World Heritage in Danger. But what is the list, and what does it mean for the places that are on it?
The MV Shen Neng I spills oil onto the Great Barrier Reef in 2010. Large accidents are rare, but there is still very little monitoring of long-term chronic damage from shipping. AAP Image/AMSA

Shipping in the Great Barrier Reef: the miners' highway

Port traffic near the Great Barrier Reef will more than double by 2025, as coal and other exports grow. While major incidents are rare, the chronic toll on the reef itself still remains largely unknown.
A flood plume containing sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing onto the Great Barrier Reef from Bundaberg. AAP Image/James Cook University

Cloudy issue: we need to fix the Barrier Reef’s murky waters

Successive plans to curb the sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing into the waters around the Great Barrier Reef have fallen short, leaving the corals that call the reef home highly vulnerable.
Current research metrics only reward publishing in academic journals and effectively punish publishing in the popular press. Tobias von der Haar/Flickr

We need to stop punishing scientists for talking to the public

If we want scientists to spent time sharing their discoveries with the general public, then we need to change research metrics to reward them for their efforts.
Despite what the industry thinks, you shouldn’t judge a book by the size of its print run. Amelia Schmidt Follow

Small is beautiful: in praise of organic book publishing

Publishing is frequently a small-scale venture, comprising one or a handful of people with a vision for particular books they want to see published. Is it time to embrace 'organic' publishing?
Man in the middle: former Labor MP turned independent Billy Gordon (centre) is now one of three crucial cross-bench MPs in the Queensland parliament. Dan Peled/AAP

North Queensland’s powerful trio will shake up the state

Three north Queensland MPs representing just 3% of the state's population will wield huge power in Queensland's parliament when it resumes on Tuesday.
Eastern Australia’s forests could be a hotspot for deforestation in the future - just like these forests in south east Asia. William Laurance

WWF fires a warning shot over Australia’s land-clearing record

A new WWF report highlights Australia as a hotspot for future deforestation. Australia talks the talk on deforestation, but will it walk the walk?
The World Heritage Committee has called for a comprehensive assessment not just of the threats to the Great Barrier Reef, but of their cumulative effect. AAP Image/Australian Institute for Marine Science, Ray Berkelmans

Is Australia meeting the UN recommendations for the Great Barrier Reef?

The government says it has met all of the recommendations for safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef. But a close reading of the dozens of UN recommendations shows that many have been only partly fulfilled.
The new Reef 2050 plan is taking the long view on protecting the Great Barrier Reef - but does it have the right vision? Nickj/Wikimedia Commons

Government unveils 2050 Great Barrier Reef plan: experts react

The federal and Queensland governments have unveiled their blueprint for protecting the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Will the $2 billion plan succeed? Our experts give their verdicts.
It’s hard to know for sure what role climate change played in the intensity of Cyclone Pam. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

FactCheck: is global warming intensifying cyclones in the Pacific?

A causal relationship between cyclone behaviour and anthropogenic global warming is a very real possibility. But most climate scientists hesitate to attribute any single event to global warming.
A ranger looks at the skull of an elephant killed by poachers - a frequent side-effect of development projects that open up remote forests to human access. Ralph Buij

Roads to ruin: the pitfalls of the G20’s infrastructure bonanza

The G20 has pledged to spend more than US$60 trillion on new infrastructure in the next 15 years, much of which will affect pristine areas. Without a solid plan, the environmental toll could be huge.
Not at loggerheads: jobs and the environment can coexist in Queensland’s north. Willem van Aken/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Jobs versus the environment: the debate Queensland can end

Do politicians really have to choose between being pro-development or pro-environment? No, says Allan Dale, and Queensland's new government has the chance to prove it.
Turtles are among the species that could be harmed by dredging, even under the government’s new dredge dumping rules. AAP Image/University of QLD

Six ways Australia is selectively reporting to the UN on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government’s latest report on the Great Barrier Reef, submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre last Friday, has been carefully crafted and word-smithed, with many of its claims supported…

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