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Despite the high concentration of sharks in Cocos, some species have declined in number – a signal on the effectiveness of marine preserves. Genna Marie Robustelli

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica reveal limits of marine reserves

Divers at the famed Cocos site off Costa Rica record declines in a number of shark species – a sign that marine preserves are limited protection against illegal fishing.
Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to give certainty to both loggers and conservationists. But they haven’t. Pengo/Wikimedia Commons

Forestry agreements need a full overhaul, not just a tick and flick

The 20-year-old agreements that are supposed to safeguard much of Australia's forests, are not working. Now they are up for renewal, and it's time for a complete rethink, writes David Lindenmayer.
Large bushfires occur in the mallee shrublands and woodlands of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Lauren Brown

Percentage targets for planned burning are blunt tools that don’t work

Controlling bushfire risk by burning a set percentage of land every year sounds sensible - but a more sophisticated approach is needed to truly safeguard both humans and wildlife in rural areas.
Free pollination services: a bee at an almond orchard in California. Randy Stiefer

Bringing scientific rigor to ‘ecosystem services’

Forests, wetlands, wildlife, waterways all provide valuable services to society. Would we take better conserve natural resources if we paid for these ecosystem services?
We bailed out the banks – our food is worth even more, but working out exactly how much more is tricky. Louise Docker/Wikimedia Commons

If dollars rule the world, why don’t the bees get a bailout?

Is it worth trying to put a price on the natural world, when things like water and food are priceless? Yes, says Paul Sutton - without knowing the value of the environment, we might not value it at all.
Kangaroos are common in some areas but scarce in others. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

FactCheck: are kangaroos at risk?

Are kangaroos in plague proportions, necessitating large-scale killing and a commercial industry, or are they in decline?
The potential rezoning of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area for tourism development begs the question: just what is wilderness, and what is it good for? The Wilderness Society/AAP

Explainer: wilderness, and why it matters

The Tasmanian government this month released a draft of the revised management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which proposes rezoning certain areas from “wilderness zones” to “remote…
The Bramble Cay melomys - the latest in a long line of extinct Australian mammals. Queensland Government

Another Australian animal slips away to extinction

Last July, the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, announced the appointment of Gregory Andrews as Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner. His mission: to help avert the extinction of a…
Where would Confucius place the balance between environmental conservation and economic development today? Kevinsmithnyc

Confucian thought and China’s environmental dilemmas

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world’s most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China’s recent moves toward an…
Energy supply including nuclear is the best way to fight climate change and conserve wildlife and ecosystems. James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

It’s time for environmentalists to give nuclear a fair go

Should nuclear energy be part of Australia’s (and many other countries') future energy mix? We think so, particularly as part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous climate…
Shifting water around helped Rome’s rise – and fall. Dan McKay

What did the Romans ever do for us? They left a water warning

As all good Monty Python fans know, water technologies feature large in the legacy of benefits left by Roman civilisation. But while aqueducts, sewers and baths retain an obvious presence in the landscape…
One of the hottest topics for the upcoming election is a new forest national park to protect the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s faunal emblem. Greens MPs/Flickr

Victorians short-changed on environmental policy

Less than a week out from Victoria’s state election, both major parties have been largely silent on environmental policy. Neither the Coalition nor Labor has released comprehensive documents. It also seems…

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