Humans are probably causing what ice ages and asteroids caused before them.
The Earth has experienced five periods of mass extinction. Scientists can't quite be certain yet, but they're fairly sure we're now well into the sixth.
Researchers only have access to limited facilities and support for research.
Given Africa’s projected population growth, management of its environment must be a global priority
How many species still to name? That’s a good question.
New species are being discovered all the time, which only adds to the problem of knowing how many there are on the planet today. It also helps to know what we mean by species.
There are five species of kiwi in New Zealand. Their total number is currently at around 70,000 but the populations may have declined by two thirds in 20 years.
New Zealand is the last major landmass to be settled some 800 years ago. Since then, changes in land use have been extensive and catastrophic for the country's unique flora and fauna.
Researchers are warning of a wipeout of huge numbers of insects. What's the evidence behind this alarm?
Ulysses butterflies (
Papilio ulysses) in CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra.
Australian taxonomy resources number around 70 million specimens, valued at over AU$5 billion. That's big science.
As the climate changes and the needs of humans increase, lesser-known species like the Ethiopian wolf will face greater risk.
It is crucial to integrate paleoclimate data into ecological studies. This will increase understanding of how species respond to climate change.
Australia has isolated sustainable development projects, like Adelaide’s Bowden precinct that got Princes Charles’ attention in 2015, but lacks an overarching commitment to sustainability.
The challenges we face demand profound changes in our thinking and priorities. Replacing the Productivity Commission with a National Sustainability Commission would help us make this paradigm shift.
One of the several precious giant tortoises recently found on Volcano Wolf, Galápagos Islands.
When 100-year-old giant tortoise Lonesome George died in 2012, the world thought his species was lost forever. We went to the Galápagos Islands looking for 'extinct' tortoises – and we found them.
Fragments of woodland surrounded by cleared land in south west Australia.
Australia may have reputation for vast areas of wilderness, but in reality the continent's ecosystems have been chopped and diced. Now we need to protect what's left.
Zoos provide succor for species having a tough time of it in the wild.
B. A. Minteer
Today, many zoos promote the protection of biodiversity as a significant part of their mission. As conservation “arks” for endangered species and, increasingly, as leaders in field conservation projects…
The grey-faced sengi, found only in remote East African forests, is related to elephants.
Kakadu National Park, Western Australia’s Shark Bay and Queensland’s wet tropics are among the world’s most important protected…
Mink may look cute but they’re causing havoc in Scotland.
Efforts to curb invasive mink are taking a modern turn in Scotland, where a project is providing spotters with an app to…
Don’t want to move home?
We all know that weather is not the same as climate, but it is surprising how our perceptions of global warming vary according to what we see outside our window. In the UK for example, last year’s washed-out…
Public attitudes are shifting against government shark culling programs.
Athel D'Ombrain Collection, University of Newcastle
The great shark debate continues in Australia as summer approaches. Shark bites on bathers and surfers are a particularly sensitive reality. These are personal and community-wide tragedies that implore…
The environment is more than a passive background to human dramas.
Over the past couple of decades, India’s vultures have been all but wiped out. They have been poisoned by a veterinary drug given to cattle whose carcasses they then eat. While medicinal for cattle, the…
It appears that biodiversity increases during warmer periods in Earth’s history.
In 2008, I and my colleagues published a study which appeared to confirm that current global warming could cause large losses of species and a loss of biodiversity. Four years later and a new approach…