The Conservation Planning Group Applied conservation research

PACKED HOUSE FOR DEMONSTRATION OF NEW DECISION-SUPPORT SOFTWARE

Members of the conservation planning group gave a successful demonstration of their new decision-support software in Perth on 16 March 2016. The software has been developed by Jana Brotánková, with Justin Osbaldiston working on the graphical user interface. Funding for the five-year project, focused on identifying priorities for management actions on about 600 islands off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, is from the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits (NCB) Scheme. The project is led by Bob Pressey and has involved Amelia Wenger working on a comprehensive model of management costs and spatially explicit Bayesian Belief Network models of probability of arrival and establishment of pest species. A feature of this applied research project has been close collaboration with the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), including the island managers in the Pilbara region. The audience for the demonstration included DPaW scientists and on-ground managers and members of the NCB Board. The new software, still unnamed, extends the capabilities of existing conservation planning tools and includes a genetic-algorithm solver that gives fast results for large, complex problems. Discussions continue this week about wider applications of the software and publication of the supporting R&D with DPaW colleagues Cheryl Lohr and Keith Morris.

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About Us
We are a multidisciplinary group of researchers at James Cook University, interested in all aspects of conservation planning and led by Prof. Bob Pressey. We are based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, the College of Marine & Environmental Sciences, the College of Business, Law & Governance, and the Cairns Institute. We collaborate widely with conservation biologists and practitioners worldwide. 

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