The Conservation Planning Group Applied conservation research

The Conservation Planning Group
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Conversation Piece – The Coral Sea: an ocean jewel that needs more protection
Conversation Piece – The Coral Sea: an ocean jewel that needs more protection

Bob Pressey, James Cook University; Alana Grech, Macquarie University, and Trevor J Ward, University of Technology Sydney The federal government is considering changes to Australia’s marine reserves to implement a national system. This week The Conversation is looking at the science behind marine reserves and how to protect our oceans. Off Australia’s northeastern coastline, extending […]

DOES SYSTEMATIC CONSERVATION PLANNING MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?
DOES SYSTEMATIC CONSERVATION PLANNING MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?

The world is filling up with conservation plans. Many hundreds have been completed worldwide. But how many make a difference, in terms of preventing the loss of biodiversity? And what can we learn about these planning exercises to plan with greater conservation impact in the future? Emma McIntosh, undertaking a PhD at Oxford University, is […]

15 ways to weaken (or strengthen) a protected-area system
15 ways to weaken (or strengthen) a protected-area system

At the meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania) in Brisbane, July 2016, Bob Pressey led a symposium on recent weakening of the Australia protected-area system. Examples of weakening include legal changes to boundaries or allowed uses, but there are many other examples, typically under the public’s radar, of weakening without legal changes. The […]

Going into the field to determine how perceived drivers of fish populations vary between different stakeholder groups.
Going into the field to determine how perceived drivers of fish populations vary between different stakeholder groups.

Principal Investigator: Jeremy Horowitz Supervisors: Professor Bob Pressey, Dr. Georgina Gurney, Dr. Amelia Wenger Danajon Bank is the only double barrier reef in the Philippines, and one of six in the world. It has significant conservation values and faces diverse threats from human activities, both in the marine environment and in nearby catchments that flow […]

Planning for both feature representation and demographic persistence
Planning for both feature representation and demographic persistence

A new paper in PLoS ONE by Michael Bode and colleagues from James Cook University demonstrates how conservation planning can be done simultaneously for both biodiversity pattern and process. The paper addresses two key challenges to designing marine reserve networks: 1. constructing a method that efficiently incorporates persistence as well as complementary feature representation; and 2. […]

JCU-UFG collaboration (Universidade Federal de Goiás)
JCU-UFG collaboration (Universidade Federal de Goiás)

In May 2016, Bob Pressey is spending four weeks working at the Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG) in Goiânia, Brazil. Bob is a visiting professor at UFG, and working principally with Rafael Loyola and his research students. In the accompanying photo, Rafael is the cool-looking dude at the back, toward the left, checked shirt, not tucked […]

The overuse and questionable usefulness of huge offshore marine protected areas
The overuse and questionable usefulness of huge offshore marine protected areas

Very large marine protected areas (VLMPAs) are being increasingly exploited by developed countries to help reach percentage area-based marine conservation targets. They are often located in overseas territories or remote offshore islands, where populations are low, and threats to these ecosystems are minimal. Examples of such MPAs are: the Natural Park of the Coral Sea, […]

Oceans laws and policies: Time for an upgrade
Oceans laws and policies: Time for an upgrade

As part of the World Science Festival in Brisbane last week, I attended the 2016 Thomas Conservation Oration delivered by The Honorable Robert Hill titled “Ocean Futures: A New Generation of Laws and Policies for the Sea”. The Hon. Robert Hill was an intrinsic part of introducing Australia’s Oceans Policy (AOP) in 1998 during his […]

Mammal declines in northern Australia – a fresh perspective on diseases
Rufous bettong

Sadly, Australia leads the way in mammal extinctions worldwide. Alarmingly, the relatively-unmodified tropical savannas across northern Australia are facing decline of their mammals; both diversity and abundance. Some work has been done on this recently, and contenders for the drivers of this decline include modified fire regimes, grazing, cats & foxes, climate change, disease and […]

Are Australian tropical savanna birds vulnerable to climate change?
Are Australian tropical savanna birds vulnerable to climate change?

When it comes to species being vulnerable to climate change, many people think of polar bears – or other species that are highly specialised to local conditions. A lot of research has been done, for example, on mountain top endemics – species reliant on cool, misty mountains that could lose that habitat with rising temperatures. […]

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

As conservation scientists, the ultimate goal in our work is to contribute to onground conservation in some way; whether it be through improving the evidence base for the conservation decisions, bringing attention to poorly known issues, or finding the best way of tackling a conservation problem. My first postdoc – fresh out of my PhD […]

CliMAS – a tool for investigating predicted climate change impacts on Australian species and biodiversity – is online!
CliMAS – a tool for investigating predicted climate change impacts on Australian species and biodiversity – is online!

http://climas.hpc.jcu.edu.au http://climas.hpc.jcu.edu.au/maps/ The CliMAS project provides projected species distributions and biodiversity estimates in the face of climate change, including regional summary reports. These can be generated for states, IBRA bioregions and NRM regions. The models are for terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates across Australia, and crayfish. With the support of the northern monsoon cluster of NRM […]

Do you influence natural resource management in Northern Australia?
Do you influence natural resource management in Northern Australia?

Researchers from the conservation planning group are studying how organisations involved in natural resource management (NRM) collaborate with one another. People participating in the study will benefit from a better understanding of the networks available to them, and how to better access or share information and other resources to improve NRM. The results will also […]

NEW PAPER: Characteristics of climate change refugia for Australian biodiversity
NEW PAPER: Characteristics of climate change refugia for Australian biodiversity

A new paper has been published by April Reside and colleagues in conjunction with the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at JCU on the biological and physical characteristics of climate change refugia for biodiversity, in Austral Ecology.  This paper was an outcome of work funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.  Places […]

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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