Scientists take stock of Australian wildlife devastated by fires

From The Scientist, 10 January 2020: Unprecedented Australian wildfires have extracted a heavy toll from the continent’s unique wildlife, with an estimated 1 billion animals killed, 10.7 million hectares (approximately 41,300 square miles) burned on the east coast, and more than 150 fires still burning in two states alone, according to news reports and the Continue reading Scientists take stock of Australian wildlife devastated by fires

Bushfires: Australia issues health warnings as Sydney air quality plummets

From the BMJ, 10 December 2019: Large bushfires have shrouded Australia’s east coast in dense smoke, prompting health authorities to issue warnings as Sydney’s air quality index exceeded hazardous levels by a factor of 10. The number of people across New South Wales presenting to hospital emergency departments with respiratory problems increased by around 25% Continue reading Bushfires: Australia issues health warnings as Sydney air quality plummets

Elusive deer-like animal ‘rediscovered’ in Vietnam

From Nature News, 11 November 2019: Meet Vietnam’s silver-backed chevrotain. Once thought lost to science, the animal has been found again, an international research team reports. Photographs the group gathered of the species in forests near the city of Nha Trang in Vietnam are the first scientific evidence of the small hoofed mammal in nearly Continue reading Elusive deer-like animal ‘rediscovered’ in Vietnam

POMS: where is the Pacific Oyster industry now?

From Fish magazine, September 2019: When Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) all but wiped out southern Tasmania’s Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farms in February 2016, there was a very real fear the industry, nationwide, was facing long years in the wilderness. The devastating impact of POMS on New South Wales growers in 2010 – Australia’s Continue reading POMS: where is the Pacific Oyster industry now?

Australia’s shark status update

From Fish magazine, June 2019: One of the more heated debates to stir the blood of Australian shark experts has been the question of the health of the nation’s Greynurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. In 2003, experts from the east coast were calling for the species to be listed as critically endangered. But their colleagues Continue reading Australia’s shark status update

The push for blue carbon

From Fish magazine, March 2019: The term ‘carbon farming’ usually conjures images of land-based agricultural and forestry initiatives. But there’s a new kid on the carbon-farming block, and it occupies the rich ecological niches that hug Australia’s extensive coastline. As an island nation, Australia boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world: nearly 60,000 Continue reading The push for blue carbon

Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

From MIT Technology Review, 25 April 2019: The Blue Mountains are burning. I stand in the doorway of our home and take a long look around: the handmade rugs, the jumble of artworks, the shelves crammed with books, the scattered toys. The house is a tinderbox: wooden walls, doors, balcony, window frames, all built into Continue reading Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing

From Nature News, 15 March 2019: Nearly four hundred Australian scientists have signed a letter protesting against a steep rise in land clearing over the past decade. They have called on national and state governments to legislate to protect native vegetation. The letter describes Australia as a ‘global deforestation hotspot’, following the relaxation of laws Continue reading Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing