Year: 2012

A New Bird Disease to Watch

An often fatal viral disease detected in domestic pigeons in Australia last year  is here to stay and no one can tell what its impacts will be. Pigeon paramyxovirus has infected several species worldwide, and not just pigeons.  Raptors, pheasants, swans, cockatoos and budgerigars have been among the infected (the

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Crazy decision to walk from crazy ant eradication in Queensland

We tend to excuse the long-past decisions that left us with nightmare invaders like rabbits, foxes, lantana and cane toads – people didn’t know any better or other values dominated those times. How will future generations judge the recent decision of the Queensland Government to leave them the burden of

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dingo Jim Woulfe

Dingo: great hunter, great conservation hope?

In one of the great ecological ironies, the loss of predators can disadvantage their prey species. Top predators are ecosystem shapers, exerting control over smaller predators and large herbivores.  Eliminate the top of the food chain and predators lower down may flourish to the greater detriment of prey species. This

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A verdict on Australia’s new biosecurity laws

The Australian Government intends to introduce new biosecurity laws to Parliament next month. Last week, the Invasive Species Council made a submission, endorsed by 18 other environment groups, on the draft laws. Here is a summary of our verdict on the draft Biosecurity Bill 2012. Reform is essential As replacement

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A foul tale of marine invasions

After vociferous community protest, the Federal Government recently banned the 142 metre Abel Tasman ‘supertrawler’ from fishing in Australian waters while it investigates the environmental impacts of taking 18,000 tonnes of small fish from waters around southern Australia. But there is potentially a much greater risk that hasn’t received any

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Flinders Ranges, Bounceback program

When hunting works for feral animal control

While the NSW Game Council markets a phony version of feral animal control by claiming that every rabbit, fox or pig killed by a hunter is a conservation win, some shooters are genuine ‘voluntary conservation hunters’. The Invasive Species Council opposes the recent move by the NSW Government to allow

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US songbirds decline as deer populations rise

Songbirds in North America need wolves and cougars. In the ecological equivalent of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, songbirds benefit from large predators that kill deer that eat out their understorey habitat. In their paper Declining woodland birds in North America: should we blame Bambi?, Simon Chollet

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The cost of saving the Kimberley's wildlife

Business 101: the first step to achieving a goal is to assess its feasibility and cost. That this is often neglected for conservation goals is symptomatic of a serious deficit of intent. Take the invasive species target of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy – to reduce invasive species impacts on threatened

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The cost of saving the Kimberley’s wildlife

Business 101: the first step to achieving a goal is to assess its feasibility and cost. That this is often neglected for conservation goals is symptomatic of a serious deficit of intent. Take the invasive species target of Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy – to reduce invasive species impacts on threatened

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Invasive sea urchin endangers giant kelp forests

For the first time, a marine ecological community has been listed under federal environment laws – the sinuously beautiful, marvellously diverse Giant Kelp Marine Forests of South East Australia. They are endangered by climate change and invasive species. You could almost watch a giant kelp forest grow. The giant kelp

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port ship & containers

Free trade vs biosecurity

International trade contributes to “a prosperous, sustainable Australia providing opportunity for all”, says the Australian Government’s trade policy.[1] Undoubtedly so. But international trade also provides opportunity for invasive organisms, which undermine Australia’s prosperity and sustainability. There is inherent conflict between free trade and biosecurity, and  ISC shares concerns with many

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Oxalis weed

Invasive Species Council aims for a weedy success in the blogosphere

Greetings to all. This is the Invasive Species Council’s first foray into the blogosphere. We hope to make it essential reading for all of you involved in keeping Australian wildlife safe from invasive species – whether as a bush rehabilitator, conservation advocate, researcher or public servant. Indeed, we hope to

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