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Perverse incentives risk undermining offset policies

sfeplogoDr Ascelin Gordon from RMIT has recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology on perverse incentives associated with offsetting. His paper has been picked up and promoted by the European Commission's 'Science for Environment Policy' alert.

The alert goes to over 18,000 policymakers, academics and business people across Europe to assist in the development of effective, evidence-based policies. "Biodiversity offset policy: dangers that must be avoided. Biodiversity offset policies may inadvertently incentivise behaviours which actually accelerate biodiversity loss, new research has found.

The study's authors identify four ways this can occur and make recommendations for prevention." Ref: Gordon, A., Bull, J. W., Wilcox, C. & Maron, M. (2015). Perverse incentives risk undermining biodiversity offset policies. Journal of Applied Ecology. 52: 532–537. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12398.

Cannibal Horses - a new YouTube video

Cannibal Horses

A new YouTube video by NERP Researchers Dr Don Driscoll and Dr Sam Banks

VIEW HERE and


PhD top-up scholarship for monitoring ecological integrity in national parks

The Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University (ANU) is seeking applications from highly qualified and motivated candidates who are Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia to undertake a 3-year program of research for a PhD commencing early 2015 that will develop methods for monitoring ecological integrity in protected areas. The position is based in Canberra, Australia; is a collaboration with Territory and Municipal Services of the Australian Capital Territory; and will require field work in the Australian Capital Territory, Canada and potentially South Africa.
The chosen candidate will be invited to apply for an ANU PhD scholarship (currently $25,392 per annum tax free) and, if successful in that application, will receive a top-up scholarship stipend of $5,000 per annum and some additional funding for travel and fieldwork expenses.

Vale ‘Gump’, the last known Christmas Island Forest Skink

gump2Among the most haunting and evocative images of Australian wildlife are the black and white photographs of the last Thylacine, languishing alone in Hobart Zoo. It's an extraordinary reminder of how close we came to preventing an extinction.

That loss is also an important lesson on the consequences of acting too slowly. Hobart Zoo's Tasmanian tiger died just two months after the species was finally given protected status.

Last year, we wrote about the last-known Christmas Island Forest Skink, an otherwise unremarkable individual affectionately known as Gump. Although probably unaware of her status, Gump was in a forlorn limbo, hoping to survive long enough to meet a mate and save her species. It was an increasingly unlikely hope.  READ MORE

How to make national parks more efficient at saving animals

biodiversity 1National parks are usually created on land that is too poor for agriculture and protect only 11% of endangered species. But researchers have found how we can do a better job without breaking the bank. Read more...

Image courtesy of Getty Images

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