Conservation in action: videos and teaching resources

I’m a fan of celebrating conservation success stories and sharing conservation optimism. In fact I’ve written about this before. Today, I want to share some wonderful teaching resources, that also highlight some reasons for hope in wildlife conservation. A little while back, I asked twitter to recommend short videos about mammal conservation in Australia, to…

What’s the Biodiversity Within Your Closet?

Conservationists and other nature lovers frequently advocate to save or increase biodiversity, but what exactly is biodiversity? One conjures up images of rainforests, coral reefs or animal clipart arranged artistically. These hint at the concept of biodiversity, which on the surface, seems simple, but gets more complicated once you try to measure it (even for…

Marsupial misconceptions: weird mammals, placentas and pouches

I’ve now been living in Australia for almost 18 years, and I’m an unashamed convert to #TeamMarsupial. Marsupials are fascinating animals in both evolutionary and ecological terms, but at times I am surprised by how poorly-understood they are. I’ve been thinking of writing a post to address some recurring marsupial misconceptions for a while. When I saw…

Behind the paper: eDNA has great potential as a wildlife survey tool, but should be used properly

As many people know, two of my favourite topics are bandicoots and environmental DNA (eDNA). So I’m very excited about the online debut of my latest paper “A framework for developing and validating taxon-specific primers for specimen identification from environmental DNA” at Molecular Ecology Resources, which includes both bandicoots and eDNA. eDNA analysis is the analysis of DNA…

Is Man’s Best Friend Wildlife’s Best Friend?

Conservationists love to hate on cats because unfortunately they kill our feathered friends. The solution is easy (keep your cat indoors), but what about our other beloved pet, man’s best friend? You don’t hear much about the impacts of dogs on wildlife and dogs are a pet you have to let outside. Do they ever get the…

Bandicoots, the little marsupial diggers

  Bandicoots are fascinating creatures, but I suspect few people outside Australia and New Guinea have ever heard of them, well, unless you count Crash Bandicoot… They are probably best known in suburban Australia for infuriating gardeners with the conical pits, or “snout-pokes”, they dig whilst foraging for their food, which varies a little among species but usually includes fungi,…

Earth Week 2016: Upgrade Your Yard for Wildlife by Letting it Go

We’re celebrating Earth Week 2016 with suggestions for how to apply the phrase “Earth Day Every Day” to conserving biodiversity. There are a number of great suggestions for things you can do every day to conserve energy and water; but we asked ourselves, what actions can we take to conserve biodiversity? This week we’ll explore:…

Eavesdropping on Elephants

I’ve made it no secret that forest elephants are hidden giants, concealed by the vast canopy cover of Central African forests. To study them, one has to get creative. For me, it was collecting dung. For Dr. Peter Wrege, it’s sound. Wrege’s background is cemented in bird behavior, but for the past decade he has been heading…

Pollinators: Fashion forward, but in Decline

Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming in real life and in prints of your favorite designers. With flowers come the buzzing of bees, flies, and butterflies – important pollinators. When visiting flowers to forage on nectar and pollen, pollinators move pollen that gets stuck to their bodies from the anthers (male part of the plant) of one flower…