Photos from our Invasive Species project

Don’t forget we have a lot of fantastic photos from our invasive species research, taken by local photographer Steve Gray or Biodiversity Research Group lab members.

Nesting boxes installed on UQ campus

With the help of UQ’s Property and Facilities Division, the Biodiversity Research Group has set up a few nesting boxes for our invasive species project at the Gatton and St Lucia campuses. The boxes have been popular with the new residents, which you can read about in UQ’s Sustainability News.

Helping native birds beat their bullies

The National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Environmental Decisions Hub has featured a media release on our research, with an interview from Salit Kark and Professor David Lindenmayer from ANU.

Read the release here or visit NERP Environmental Decisions Hub.

2014 Kark Group Update

It’s the end of 2014 and Kark Group has had a huge year. Here’s a summary of all the things we got up to over the last 12 months.

High demand for nest boxes in Oxley Common

In the Oxley Common, one nest box in particular is attracting a lot of attention. Maybe it’s the view, or just the facilities, but nest box UQS005 is in high demand from local avian residents.


These local rosellas seemed interested in the nest box…


…but a prior claim arrived.

Galah altercation

An altercation ensued…

Galah altercation 2

…before the Galahs got back to chewing at the nest box.

Galah chewing

The Rainbow Lorikeets thought with all that fuss it must be worth a look.


Meanwhile the Common Mynas have set up house in a nearby Eucalyptus, which also contains nests of Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Magpies.



Thanks to Steve Gray for the great photos and commentary.

Nesting Box Update

Kark Group has recently installed more nesting boxes out at UQ’s Gatton Campus, and began monitoring the critters that have made their homes in our boxes across Brisbane.

See a selection of box residents.

Read more about our project.

Cover photo credit: Steve Gray

Decision Point: Managing invasive birds wisely

We have an article in the October edition of Decision Point discussing the recent CEED workshop Salit led in Canberra in June.

Read it here.

New Paper: Marine conservation challenges

A paper which Salit Kark collaborated on has been published in Marine Policy, titled Marine conservation challenges in an era of economic crisis and geopolitical instability: The case of the Mediterranean Sea.

In the Mediterranean Sea, socio-economic drivers may accelerate the process of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) declarations. Despite the challenges, the EEZ declarations may provide important opportunities for leveraging change to national policy towards the development of large-scale conservation of marine ecosystems and biodiversity in this zone. Using the Mediterranean Sea as a case study, we aim to highlight a set of best practices that will maximize the potential for the development of large-scale marine conservation initiatives. These include a range of approaches, such as using surrogates to fill the many biodiversity data gaps in the region, further the development of consistent and open access databases, and the utilization of technological developments to improve monitoring, research and surveillance of less accessible and under-explored marine areas. The integration of Mediterranean-wide and local conservation efforts, the facilitation of transboundary collaboration, and the establishment of regional funds for conservation will further enhance opportunities for marine conservation in this region.

New paper: Multinational Marine Conservation Planning

Tessa Mazor, who has recently submitted her PhD in Kark Group, has published along with other experts a paper in Ecological Applications about: Large-scale conservation planning in a multinational marine environment: cost matters

This study aims to provide an approach for including cost when planning large-scale Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks that span multiple countries. In order to include cost in conservation prioritization, we developed surrogates that account for revenue from multiple marine sectors: commercial fishing, noncommercial fishing, and aquaculture. We found that for less than 10% of the Sea’s area, our conservation targets can be achieved while incurring opportunity costs of less than 1%. In marine systems, we reveal that area is a poor cost surrogate and that the most effective surrogates are those that account for multiple sectors or stakeholders. Furthermore, our results indicate that including cost can greatly influence the selection of spatial priorities for marine conservation of threatened species.

Full reference: Mazor T, Giakoumi S, Kark S, Possingham HP (2014) Large-scale conservation planning in a multinational marine environment: cost matters. Ecological Applications 24:1115–1130.

New paper: The Crowded Sea

Our PhD student Tessa, along with Salit, Hugh and research colleagues, have published a paper in PLoS One, titled: The crowded sea: incorporating multiple marine activities in conservation plans can significantly alter spatial priorities.

This paper explores how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and economic considerations within a country’s territorial waters. This work had important findings for Israel which is currently aiming to expand its current network of protected areas.

Full reference: Mazor T, Possingham HP, Edelist D, Brokovich E, Kark S (2014) The Crowded Sea: Incorporating Multiple Marine Activities in Conservation Plans Can Significantly Alter Spatial Priorities. PLoS ONE 9(8): e104489. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104489.

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Except where noted, all photos are credited to Salit Kark, Noam Levin and Jeremy Kark.