Vodcast on killing for conservation

24 02 2010

The inaugural issue of Methods in Ecology and Evolution came out today (see first issue editorial) and I am very pleased not only that our paper (Spatially explicit spreadsheet modelling for optimizing the efficiency of reducing invasive animal density) made it into the the paper line-up (see previous ConservationBytes.com post on the paper here), we also managed to score the journal’s cover image (buffalo image shown right: Asian swamp buffalo Bubalus bubalis introduced to Australia in the early 19th Century now populate much of the tropical north and cause severe environmental disturbances to savanna and wetland ecosystems. Despite a broad-scale cull of hundreds of thousands of free-ranging buffalo occurring in the 1980s and 1990s to eradicate brucellosis and tuberculosis, the population is recovering and continuing to threaten protected areas such as Kakadu National Park. A small wild harvest of several thousand buffalo occurs each year in Arnhem Land where mustering is aided by helicopters and on-ground vehicles. The buffalo pictured are housed in temporary holding pens and then shipped for live export. Photo credit: Jesse Northfield).

I also had the opportunity to chat with Journal Coordinator, Graziella Iossa, via Skype about the paper, and they have put up a YouTube vodcast of the interview itself. You can also check it out here.

Summary: Corey Bradshaw answers what is the main idea behind his work with co-authors, “Spatially explicit spreadsheet modelling for optimising the efficiency of reducing invasive animal density”. Further, he explains how their model advances methodology in ecology and evolution and finally shows how it could be applied by wildlife manager and practitioners with basic knowledge of computer models. Their Excel-spreadsheet ‘Spatio-Temporal Animal Reduction’ (S.T.A.R.) model is designed specifically to optimise the culling strategies for feral pigs, buffalo and horses in Kakadu National Park (northern Australia), but Corey explains how their aim was to make it easy enough for anyone to use and modify it so that it could be applied to any invasive species anywhere.

Congratulations to Editor-in-Chief Rob Freckleton, Graziella and the Associate Editors for a great first issue. Other titles include:

Keep them coming!

CJA Bradshaw

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