Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World-Class Environment Vision to "Bring Back the Species"

19.06.2008
One of Australia’s leading environmentalists will spearhead a world-class project to help revegetate the Mount Lofty Ranges, to stave off the effects of climate change and halt the loss of bird, animal and plant species.

Associate Professor David Paton AM from the University of Adelaide will lead a multi-million-dollar program that aims to:

• help re-establish native vegetation to 30% of the Mt Lofty region – an unprecedented scale globally;

• prevent the loss of native flora and fauna;

• promote the return of some native species that have disappeared across the Ranges;

• provide major environmental outcomes that will benefit the State and local communities for generations to come.

Glenthorne, a 228ha property owned and operated by the University about 17km south of Adelaide, will play a pivotal role in delivering these outcomes.

Dr Paton from the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is highly regarded for his research activities at Kangaroo Island and the Coorong, both of which are internationally recognised South Australian icons.

Under Dr Paton’s leadership, the University of Adelaide will embark on a major research, education and community engagement program centred on Glenthorne called the Woodland Recovery Initiative.

This initiative will:

• replenish approximately 100ha of Glenthorne with a native habitat that is as close to a pre-colonial state as possible;

• help scientists to better understand how the Mt Lofty Ranges can be revegetated with habitats that can support the region’s wildlife;

• help scientists to tackle the added challenges presented by climate change;

• build on and contribute to existing government and community plans and initiatives aimed at conserving the biodiversity of the Mt Lofty Ranges;

• provide opportunities for the community – such as school groups and residents – to engage in this important work.

A vision you can see “from space”

“Species extinction is predicted to be severe in the Mt Lofty Ranges, with 50% of woodland bird species facing regional extinction because there is not enough native vegetation to support their populations,” Dr Paton says.

“Ten species are already extinct in the Mt Lofty Ranges and a further 60 species continue to decline in numbers despite the cessation of vegetation clearance in the 1980s. Climate change will exacerbate these losses,” he says.

“This will be a terrible loss for all South Australians, but it is avoidable, if suitable and resilient habitats are re-established. Our work is not just about revegetation but about reconstructing complex habitats to secure the region’s biodiversity.

“The work at Glenthorne will extend across the Mt Lofty Ranges, effectively making the Ranges part of a regional multi-species recovery program the likes of which the world has never seen.

“We want this to be something South Australians can be proud of. One hundred years from now, we want the results of our work to be visible from space,” Dr Paton says.

Glenthorne Trust Fund

The success of this initiative will be dependent on the University’s ability to raise the funds needed to turn its vision into a reality.

The University estimates that it will cost a minimum of $20 million to establish the Woodland Recovery Initiative at Glenthorne over the first five years, with at least $5 million per year required to sustain the project over the following decades.

“We have a bold vision for Glenthorne and the Mt Lofty Ranges, but that vision does not come cheaply,” says the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

“In order to achieve our vision and ensure that the work conducted there is sustainable over many generations, the University of Adelaide will establish a Glenthorne Trust Fund. We will be seeking to appoint a high-profile individual to lead the Trust,” Professor McWha says.

Dr Paton says: “My generation has a unique opportunity to arrest species losses that will not be available to future generations. If we do not address this now and at the necessary scales to make a difference, the environmental cost to the Mt Lofty Ranges will haunt all future generations.”

About Glenthorne

Glenthorne was originally purchased under a Deed of Agreement with the State of South Australia in 2001 using State Government funding. Over the years the University has considered a number of options for the property. It is currently used as a small-scale commercial and research farm.

As part of the Woodland Recovery Initiative, the University aims to:

• reclaim the farmland at Glenthorne and reconstruct a suitable habitat that encourages the return of native species;

• renovate buildings at Glenthorne to be used as the base for research, teaching and community involvement, and protect historically significant buildings;

• develop educational programs that involve local schools in the environmental works, so that young South Australians are engaged in the project and see it as important to the future of their community;

• employ about 30 people – including scientists, technicians, teachers and managers – to deliver the research, educational, community engagement, monitoring and on-ground works to deliver the vision.

“There is much to be done,” Dr Paton says. “We not only need to work out how to return native vegetation to the Mt Lofty Ranges, we also need to work out what native vegetation will thrive there in a world affected by climate change. This means our work at Glenthorne will be extremely vital to the bigger picture of what we’re doing.”

Associate Professor David Paton
Head, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8303 4742
david.paton@adelaide.edu.au

Associate Professor David Paton | newswise
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>