Ascelin Gordon

Ascelin Gordon
RMIT University | RMIT · School of Global, Urban and Social Studies

About

86
Publications
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4,027
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January 2008 - December 2010
January 2008 - present

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
In the face of the ongoing biodiversity crisis, questions are arising regarding the success, or lack thereof, of biodiversity offset schemes, where biodiversity losses from human development are compensated by producing equitable gains elsewhere. The overarching goal of offsetting is to deliver no net loss (NNL) of biodiversity. Assessing whether o...
Article
Achieving global sustainability objectives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals or Aichi Targets, including remaining within planetary boundaries, necessitates proactively avoiding a proportion of the environmental impacts otherwise expected to result from economic development. Quantifying these “avoided” impacts is important for monitoring...
Article
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Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) aims to provide a sound theoretical basis on which to plan for biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES). With the multi-purpose and increasing use of SEA worldwide, it is timely to evaluate the effectiveness of SEA practice in integrating biodiversity and ES considerations. Here, we derive criteria from the...
Article
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Economic development is increasingly impacting biodiversity, leading to a rise in biodiversity offset policies globally that aim to compensate for biodiversity losses. Many developments generating offsets create long-term, irreversible losses of biodiversity and, therefore, require biodiversity gains from offsets to be retained over the long term t...
Article
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Background Establishing protected areas is a key approach to protecting nature. However, protected areas are often biased towards remote and less productive lands. It is important to evaluate the impacts protected areas have had, or in other words, what changes in outcomes of interest are attributable to protected areas. Studies that evaluate the i...
Article
When evaluating the impact of a biodiversity conservation intervention, a ‘counterfactual’ is needed, as true experimental controls are typically unavailable. Counterfactuals are possible alternative system trajectories in the absence of an intervention and comparing observed outcomes against the chosen counterfactual allows the impact (change attr...
Article
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Beef production is a major driver of biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions globally, and multiple studies recommend reducing beef production and consumption. Although there have been significant efforts from the biodiversity conservation sector toward reducing beef‐production impacts, there has been comparatively much less engagement in re...
Article
Because the conservation of biodiversity is a social and political process, conservation policies are more effective if they can create shifts in attitudes and/or behaviours. As such, communication and advocacy approaches that influence attitudes and behaviours are key to addressing conservation problems. It is well established that the way an issu...
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Biodiversity offsetting aims to achieve at least no net loss of biodiversity by fully compensating for residual development-induced biodiversity losses after the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, remediate) has been applied. Actions used to generate offsets can include securing site protection, or maintaining or enhancing the condition of targ...
Article
Context. Feral cats (Felis catus) pose a significant threat to Australia’s native species and feral cat control is, therefore, an important component of threatened species management and policy. Australia’s Threatened Species Strategy articulates defined targets for feral cat control. Yet, currently, little is known about who is engaged in feral ca...
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Changing human behavior and attitudes are key to conserving global biodiversity. Despite evidence from other disciplines that strategic messaging can influence behavior and attitudes, it remains unclear how to best design messages to benefit biodiversity. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the status of conservation messagin...
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Revolving funds buy land with high nature value, protect these values through conservation agreements and then resell them. The funds from sales then purchase more land.
Article
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Infrastructures such as roads and pipelines have environmental impacts that diffuse far beyond the local development footprint, including fragmenting habitat or changing hydrology. Broad‐scale diffuse impacts are challenging to incorporate into conservation planning and strategic environmental assessment due to difficulties in determining how impac...
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Island biogeography theory posits that species richness increases with island size and decreases with isolation. This logic underpins much conservation policy and regulation, with preference given to conserving large, highly connected areas, and relative ambivalence shown toward protecting small, isolated habitat patches. We undertook a global synt...
Article
Global conservation efforts are increasingly focused on expanding the amount of permanently protected private land, with the aim of preserving biodiversity. These efforts are often constrained by financial resources, particularly where land acquisition is expensive, or where landowners are reluctant to enter into conservation agreements. Purchase-p...
Article
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An alternative to buying land and creating a conservation reserve is to enter into permanent agreements with private landholders (e.g. conservation covenants) that restrict both current and future landowners from conducting activities that would harm their land's ecological value. In conjunction with Australian revolving fund managers, we built a B...
Article
en Article impact statement: Continued development of conservation psychology is essential to addressing the challenges of biodiversity conservation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Finding sustainable ways to increase the amount of private land protected for biodiversity is a challenge for many conservation organizations. In a number of countries, organizations use ‘revolving fund’ programs, whereby land is purchased, and then on-sold to conservation-minded owners with a condition to enter into a conservation covenant or ease...
Article
Protecting biodiversity on private land is an important and growing part of global conservation efforts. Revolving funds are used by conservation organisations to buy, resell and permanently protect private land with important ecological values. By reinvesting proceeds from sales in additional properties, revolving funds offer a potentially cost-ef...
Article
‘No net loss’ is a buzz phrase in environmental policy. Applied to a multitude of environmental targets such as biodiversity, wetlands and land productive capacity, no net loss (NNL) and related goals have been adopted by multiple countries and organizations, but these goals often lack clear reference scenarios: no net loss compared to what? Here,...
Article
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Spatial prioritization, based on the biogeographic identification of priority areas for conservation actions, is an important aspect of conservation planning. Whereas the influence of factors such as costs, threats or use of surrogates on the resulting priorities has been studied extensively, relatively little is known about how the spatial charact...
Article
Successful decision-making for environmental management requires evidence of the performance and efficacy of proposed conservation interventions. Projecting the future impacts of prospective conservation policies and programs is challenging due to a range of complex ecological, economic, social and ethical factors, and in particular the need to ext...
Article
Market-based instruments along with conceptualizing the environment as a collection of ‘ecosystem services’ has become increasingly common within environmental and conservation policy. This kind of thinking is also increasingly prominent in the public discourse surrounding environment and conservation policy, particularly in the context of communic...
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It is important for landscape planners and managers to understand how urban residents value and interact with green open spaces. However, the effect of spatial scale on values and perceptions of green open spaces has to date received little attention. This study explored the influence of spatial scale using Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) methods...
Preprint
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Globally, privately protected areas (PPAs) are an increasingly popular approach to long-term protection of biodiversity on privately owned lands. PPAs provide multiple ecological, social and economic benefits to diverse range of stakeholders in across a range of contexts. These include supporting the desire of landowners to protect conservation val...
Article
Planning for green space is guided by standards and guidelines but there is currently little understanding of the variety of values people assign to green spaces or their determinants. Land use planners need to know what values are associated with different landscape characteristics and how value elicitation techniques can inform decisions. We desi...
Article
The proliferation of linear infrastructure such as roads and rail is a major global driver of cumulative biodiversity loss. Creative interventions to minimise the impacts of this infrastructure whilst still allowing development to meet human population growth and resource consumption demands are urgently required. One strategy for reducing habitat...
Article
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Conservation on private land is a growing part of international efforts to stem the decline of biodiversity. In many countries, private land conservation policy often supports in-perpetuity covenants and easements, which are legally binding agreements used to protect biodiversity on private land by restricting activities that may negatively impact...
Article
Two main sources of data for species distribution models (SDMs) are site-occupancy (SO) data from planned surveys, and presence-background (PB) data from opportunistic surveys and other sources. SO surveys give high quality data about presences and absences of the species in a particular area. However, due to their high cost, they often cover a sma...
Article
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Kareiva and Fuller (2016) consider the future prospects for biodiversity conservation in the face of the profound disruptions of the Anthropocene. They argue that more flexible and entrepreneurial approaches to conservation are needed. While some of the approaches they promote may work in particular situations, we believe their proposal risks unint...
Poster
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Butterflies are arguably one of the most charismatic animal groups in the world and play a key role in plant-pollinators and plant-herbivore ecological networks. Although butterfly biodiversity and ecology has been thoroughly studied in most ecosystems, there is still very little recorded knowledge of their distribution and ecological interactions...
Article
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Recent replication projects in other disciplines have uncovered disturbingly low levels of reproducibility, suggesting that those research literatures may contain unverifiable claims. The conditions contributing to irreproducibility in other disciplines are also present in ecology. These include a large discrepancy between the proportion of “positi...
Article
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Conservation covenants are an important and enduring mechanism for conserving biodiversity on private land, but we need ongoing monitoring and reporting to assess the true contribution of these agreements.
Technical Report
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How did The Little Things that Run the City get its name? The Little Things that Run the City has been inspired by Edward O. Wilson’s famous quote: “…let me say a word on behalf of these little things that run the world” The quote was part of an address given by Wilson on occasion of the opening of the invertebrate exhibit of the National Zoolog...
Article
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Introducing a new, or previously extant, species to an ecosystem is a risky decision, and managers need quantitative methods that can predict the consequences for the recipient ecosystem. Proponents of keystone predator reintroductions commonly argue that the presence of the predator will restore ecosystem function, but this has not always been the...
Article
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Carbon farming programs typically aim to maximise landholder participation rates to achieve desired environmental outcomes. This is critical for programs aiming to tackle both climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously, as landholder participation in those schemes directly determines the level of carbon sequestered and the potential biodiv...
Article
Biodiversity conservation policies incorporating a no net loss (NNL) principle are being implemented in many countries. However, there are linguistic and conceptual inconsistencies in the use of terms underlying these NNL policies. We identify inconsistencies that emerge in the usage of eight key terms and phrases associated with NNL policies: biod...
Article
The rising popularity of biodiversity offsetting as a tool for balancing biodiversity losses from development with equivalent gains elsewhere has sparked debate on many fronts. The fundamental questions are the following: Is offsetting good, bad, or at least better than the status quo for biodiversity conservation outcomes, and what do we need to k...
Article
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Countries in south-eastern Europe are cooperating to conserve a sub-endemic lynx species, Lynx lynx martinoi. Yet, the planning of species conservation should go hand-in-hand with the planning and management of (new) protected areas. Lynx lynx martinoi has a small, fragmented distribution with a small total population size and an endangered populat...
Article
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Economic growth is often in conflict with environmental goals. Biodiversity offsetting attempts to resolve this conflict by requiring industries to compensate for the biodiversity loss they cause, by generating an equivalent biodiversity gain elsewhere. Offsets for environmental impacts are increasingly being seen as a way to help meet preexisting...
Article
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Offsetting is a policy instrument intended to provide flexibility for development. We developed a simple calculator to predict when no net loss is feasible using biodiversity offsetting. Assuming offset ratios ≤10:1 are indicative of operational feasibility and employing a discount rate of 3%, we predicted that no net loss is feasible where biodive...
Article
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Consideration of the experimental activities carried out in one discipline , through the lens of another, can lead to novel insights. Here, we comment from a biological perspective upon experiments in quantum mechanics proposed by physicists that are likely to feasible in the near future. In these experiments, an entire living organism would be kno...
Article
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Governments should not meet existing conservation targets using the compensation that developers pay for damaging biodiversity, say Martine Maron and colleagues.
Article
Connectivity among fragmented areas of habitat has long been acknowledged as important for the viability of biological conservation, especially within highly modified landscapes. Identifying important habitat patches in ecological connectivity is a priority for many conservation strategies, and the application of 'graph theory' has been shown to pr...
Article
Species distribution models (SDMs) are used to inform a range of ecological, biogeographical and conservation applications. However, users often underestimate the strong links between data type, model output and suitability for end-use. We synthesize current knowledge and provide a simple framework that summarizes how interactions between data type...
Article
1.Offsetting is emerging as an important but controversial approach for managing environment–development conflicts. Biodiversity offsets are designed to compensate for damage to biodiversity from development by providing biodiversity gains elsewhere.2.Here we suggest how biodiversity offset policies can generate behaviours that exacerbate biodivers...
Article
Developing conservation policy is a challenging process, often impeded by a lack of clear objectives and a limited understanding of the pathways to achieve them. Here, the utility of target-based ‘backcasting’ is demonstrated for developing effective conservation policies. Backcasting encodes social values by requiring a desired future state be sel...
Article
Recent conservation planning studies have presented approaches for integrating spatially referenced social (SRS) data with a view to improving the feasibility of conservation action. We reviewed the growing conservation literature on SRS data, focusing on elicited or stated preferences derived through social survey methods such as choice experiment...
Data
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There is an urgent need to improve the evaluation of conservation interventions. This requires specifying an objective and a frame of reference from which to measure performance. Reference frames can be baselines (i.e., known biodiversity at a fixed point in history) or counterfactuals (i.e., a scenario that would have occurred without the interven...
Article
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The consideration of information on social values in conjunction with biological data is critical for achieving both socially acceptable and scientifically defensible conservation planning outcomes. However, the influence of social values on spatial conservation priorities has received limited attention and is poorly understood. We present an appro...
Chapter
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Melbourne, Australia is a city rich in biodiversity. It contains a high proportion of open space and supports a large number of fl ora and fauna species, both indigenous to the region and introduced from around the world. The high levels of biodiversity are partly the result of historical planning decisions that did not deliberately consider biodiv...
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International collaboration can be crucial in determining the outcomes of conservation actions. Here, we propose a framework for incorporating demographic, socioeconomic, and political data into conservation prioritization in complex regions shared by multiple countries. As a case study, we quantitatively apply this approach to one of the world’s m...
Article
Climate change and urbanization are among the most serious threats to amphibians, although little is known about their combined effects. We used a predictive spatial habitat suitability model to explore the potential impacts of climate change and urban development on the spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) on the urban-fringe of Melbour...
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Biodiversity offsets are an increasingly popular yet controversial tool in conservation. Their popularity lies in their potential to meet the objectives of biodiversity conservation and economic development in tandem, the controversy lies in the need to accept ecological losses in return for uncertain gains. The offsetting approach is seeing widesp...
Article
In Australia, over 50% of threatened species occur within the urban fringe and accelerating urbanization is now a key threat. Biodiversity near and within urban areas brings much social benefit but its maintenance involves complex trade-offs between competing land uses. Urban design typically views biodiversity as a development constraint, not a va...
Article
In ecology, multi-scale analyses are commonly performed to identify the scale at which a species interacts with its environment (intrinsic scale). This is typically carried out using multi-scale species– environment models that compare the relationship between ecological attributes (e.g., species diversity) measured with point data to environmental...
Article
Spatial models of population dynamics have been proposed as a useful method for predicting the impacts of environmental change on biodiversity. Here, we demonstrate advances in dynamic landscape metapopulation modelling and its use as a decision support tool for evaluating the impacts of forest management scenarios. This novel modelling framework i...