Thomas M Newsome

Thomas M Newsome
The University of Sydney

BSc (Env), MApplSc, PhD

About

191
Publications
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Publications

Publications (191)
Article
Full-text available
The recovery of wolf populations in the United States (U.S.) is hampered by ongoing human-wolf conflicts. In particular, the illegal killing of grey wolves (Canis lupus), red wolves (Canis rufus), and Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has contributed to relatively high mortality rates in some areas...
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Large wild herbivores are crucial to ecosystems and human societies. We highlight the 74 largest terrestrial herbi-vore species on Earth (body mass > – 100 kg), the threats they face, their important and often overlooked ecosystem effects, and the conservation efforts needed to save them and their predators from extinction. Large herbivores are gen...
Article
Predators often have important roles in structuring ecosystems via their effects on each other and on prey populations. However, these effects may be altered in the presence of anthropogenic food resources, fuelling debate about whether the availability of such resources could alter the ecological role of predators. Here, we review the extent to wh...
Article
Australia’s 2019–20 mega-fires burnt 79% of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, prompting an urgent need for rapid on-ground post-fire assessments of flora and fauna to aid in post-fire recovery. This project aimed to determine spatial patterns in populations and assemblages of vertebrates, vertebrate temporal activity, and the diet of...
Article
Carrion is an ubiquitous resource that drives the dynamics of scavenger populations and shapes the structure and composition of their communities. Corvids (Family: Corvidae) are among the most common scavengers globally, facilitating carcass discovery by other species and contributing to carcass biomass removal. Here, we examine how environmental f...
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Aim Introduced predators negatively impact biodiversity globally, with insular fauna often most severely affected. Here, we assess spatial variation in the number of terrestrial vertebrates (excluding amphibians) killed by two mammalian mesopredators introduced to Australia, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus). We aim to identif...
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Understanding variation in the diet of widely distributed species can help us to predict how they respond to future environmental and anthropogenic changes. We studied the diet of the red fox Vulpes vulpes, one of the world's most widely distributed carnivores. We compiled dietary data from 217 studies at 276 locations in five continents to assess...
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Millions of native animals around the world are rescued and rehabilitated each year by wildlife rehabilitators. Triage and rehabilitation protocols need to be robust and evidence-based, with outcomes consistently recorded, to promote animal welfare and better understand predictors of wildlife survival. We conducted a global systematic review and me...
Article
Climate change impacts are accelerating and there is an urgent need to address this global issue. Tackling climate change in an effective and socially just manner needs to involve mitigation strategies that address the underlying causes of climate change, but also adaptation strategies that help us prepare for current and future impacts. Historical...
Article
Carrion is a vital resource in terrestrial ecosystems, supporting complex networks of interacting consumer organisms. The insect community attending carrion forms a vital part of this food web, but the functional roles of insects as scavengers can be altered by invasive species via the effects of predation and competition. European wasps (Vespula g...
Preprint
Context. Night parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) are one of Australia's most endangered birds, and there is evidence suggesting feral cats (Felis catus) are a major cause of decline. However, because night parrots currently have a restricted distribution, little is known of the ecology of feral cats around their remaining populations. This limits th...
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Two introduced carnivores, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus , have had extensive impacts on Australian biodiversity. In this study, we collate information on consumption of Australian birds by the fox, paralleling a recent study reporting on birds consumed by cats. We found records of consumption by foxes on 128 nativ...
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Public opposition has shaped management of wild animals in Australia, but public interest in dingo control has been minimal. We hypothesised that this is due to lack of awareness of dingo management practices, in part because using the term “wild dogs” to describe management renders “dingoes” invisible, framing the issue as one of control of introd...
Article
Rapid and ongoing environmental change is leading to scenarios where marine and terrestrial predators are persisting without prey, either by scavenging or using anthropogenic foods. Despite investigations into the effects of predator presence or absence on prey behavior and ecology, little research has assessed the effect of prey absence on predato...
Article
Two introduced carnivores, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus, have had, and continue to have, major impacts on wildlife, particularly mammals, across Australia. Based mainly on the contents of almost 50,000 fox dietary samples, we provide the first comprehensive inventory of Australian mammal species known to be consum...
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Aim The effects of fires on vertebrate scavengers have not been characterized despite the importance of scavenging in shaping food web dynamics. We assessed whether the 2019/2020 megafires in Australia shifted the species richness, carcass detection and feeding times of vertebrate scavengers, and whether the fire affected carcasses persistence time...
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Context. Invasive species are a major cause of biodiversity loss across much of the world, and a key threat to Australia's diverse reptile fauna. There has been no previous comprehensive analysis of the potential impact of the introduced European red fox, Vulpes vulpes, on Australian reptiles. Aims. We seek to provide an inventory of all Australia...
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Dead animal biomass (carrion) is present in all terrestrial ecosystems, and its consumption, decomposition, and dispersal can have measurable effects on vertebrates, invertebrates, microbes, parasites, plants, and soil. But despite the number of studies examining the influence of carrion on food webs, there has been no attempt to identify how gener...
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The red fox Vulpes vulpes is one of the world’s most widespread carnivores. A key to its success has been its broad, opportunistic diet. The fox was introduced to Australia about 150 years ago, and within 30 years of its introduction was already recognised as a threat to livestock and native wildlife. We reviewed 85 fox diet studies (totalling 3169...
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In addition to feeding on animal remains, many scavengers also function as predators. Carcasses may therefore affect local animal communities by attracting facultative scavengers and increasing predation risk for other species in the vicinity of the carcasses. This risk may be elevated in low productivity environments, especially where humans incre...
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Achieving conservation goals, such as coexistence between wildlife and humans, requires an evidence-based understanding of the factors that shape conservation contexts. For addressing conflict between humans and wildlife, this means understanding the barriers and opportunities to changing human behaviors toward wildlife. Here, we develop a Theory o...
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We briefly summarize the progress in 2020 - or lack of it - in global action to avert the worst of the climate emergency. See the paper here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-climate-emergency-2020-in-review/
Article
Ancestral dingoes arrived in Australia at some time, or times, during the Holocene, heralding a period of long and uneasy coexistence with the human inhabitants of the continent. For the first Australians, dingoes became a valued and integral part of the culture but also exacted diverse social and economic costs. For early Europeans and later arriv...
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Understanding human attitudes toward wildlife management is critical to implementing effective conservation action and policy. Understanding the factors that shape public attitudes toward different wildlife management actions is limited, however, which can result in unpredictable public responses to interventions. We drew on comparisons between res...
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Species afflicted by multiple threats are thought to face greater extinction risk. However, it is not known whether multiple threats operate antagonistically, additively, or synergistically, or whether they vary across different taxonomic and spatial scales. We addressed these questions by analyzing threats to 10,378 species in six vertebrate class...
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Human behaviors can determine the success of efforts to restore predators to ecosystems. While behaviors such as lethal predator control may impede predator restoration, other land management practices can facilitate coexistence between predators and humans. Socio‐psychological theories provide useful tools for understanding and improving these hum...
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We scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. In this paper, we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years. Results show greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, with increasingly damaging effects. With few exceptions, we are largely failing to address this predic...
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The Climate Emergency, Forests, and Transformative Change We appreciate the letters by Pouliot and colleagues (2020) and DellaSala and colleagues (2020) about our recent article “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency” (Ripple et al. 2020). Pouliot and colleagues (2020) call for more scientists, teachers, and citizens to become engaged a...
Article
European wasps (Vespula germanica) have invaded parts of North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. They are opportunistic predators and scavengers that can disrupt food webs and species interactions, but their role in food webs associated with carrion is poorly understood. In this study we examined wasp abundance at 20 vertebrate carcasse...
Article
1. Conflict between humans and large carnivores hinders carnivore conservation worldwide. Livestock depredations by large carnivores is the main cause of conflict, triggering poaching and retaliatory killings by humans. Resolving this conflict requires an understanding of the factors that cause large carnivores to select livestock over wild prey. I...
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Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.
Article
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.
Article
Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. Since then, similar alarms have been made through the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as scores of other glo...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.
Article
Full-text available
View-point article Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequiv- ocally that planet Earth is facing a...
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Mitigating and adapting to climate change while honoring the diversity of humans entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems. We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits ar...
Article
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.
Article
Full-text available
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. E...
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Verified and updated list of co-signatories to World Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency
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Supplementary material for Ripple et al., World Scientists' Warning of a Climate Emergency, BioScience 2019
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The public-domain letter in BioScience, 5 Nov 2019, with over 11,000 cosignatories declaring the urgency of the climate emergency, documenting spiraling out-of-control trends, and identifying six crucial areas in which governments, organizations, communities and individuals need to take action to avert the worst impacts: (a) ENERGY: clean energy tr...
Article
Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. We...