Brendan A. Wintle's research while affiliated with Victoria University Melbourne and other places

Publications (240)

Article
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Monitoring is critical to gauge the effect of environmental management interventions as well as to measure the effects of human disturbances such as climate change. Recognition of the critical need for monitoring means that, at irregular intervals, recommendations are made for new government-instigated programs or to revamp existing ones. Using ins...
Article
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Ecological models used to forecast range change (range change models; RCM) have recently diversified to account for a greater number of ecological and observational processes in pursuit of more accurate and realistic predictions. Theory suggests that process-explicit RCMs should generate more robust forecasts, particularly under novel environmental...
Article
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Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. In this study, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million square kilometers (44% of terrestrial ar...
Article
Increasingly the importance of Indigenous participation is acknowledged as central to effective biodiversity conservation. Traditional management emphasizes the importance of a holistic, integrated approach to safeguard species and ecological communities of cultural significance. This is discordant with many instruments for biodiversity conservatio...
Article
Large-scale disturbance events are forecast to increase in severity and frequency due to climate change. On-ground surveys are crucial for assessing the immediate impact of disturbances on biodiversity and for informing management responses. However, there are few examples where quantitative tools have guided post-disturbance survey design. In this...
Article
Megafire plays a crucial role in driving the distribution of biodiversity around the world. Long‐term monitoring is vital for understanding how species are impacted immediately by megafire and subsequently respond over time. However, monitoring should be designed with sufficient statistical power to detect impact and recovery. In this study, we dev...
Article
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Many threatened species depend on climatic microrefugia, but places with harsh climates for predators may also play a refugial role. Feral cats threaten many native species in arid Australia. Although cats can persist in regions with no free water, their abundance should depend on the availability of microclimates that protect them from harsh envir...
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
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Aims Reconnaissance surveys followed by monitoring are needed to assess the impact and response of biodiversity to wildfire. However, post‐wildfire survey and monitoring design are challenging due to the infrequency and unpredictability of wildfire, an urgency to initiate surveys and uncertainty about how species respond. In this article, we discus...
Article
Increasingly scientists and policy makers are acknowledging the importance of Indigenous participation in effective biodiversity conservation. In Australia, the recognised Indigenous estate is vast, accounting for up to 57% of the continent and comprising some of the highest priority conservation lands, including 46% of the formal National Reserve...
Article
Indigenous people are the custodians of knowledge systems that hold detailed awareness of the environment, including applications for monitoring and management to improve biodiversity and cultural outcomes. Indigenous communities are increasingly participating in programs to monitor populations of wildlife. There is a need for frameworks to guide h...
Article
Several methods of measuring biodiversity in development‐offset trades exist. However, there is little consensus on which biodiversity metrics should be used for quantifying development impacts and assigning offsets. We simulated development impacts in a virtual landscape and offset these impacts using six biodiversity metrics: vegetation area, veg...
Technical Report
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Nature as a climate solution: Country, culture and nature-based solutions for mitigating climate change
Technical Report
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This project has developed and tested a framework for assessing research value across the life cycle of conservation research projects and programs. This is the first comprehensive attempt of its kind to build and test a multimodal, integrated, qualitative and quantitative framework for achieving and assessing value in environmental research. The r...
Article
By mapping land use under projections of socio-economic change, ecological changes can be predicted to inform conservation decision-making. We present a land use model that enables the fine-scale mapping of land use change under future scenarios. Its predictions can be used as input to virtually all existing spatially-explicit ecological models. Ou...
Article
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Equilibrium models (EMs) are frequently employed to examine the potential impacts of economic, energy, and trade policies as well as form the foundation of most integrated assessment models. Despite their central role coupling economic and environmental systems, environmental scientists are largely unfamiliar with the structure and methodology unde...
Article
There are many sources of uncertainty in scenarios and models of socio-ecological systems, and understanding these uncertainties is critical in supporting informed decision-making about the management of natural resources. Here, we review uncertainty across the steps needed to create socio-ecological scenarios, from narrative storylines to the repr...
Article
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Climate change threatens biodiversity directly by influencing biophysical variables that drive species’ geographic distributions and indirectly through socio-economic changes that influence land use patterns, driven by global consumption, production and climate. To date, no detailed analyses have been produced that assess the relative importance of...
Article
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Measuring, reporting, and forecasting research impact beyond academia has become increasingly important to demonstrate and understand real-world benefits. This is arguably most important in crisis disciplines such as medicine, environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation, where application of new knowledge is urgently needed to improv...
Article
ContextThe development of reliable and cost-efficient survey techniques is key to the monitoring of all wildlife. One group of species that presents particular challenges for monitoring is the arboreal mammals. Traditional techniques for detecting these species often yield low detection probabilities (detectability) and are time-consuming, suggesti...
Preprint
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Land use change leads to shifts in species ranges and declines in biodiversity across the world. By mapping likely future land use under projections of socio-economic change, these ecological changes can be predicted to inform conservation decision-making. We present a land use modelling approach that enables ecologists to map changes in land use u...
Article
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Abstract Quantifying species population trends is crucial for monitoring progress towards global conservation targets, justifying investments, planning targeted responses and raising awareness about threatened species. Many global indicators are slow in response and report on common species, not on those at greatest risk of extinction. Here we deve...
Article
Developers are often required by law to offset environmental impacts through targeted conservation actions. Most offset policies specify metrics for calculating offset requirements, usually by assessing vegetation condition. Despite widespread use, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of vegetation-based metrics for ensuring biodiv...
Article
Understanding the conditions under which small native Australian mammals can persist in the presence of introduced predators remains a key challenge to conservation ecologists. Bettong‐specific one‐way gates were used at a predator‐free reserve in South Australia to allow the burrowing bettong (Bettongia lesueur ) – a small potoroid, listed as ‘vul...
Article
The 2019–2020 megafires in Australia brought a tragic loss of human life and the most dramatic loss of habitat for threatened species and devastation of ecological communities in postcolonial history. What must be done now to keep impacted species from extinction? What can be done to avoid a repeat of the impacts of such devastating bushfires? Here...
Article
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Global biodiversity indices are used to measure environmental change and progress towards conservation goals, yet their fitness for purpose is poorly understood. Few indices have been evaluated comprehensively for their capacity to detect trends of interest, such as declines in threatened species or ecosystem function. Using a structured approach b...
Article
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Approaches to assessing the impacts of different landscape scenarios on species range from metrics based on patterns of occurrence or habitat, to comprehensive models that explicitly include ecological processes. The choice of metrics and models affects how impacts may be interpreted, with flow‐on effects on conservation decisions. We used a case s...
Article
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Nocturnal arthropods form the prey base for many predators and are an integral part of complex food webs. However, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms influencing invertebrates at urban water bodies and the potential flow-on effects to their predators. This study aims to: (i) understand the importance of standing water bodies for noctu...
Preprint
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Mapping pathways to achieving the sustainable development goals requires understanding and predicting how social, economic and political factors impact biodiversity. Trends in demography, economic growth, regional alliances and consumption behaviours can have profound effects on the environment by driving resource use and production. While these di...
Article
Trophic interactions and disturbance events can shape the structure and function of ecosystems. However, the effects of drivers such as predation, fire and climatic variables on species distributions are rarely considered concurrently. We used a replicated landscape‐scale predator management experiment to compare the effects of red fox Vulpes vulpe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change threatens biodiversity directly by influencing biophysical variables that drive species' geographic distributions and indirectly through socio-economic changes that influence land use patterns, driven by global consumption, production and climate. To date, no detailed analyses have been produced that assess the relative importance of...
Article
1. Species population dynamics are driven by spatial and temporal changes in the environment, anthropogenic activities, and conservation management actions. Understanding how populations will change in response to these drivers is fundamental to a wide range of ecological applications, but there are few open‐source software options accessible to re...
Preprint
Full-text available
More ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global degradation of ecosystems and the extinction of the species that comprise them. Here, we estimate the minimum amount of land needed to secure known important sites for biodiversity, Earth's remaining wilderness, and the optimal locations for adequate representation of terrestrial spe...
Article
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As with most governments worldwide, Australian governments list threatened species and proffer commitments to recovering them. Yet most of Australia's imperiled species continue to decline or go extinct and a contributing cause is inadequate investment in conservation management. However, this has been difficult to evaluate because the extent of fu...
Article
Effective invasive predator management requires accurate knowledge of population density. However, density can be difficult to estimate for wide-ranging, cryptic and trap-shy species, such as the feral cat Felis catus. Consequently, few density estimates exist for this invasive predator of global significance, particularly from rugged, mesic or str...
Article
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Knowing where species occur is fundamental to many ecological and environmental applications. Species distribution models (SDMs) are typically based on correlations between species occurrence data and environmental predictors, with ecological processes captured only implicitly. However, there is a growing interest in approaches that explicitly mode...
Article
Biodiversity offsets are increasingly employed as an approach to compensate for unavoidable development impacts. Reliance on overly simplistic metrics in assessing the impacts of development, and assigning offset requirements, generally results in offsets which fail to conserve the key ecological values they seek to protect. We conducted a cross-di...
Article
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Advancing technology represents an unprecedented opportunity to enhance our capacity to conserve the Earth's biodiversity. However, this great potential is failing to materialize and rarely endures. We contend that unleashing the power of technology for conservation requires an internationally coordinated strategy that connects the conservation com...
Article
Innovation has the potential to enable conservation science and practice to keep pace with the escalating threats to global biodiversity, but this potential will only be realized if such innovations are designed and developed to fulfill specific needs and solve well‐defined conservation problems. We propose that business‐world strategies for assess...
Article
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The importance of expert input to spatial conservation prioritization outcomes is poorly understood. We quantified the impacts of refinements made during consultation with experts on spatial conservation prioritization of Christmas Island. There was just 0.57 correlation between the spatial conservation priorities before and after consultation, bot...
Article
Indigenous knowledge systems hold detailed information on current and past environments that can inform ecological understanding as well as contemporary environmental management. Despite its applicability, there are limited examples of Indigenous knowledge being incorporated in species distribution models, which are widely used in the ecological sc...
Article
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Assessing the statistical power to detect changes in wildlife populations is a crucial yet often overlooked step when designing and evaluating monitoring programs. Here, we developed a simulation framework to perform spatially explicit statistical power analysis of biological monitoring programs for detecting temporal trends in occupancy for multip...
Article
Monitoring is an essential component of adaptive management, and a carefully designed program is needed to ensure high-quality data and inferences over realistic time scales. Co-operation among agencies and incorporating citizen science may help enhance learning while reducing the financial costs of monitoring. We seek to realise this potential whi...
Article
Invasive predators are a key driver of biodiversity decline, and effective predator management is an important conservation issue globally. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) poses a significant threat to wildlife, livestock and human health across Eurasia, North America and Australia. Despite worldwide investment in red fox management, decision makers st...
Technical Report
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Maintaining mammal populations on havens – whether they are naturally occurring or translocated – has helped to prevent further mammal extinctions, and consolidated protection for other species. These havens fall under the management of many organisations, ranging from local councils, community groups and small private organisations to large non-go...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Many Australian mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by introduced cats and foxes. At least 34 Australian endemic mammal species have been made extinct since 1788, about 10% of Australia's terrestrial fauna, and predation by cats and foxes was a major contribution to most of those extinctions. Maintaining mammal populations on havens...
Research Proposal
Eastern Australia’s temperate woodlands have been significantly cleared, with 80% of their former extent already gone, and the classically Australian woodland bird community that is inseparably bound with them disintegrating. This project will identify the most cost-effective actions for restoring the woodland bird community by harnessing and synth...
Article
There is little experimental evidence to guide the design of substrate compaction for the optimal plant water use performance of a landfill phytocap. A glasshouse study was undertaken to address this with aim to evaluate the effect of substrate compaction on the water use of a phytocap plant community. Four levels of relative compaction (RC), i.e....
Article
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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
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In the last 30 years, islands and fenced exclosures free of introduced predators (collectively, havens) have become an increasingly used option for protecting Australian mammals imperiled by predation by introduced cats (Felis catus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes). However, Australia's network of havens is not expanding in a manner that maximizes repres...
Article
Since European occupation of Australia, human activities have caused the dramatic decline and sometimes extinction of many of the continent's unique species. Here we provide a comprehensive review of threats to species listed as threatened under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Following accepted global cat...
Article
Global biodiversity targets have far-reaching implications for nature conservation worldwide. Scenarios and models hold unfulfilled promise for ensuring such targets are well founded and implemented; here, we review how they can and should inform the Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and their reformulation. They offer two clear...
Article
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Although evidence-based approaches have become commonplace for determining the success of conservation measures for the management of threatened taxa, there are no standard metrics for assessing progress in research or management. We developed 5 metrics to meet this need for threatened taxa and to quantify the need for further action and effective...
Data
Mapped climatic, topographic and fire covariates used to model species occupancy and detectability. Covariates (scaled) at 1 km resolution used to model occupancy and detectability of 242 birds, mammals and reptiles recorded at 333 sites across the Top End of northern Australia. (TIF)
Data
Model coefficients for the detectability component of the bird models. Note, species containing only dashes were recorded during surveys but were unable to be modelled. (PDF)
Data
Number of covariates included in occupancy and detectability models for 136 species. Proportion of models per animal group with 1–8 covariates included in the best model. Note, maximum covariate count for detectability models is 3, and method was included in detectability models for species with multiple methods of detection, but was not included i...
Data
Model coefficients for the detection component of the reptile models. Note, species containing only dashes were recorded during surveys but were unable to be modelled. (PDF)
Data
Reptile occupancy maps across the Top End of northern Australia. Occupancy maps for reptiles with covariates in the best model. Occupancy maps for reptiles with covariates in the best model. Light grey represents zero occupancy, while blue represents an occupancy probability of 1. (PDF)
Data
Model coefficients for the detectability component of the mammal models. Note, species containing only dashes were recorded during surveys but were unable to be modelled. (PDF)
Data
Sampling methods applied at monitoring sites across the eight conservation reserves. Summary of the method of detection pooled to generate detection histories per animal group per location: Djelk Indigenous Protected Area (DIPA); Fish River Station (FRS); Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (GGBNP); Gregory National Park (GNP); Kakadu National Park (KN...