In this issue

Issue 173


Joining the camel train
Feral camels cause significant environmental damage in Australia's arid interior. Demand for exported camel meat is strong, but getting culled wild camel meat to market is difficult. Rachel Sullivan finds renewed interest in managing camels as fenced livestock.
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Carbon accounting: our newest, cleanest export?
Australian company CarbonSystems made headlines around the world in May when it won the contract to provide Microsoft with software for monitoring and managing carbon emissions. A track record in carbon accounting – thanks to Australia's introduction of a National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act in 2007 – helped tip the decision in its favour.
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Totally wild: postcards from the Gulf
Four CSIRO researchers recently took part in a field trip to a unique, private nature reserve abutting the Gulf of Carpentaria. The 305,000-hectare Pungalina–Seven Emu reserve is the result of a partnership between the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and indigenous landowner, Frank Shadforth, a Garawa man.
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Leadership and prompt action could save species
Failure to act quickly on evidence of rapid population decline led to the first mammal extinction in Australia in the last 50 years, the Christmas Island pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi), in 2009. The fate of another iconic species, the migratory orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster), hangs in the balance.
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Models show Australia’s tropical sea-life heading south
Researchers warn that ocean warming will result in ‘tropicalisation' of marine biological communities off the Western Australian coast.
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Rats in the ranks: the introduced black rat in Australia
Black rats (Rattus rattus) would have to be one of the most loathed animals on the planet. They spread disease, damage crops and infrastructure, and are a major threat to wildlife globally. But they are also one of the world's most successful species, and have followed humans to almost every environment on Earth.
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Dr Dirk Mallants: expert on groundwater and patience
Groundwater specialist Dr Dirk Mallants of CSIRO understands the importance of patience. As he explains to ECOS in this interview, the timescales on which groundwater processes operate can be as long as millennia.
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Trees and non-flying mammals: a hollow understanding
For many of Australia's mammals, tree hollows are critical habitat. Ross Goldingay argues that to make informed decisions about the conservation of species that use tree hollows, we need more research on the role that hollows play, and on the shelter needs of the animals that use them.
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The deeper riches of river country
At Nauiyu Nambiyu on the Northern Territory's Daly River, Ngan'gi-speaking people observe the signs of Wirirr marrgu, or 'burn grass season'. Elder, Patricia Marrfurra McTaggart, says when the wet season ends, people go out harvesting fish, pig-nosed turtle, long-necked turtle, snapping turtle, echidna, rock python and water lilies. It is, she says, a season of plenty.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Warming from rising CO2 could happen faster than expected
‘Big picture' science could save more habitats, species
1000-km-wide ocean funnels carry carbon to depths
Emerging whale shark 'crisis' in China
Wave power could supply 10 per cent of energy needs by 2050
Climate Commissioners comment on Greenland ice melt
Australian Industry Group releases 'energy shock' report
'More efficient cars the way forward': green energy group
Australian Navy on a wave
Tibetan glaciers shrinking rapidly
More reserves, less seaweed for coral reef health
Farmers must diversify to survive: CSIRO report
Finding out why iconic WA tree is on the decline
Report maps 'stress' in Australian catchments and aquifers
Bioprospecting unearths microalga for third-gen biofuels
Nocturnal fish take back the day
Green community rating tool gets its first outing
Australian honeybees lack immunity to Varroa mite
Tip shops and recycling centres are community hubs
Reduced energy demand forecast for Australia
Carbon pricing and refrigerant gas – government urges clarity
Improving the sustainability of fish food
Funding for new low emissions energy projects in WA
Collaboration takes the lead in water information research
World-first undersea mini lab

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