Threatened Species Commissioner meeting and Nov 2023 update

Posted by AaronClausen

 18 Nov 2023

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I presented to Fiona Fraser, the Commonwealth Threatened Species Commissioner and her hard working team.

Here is a copy of the presentation I delivered.

There is a lot of good work taking place, but it was also an important opportunity to provide an update to the Commissioner regarding the NatureMapr community's achievements to date and how we can help support the commonwealth ensure the survival of these species through high quality biodiversity data captured directly from the real world.

Members of Fiona's team have directly subscribed to our new Priority Species List: Threatened Species Action Plan 2022-2032 Priority Species

So whenever you report any of the 110 species that are featured in this important list, someone in her team will actually become aware of your submission.

I reckon that is pretty cool.

In the coming days, we will be rolling out further enhancements to the priority species list feature, you may notice some subtle improvements.

Good luck Michael Mulvaney and Stuart Harris at the ACSA conference next week.


UserKC wrote:
   18 Nov 2023
Very cool. I like the idea of a direct line to the commissioner.
   18 Nov 2023
Good work @AaronClausen
LisaH wrote:
   19 Nov 2023
Fascinating presentation! So exciting to see the direction NatureMapr is taking in regards to validating and using the observations from citizen scientists to enhance better environmental outcomes across Australia - congratulations!
AJB wrote:
   19 Nov 2023
Great presentation! Well done. Feels good to be part of a bigger brighter picture.
   19 Nov 2023
The Comments of Steve Taylor and Bren Burkevics are unbelievable. For 23 years the Nature Reserves have been totally neglected. Weeds that must be controlled or contained are constantly spreading and seeding and nothing is done to contain them. Producing reports and websites saying what a great job they are doing does not solve the problem. The loss of diversity over the years in the southside reserves is staggering because nothing of any substance is done to control weeds. Weeds and human mismanagement cause the greatest habitat loss of flora and fauna. No wonder there are so many endangered species.
   19 Nov 2023
Thanks everyone. You are definitely part of a bigger, brighter picture. Well said @AJB !

Hi @julielindner - nobody is claiming that there are no weeds or that all invasive species are under control.

These teams have a mammoth challenge on their hands. But what we have to genuinely recognise and be positive about is that we have pro-active local invasive species managers that are willing and keen to be properly tapped into citizen reported data and be accountable in the work that they do.

The fact that Steve and Bren's teams are all actively tapped into this platform, monitoring real world data reported by every day citizens, is an extremely positive thing and ACT Government are showing genuine leadership in this space by working collaboratively and transparently with the community. Steve's team often posts follow up confirmations that treatment or eradication has occurred.

That does in no way mean they can get to every single possible weed or infestation.

It is like when your house gets robbed, if the crime isn't reported to police, they have no way of knowing where to deploy more police. So it becomes even more critical to ensure that invasive species are reported so at the bare minimum, the specimen(s) become visible to decision makers, and in the best case, can be treated if and where sufficient resources exist.

Report your invasive species everyone!
RogerF wrote:
   19 Nov 2023
Weeds are not the only issue. Getting back to the list of 110 priority species, Its disappointing that it does not include any specific to our local area that are threatened by loss of habitat such as Swainsona recta, Prasophyllum petilum, Cooraboorama canberrae, Keycaris scurra, among many others, as well as others that don't even make the threatened species list and are not even being investigated like Lewis's Laxabilla. Many are species of native grassland and failure to manage grassland biomass effectively by locking these areas up without a plan is the root cause of their demise.
   20 Nov 2023
Hi @RogerF,

Thanks for highlighting this and these additional species.

Priority Species Lists in NatureMapr can be either national (in the case of the 110 priority species) or they can be local/regional.

E.g. Canberra region can have, and does have, it's own localised priority species lists for exactly the locally focused purpose as you describe.

Mel Snape (ACT) and Rob Armstrong (NSW) might be good contacts to feed this information into so that they can consider the incorporation of this important information from you into priority species lists.

Today we will start to notify users whenever they report something that is included in a priority species list and try to increase the amount of valuable feedback we provide to contributors.
AndyRoo wrote:
   20 Nov 2023
Thanks Aaron, great presso - I like how succinct you managed to make it - I'd struggle to do that if it was me.
Also ditto to Roger Farrow's feedback. From my time originally starting out in native forest campaigning and eventually working at the NSW and ACT Govt's and my time as a member and volunteer with Friends of Grasslands it's been my impression that appreciation and conservation management of grassy ecosystems particularly native grasslands and to a lesser extent grassy woodlands have been and continue to be the poor cousins in government and public consciousness. For many people when they see a grassland they are unaware of their extensive and unique floral and faunal diversity values and associated threatened species and ecological communities, and the extensive degree of their destruction and degradation that has occurred, and continues to occur, since European colonisation. Admittedly the appreciation of their natural values can somewhat more subtle exercise. As a consequence for most people passing through rural and semi-rural areas pastures and woodlands dominated by introduced exotic grasses, forbs and woody weeds probably appear to be "natural" as it was for me having born and initially raised on the Monaro and well into my adult life. Similarly they are unaware of the pleasure and potential for expansive native floral explosions they could be seeing if these lands were also managed to retain, restore and/or improve their native flora values. That's the end of my sermon.

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