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First count your species- Scientists urge better information before further conservation decisions are made in Australia

Arguments have raged about whether or not dingoes should be culled and how far they are useful in safeguarding threatened smaller fauna, as they prey on the larger cats and foxes.   While the Australian wildlife services are spending thousands on other means of controlling non-native species, without achieving great results, there is evidence that maintaining dingo numbers benefits the smaller mammals.

A paper in the Journal of Applied Ecology (doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12250 published Friday 10 April) urges all the participants in what has been, at times, a heated debate, to lay down their differences and get back into the field to collate the robust data necessary to provide certainty for management action.

Publication date: 9 April 2014

BEACON wins prestigious European Commission RegioStars award

A prestigious European Commission RegioStars Award 2014 has been won by the BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence, an innovative Welsh research partnership dedicated to developing industrial products from plants to reduce reliance on fossil-based resources such as coal and gas.

Publication date: 31 March 2014

New research project addresses national priorities in combating the threat of tree diseases

New diseases are posing significant risks to tree health and plant biosecurity.UK Government Research Councils, DEFRA, Forestry Commission and Scottish Government, are together investing £7M to fund seven new projects to help address threats to UK forests, woods and trees.

Bangor University is a partner in one of these projects in collaboration with the Universities of Stirling and Cambridge and the Forest Research agency.  The project titled “Modelling economic impact and strategies to increase resilience against tree disease outbreaks”  will address “the protection and enhancement of public benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem services (…) building resilience in woodlands, and wider landscapes”, which are the key recommendations that have just been made by the House of Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, specifically.  It will also make a substantial contribution the Committee’s call for “long-term research and development work that focuses on preparation for future plant health threats in order to ensure an effective response in the UK”.

Publication date: 26 March 2014

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