Winners of the national contests 2012


Building a Framework for Better Biodiversity Management

Researcher: Hannah Pearson
Contest: Australia

Offsets are required in quarries when vegetation was lost over the years. This project provides a working framework to help land managers to understand the consequences of their management actions. Financial costs and social opinions are taken into account. Researchers created a Bayesian state and transition model which integrates current scientific understanding of land management with extra-scientific concerns, for use by and with non-scientific stakeholders.

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Roost-boxes as a tool in the conservation of tree roosting microbats (Microchiroptera) in a highly-modified agricultural landscape

Researcher: Stephen Griffiths
Contest: Australia

The loss, modification and fragmentation of natural habitats constitute a major threat to bat populations. This project examined the microbat activity in highly-modified agricultural landscape with bat detectors. From the bat activities the efficacy of roosting boxes for bats could be conducted as a short and medium term method of compensating for limited roosting sites within the framework of long-term ecological management and restoration plan.

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Warrayure Conservation Offset : Saving a grassland remnant

Researcher: Patricia Maddern-Wellington
Contest: Australia

The fertile native grasslands of western Victoria, Australia, have become extensively fragmented since the introduction of intensive agriculture. This project has extended the initial vegetation and habitat assessment of such a grassland which covers 57 hectares and is part of an offset site. Furthermore the project analysed threads to biodiversity of the site and gave detailed management recommendations.

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Invasive species as a treat to local biodiversity: integrated approach on Buddleja davidii and Cyprinus Carpio in an educational trial

Researcher: Sarah Descamps
Contest: Benelux

This project highlights the importance of quarry management plans which have to integrate the establishment of invasive species populations. The researchers focused their research on the invasive species Buddleja davidii, also called Butterfly bush, which show a very strong potential for dispersion and rapidly dominate new ecosystems which strongly hamper the settlement of native species in early successions. Methods to eliminate and to control the species were also studied.

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Influence of the rabbits population on the vegetation of open wastelands and development of tools to fight against invasive species: Senecio Buddleya davidii and inaequidens

Researcher: Claudy Noiret
Contest: Benelux

Chalk quarries of Harmignies are one of the most remarkable sites in Wallonia sheltering many rare, endangered species. However the site is infested by alien plant species and a huge population of rabbits. This project analysed the impact of the rabbit population, therefore four mesh enclosures where installed. It could be shown that inside the enclosures the plant diversity increased. Furthermore the project explored ways to fight against the invasive butterfly bush.

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