Book awarded for ‘world first’ plan

06-Oct-2014

Co-editor Professor Stephen Garnett (right) says the hard work has paid off. Pictured with Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks

Co-editor Professor Stephen Garnett (right) says the hard work has paid off. Pictured with Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks


Two environmental scientists have been recognised for producing the world’s first climate change adaptation plan for Australian birds.

Charles Darwin University researchers Professor Stephen Garnett and Dr Don Franklin were awarded a Certificate of Commendation at this year’s national Whitley Awards.

They won the Commendation for Zoological Management and Conservation Resource for their co-edited and co-authored book, “Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Birds”.

Professor Garnett said he was honoured to have received such an esteemed award in the scientific field of Australasian fauna.

“It is a pleasure to win this,” Professor Garnett said. “The hard work has been acknowledged.

“There has never before been an attempt to assess the impact of climate change on an entire faunal group as well as suggest potential adaptation measures.”

The book, published by CSIRO, describes the state of knowledge about climate change and Australian birds, detailing costed plans of action for those most vulnerable.

The research draws on some 16 million records on 1200 bird species and subspecies, the largest collection of Australian bird records ever assembled.

“I hope this award draws people’s attention to the work we have done and the requirements we all have as a society to prepare for what is coming with climate change,” Professor Garnett said.

He said types of action included expanding coastal sanctuaries further inland and increasing monitoring of birds for early warnings of climate change impacts.

“This is part of an ongoing conversation with policy makers on what could be done to prepare ourselves for when the climate change impacts really start to bite,” he said.

“Some actions need to be taken very soon while others can be postponed for a while.”

The Whitley Awards are presented by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales for outstanding publications about fauna in the Australasian region.

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