In assessments of mine site restoration success, animals are often overlooked and assumed to return following the return of vegetation. This is commonly known as the Field of Dreams hypothesis, as in practice, recovering biodiversity to a level representative of the pre-disturbance system can be a very challenging task. Among existing studies, there is a focus towards assessing species diversity or abundance in restored habitats; however, this may be limited in its ability to show whether restoration is supporting animal populations long term, or if these areas are only in opportunistic use.
So, how can we assess behaviour of animals in restored mine sites, and how can this be used to help understand the longer term success of restoration efforts? I recently presented on my research at the 2019 8th World Conference on Ecological Restoration in Cape Town, South Africa. You can view the talk here:
We recently published an article on the diet of three sympatric Western Australian species of Varanus (V. gouldii, V. tristis, V. panoptes) occurring in the arid Mid West region. If you’re interested, you can find the article in the Journal of Zoology here
Restoration goals: Why are fauna still overlooked in the process of recovering functioning ecosystems and what can be done about it?
S. L. Cross, P. W. Bateman, and A. T. Cross
Animals are often overlooked in assessments of restoration success and assumed to return following the return of vegetation. However, in practice, recovering diverse and representative fauna communities can be exceptionally difficult, not only to achieve, but to monitor. In our new publication, we argue that fauna must be considered to a greater extent in assessments of restoration success, and management policies. You can read the full paper, published in the journal Ecological Management and Restoration, here.
Head to page 58 to see our research featured in the Australian Research Council’s 2018/19 Annual Report.
Very excited to find my first thorny devil (Moloch horridus)- these little dragons are incredible, they are they covered in spikes and exceptionally good at camouflaging into the bush, and also have a “false head” on their neck, which when they dip their head helps to hide their real head from predators! They also use capillary action to transport water to their mouths from their skin! How amazing are these guys! Found near Natures Window in Kalbarri, Mid West Western Australia.
Click to see more images –> Continue reading
Head to page 38/39 to see our research featured in the Australian Research Council’s 2019 ‘Making a Difference‘ publication
News feature: ‘Minesite restoration overlooks fauna: study’ in the National Mining Chronicle
” Animals are often assumed to return to the area of a minesite following its closure and the return of vegetation, however, in practice restoring animal communities and biodiversity can be exceptionally challenging”
You can read the full article here.
I’ve just launched my online store! If you like my photography, and wish to purchase a print, check out http://www.sophiecrossphotography.com
Custom print options also available.
Mid West WA
Responses of animals to mine site restoration are often overlooked in favour of vegetation surveys. Animals are generally assumed to landscapes following the return of vegetation, however in practice this is rarely the case. My recent paper “Overlooked and undervalued: the nelected role of fauna and a global bias in ecological restoration assessments” reviews the use of fauna in assessments of mine site restoration success globally, and highlights the issues associated with overlooking fauna in the restoration equation.
You can read the paper online here: https://www.publish.csiro.au/PC/PC18079