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Queensland's Threatened Animals

Edited by Lee K Curtis, Andrew Dennis, Keith McDonald, Peter Kyne and Stephen Debus.

Queensland is home to 70% of Australia’s native mammals (226 species), over 70% of native birds (630 species), just over half of the nation’s native reptiles (485) and native frogs (127), and more than 11 000 native plant species. Hundreds of these have a threatened status in Queensland. In order for Queensland to maintain and recover a healthy biodiversity we must address the serious problems faced by our natural environment – habitat loss, inappropriate land management, change in fire regimes, pollution of natural resources, proliferation of invasive species and climate change.

This book features up-to-date distribution data, photos and maps for most of Queensland’s threatened animals. It also includes a comprehensive list of resources, with key state, national and international organisations involved in the recovery and management of threatened species.

Queensland's Threatened Animals will provide vital information to scientists, educators, business entities, government agencies, students, community groups, environmental NGOs, regional NRMs and potential volunteers.

Reviewed by Steve Van Dyck, Senior Curator of Vertebrates, Biodiversity Program at the Queensland Museum, for Wildlife Australia Magazine Autumn 2012.

We might expect a book about Queensland’s threatened animals to be a very big book – and it is, for reasons both good and bad. It provides us with ample ammunition to show how Queensland as a state has been found wanting as wildlife custodians – and it also shows us remarkable achievements in the understanding of species and their needs and in the extraordinary commitment, determination and inspiration of their researchers who have achieved scientific excellence on shoe-string budgets. Most conservation of fauna is determined by political processes according to what people think is worth preserving. With this book, the editors have assembled for the first time under one roof, an authoritative blueprint that will guide everyone from the landowner to the politician through the plights of the entire spectrum of threatened fauna species in Queensland, from Philippine spurdogs, pale imperial hair-streak butterflies, thylacine darners and Javanese cow-nose rays to more familiar species such as Kroombit tinkerfrogs and stripe-tailed delmas.

Congratulations on a magnificent resource.

Editor information

Lee Curtis is the author of the Green Guide to Kangaroos and Wallabies of Australia as well as the Whitley award winning Wallabies, Wombats and Other Mammals of Australia. She is a freelance journalist and copywriter who is passionate about Australia’s natural environment and wildlife. Lee is an active member of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland and has been correspondent for Wildlife Australia Magazine since 2002. She writes about wildlife for a variety of publications and does presentations whenever an opportunity to help educate children and/or the public arises. Lee’s volunteer work with several threatened species recovery projects in Queensland over the years inspired her to organise the compilation of a resource guide to Queensland’s threatened animals in order to facilitate networking and communication among those involved in species management and recovery.

Andrew Dennis has a PhD in tropical ecology. He has conducted research through JCU, QPWS, CSIRO and the EarthWatch Institute on the ecology and management of over a dozen threatened animals in northern Australia, including frogs, mammals and birds. Andrew has also authored or contributed to a range of recovery plans and teams for single and multiple species. In addition, he has investigated the ecological consequences of species loss and its wider ramifications – examining the impacts of changes in species abundance, distribution and behaviour on the process of seed dispersal in tropical rainforest – a process driven primarily by animals, several of which are listed as threatened. Andrew has authored numerous book chapters and journal articles and was lead editor for Seed Dispersal: Theory and Its Application in a Changing World, in which several chapters investigate the consequences of species loss to the processes that maintain vegetation communities.

Keith McDonald has worked in Queensland government conservation agencies for the last 40 years. His work has covered most parts of the state and has included threatened species management, monitoring and research with a special emphasis on frogs and reptiles. He has published or co-authored numerous publications on Queensland fauna, coordinated and been involved in recovery teams associated with threatened species and has worked on the management of protected and threatened species on and off the protected area estate. He is the recipient of the Queensland Museum Medal, a Cassowary Award from the Wet Tropics Management Authority and was a member of the international team receiving the CSIRO Medal for studies on the chytrid fungus which decimated frog populations. He is Vice-president (Projects) of the Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland. His involvement in this book is as a private individual.

Peter Kyne has a background in the biology, fisheries and conservation of chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras). He completed his PhD on chondrichthyan bycatch in Queensland's trawl fishery, examining the effectiveness of bycatch reduction devices for these fishes. Peter is an active member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, having assessed the conservation status of numerous Queensland chondrichthyans. He has also worked on freshwater fishes of northern Australia, and has an interest in bird ecology and conservation. Peter is currently based at Charles Darwin University in Darwin.