RPS biodiversity stories

September is Biodiversity Month. To celebrate, we spoke to some of our Aussie environmental specialists about their work to understand, manage and protect the species that make Australia unique.

 

Writing the story of the Ctenotus monticola skink

When our Ecologists complete surveys in the field, they are usually adding new chapters to an already long story about a particular species’ habitat, behaviour, and health. For RPS environmental scientists Natalie May, Liam Honey, and Monique Palmer, their work in the Atherton Tablelands region of North Queensland is in many ways writing the prologue for Ctenotus monticola - a species of skink only known to science since 1981.

Discover our work with Ctenotus monticola>>

Ctenotus monticola skink captured by RPS Environmental Scientist, Natalie May in North Queensland

Supporting next-gen standards for environmental restoration

From the protection of threatened species and native vegetation to the remediation of modified landscapes, we’re committed to furthering Australia’s collective ecological knowledge and promoting best practice. That’s why RPS is a proud sponsor of the most recent updates made to The National Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia.

Read more about the new standards>>

Western Australian landscape - ocean and coastal scrub on blue sky day

Sounds of the sea

RPS is providing environmental services and planning expertise to support Australia’s first offshore wind project – Star of the South. This audio of humpback and dwarf minke whale calls was captured as part of our marine ecology survey program!

Dwarf minke whale

On the trail of rare orchids in New South Wales

Occasionally our ecology team's work involves documenting and managing impacts for ultra-rare species. One such plant that we’ve been looking at recently is the endangered terrestrial orchid, Diuris arenaria. More commonly known as ‘Sand Doubletail’, Diuris arenaria exists in a highly restricted zone around the coastal parts of Port Stephens, New South Wales.

Read about our team's work on the hunt for Diuris arenaria>>

Diuris arenaria orchid in bloom

Shaping standards for Australian marine research

Australia’s Field Manuals for Marine Sampling to Monitor Australian Waters provide guidance for research and monitoring programs across the nation. With work beginning on a second edition for this important technical guide, RPS marine scientist and benthic ecology specialist, Garnet Hooper PhD, was invited to co-author chapters on marine survey design, and the use of grabs and box corer tools to understand the nature and biodiversity of the ocean floor.

Read more about Garnet's contributions to the field manuals>>

RPS marine benthic ecologists undertake survey fieldwork the coast of Western Australia

New techniques for koala population monitoring

RPS Ecologist, Mark Aitkens, is using a combination of contemporary methods to detect and better understand local koala numbers (passive acoustic recordings, detection dogs, DNA analysis and foliar nutritional studies), while RPS Survey Manager, Neil Roberts, is testing how infra-red drone mapping can be used for koala monitoring by the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital. 

Find out more about RPS techniques for koala monitoring>>

Koala and baby in tree

Sustainable outcomes for Australia's wet tropics

RPS Environmental Manager, Megan Davis, is passionate about shaping better environmental outcomes for Queensland’s tropical north. After contributing for a number of years to Wet Tropics Waterways (WTW) – a partnership that brings industry, community, research and government organisations together to monitor waterways and improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef – Megan has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the WTW Committee.

Read more about Megan's work in the wet tropics>>

Megan Davis at the launch of the 2020 Wet Tropics Waterways Report Card

Octopus and shark captured going toe-to-toe

This underwater vision was captured as part of the 2020 summer fish surveys for Star of the South. Close encounters between octopus and shark!

Read more about our work on Star of the South>>

 

A curious interaction between octopus and shark captured during the summer fish surveys in 2020

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