Pooling resources to protect our wildlife

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Experts from the public and private sectors, research and business have banded together to help conserve and manage our local wildlife in the face of climate change.

To be headed by Professor Andy Lowe, Professor in Plant Conservation Biology at the University of Adelaide, the new Equinox Group will work together on a range of flagship programs to retain South Australian biodiversity and develop better ways of protecting it.

Membership of the group spans many key public and private organisations currently involved in shaping sustainable landscapes.

"Climate change is likely to lead to increased temperatures and drier conditions which will create pressures on both natural and production systems in South Australia," said Professor Lowe. "It is therefore important to build knowledge about the climate dependency of native and introduced species and how they are likely to respond to variations in climate.

"Species extinction is expected to be particularly severe in the Mt Lofty Ranges. Half of the woodland bird species are facing regional extinction due to the loss of their native habitat. Ten species are already extinct and a further 60 species continue to decline.

"Our generation has a unique opportunity to take action to arrest further biodiversity loss. However this requires landscape restoration on a scale and complexity that is beyond any individual government or corporation. It requires vision and commitment at a community level."

The Equinox Group will:

  • pool together and better utilise available resources and expertise in biodiversity landscape-scale restoration
  • attract the large amounts of investment needed to enable landscape restoration on a meaningful scale
  • enhance coordination of stakeholders in business, government and research
  • promote greater awareness and broader community participation

The group will be supported by the University of Adelaide's Research Institute of Climate Change and Sustainability (RIsCCS).

Professor Lowe, who holds a joint position as Professor of Plant Conservation Biology within the University's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Head of Science, State Herbarium and Biological Survey, Department for Environment and Heritage, has extensive expertise in restoration genetics, rapid adaptations in plants and gene flow dynamics in rural and urban landscapes.

Equinox Group Foundation Membership

Prof Andy Lowe: University of Adelaide/Department for Environment and Heritage
Prof Barry Brook: Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability
Leonard Cohen: Canopy
Carmel Dundon: Trees for Life
Dr Rob Morrison: Flinders University / Nature Foundation
Stephanie Ziersch: Department of Premier and Cabinet
Dr Ian Chessell: Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology
Dr David Paton: University of Adelaide
Brenton Grear: Department for Environment and Heritage
Vicki-Jo Russell: WWF-Australia
Dr Bob Sharrad: Nature Foundation
Myles Somers: ElectraNet
Matt Benson: Colliers International
Esteban Giandomenico: Carbon Planet
Maggie Hine: Onkaparinga City Council
Paul Leadbeter: Norman Waterhouse Lawyers
Dr Jackie Venning: University of Adelaide/Primary Industries and Resources SA
Christel Mex: Adelaide Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board


Contact Details

Professor Andy Lowe
Email: andrew.lowe@adelaide.edu.au
Chair, Plant Conservation Biology
Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 434 607 705

Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084