Magpie goose protection plan receives national praise 

Dr Barry Brook and Professor Frank Fenner (Photo courtesy of the Australian Academy of Science)

Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Barry Brook’s research was recognised last week at the annual Science at the Shine Dome event in Canberra, when he received the Fenner Medal for outstanding research in biology by a scientist under the age of 40 years.

Dr Brook has used more than 30 years of fieldwork to underpin new research to develop a comprehensive environmental management plan that protects the NT’s culturally and economically important magpie goose.

Dr Brook, Senior Research Fellow at CDU, explained this research and related work on ‘extinction dynamics’ when he addressed the annual Science at the Shine Dome event.

“The magpie goose is important to a wide range of community groups across the Northern Territory including tourists and recreational hunters. Indigenous communities rely on the goose for their cultural and consumptive economies,” Dr Brook explained.

“However, the current populations of magpie geese are potentially threatened due to recreational hunting, deliberate poisoning and broad-scale changes to natural habitat.

“Through the analysis of reproduction and survival rates of the goose as well as assessing the geographical areas the goose inhabits in we were able to develop targeted and sustainable recommendations for harvest management plans.

“This research has provided land managers, policy makers and local communities a better understanding of the key environmental issues facing the magpie goose that will ultimately protect the species now and into the future,” Dr Brook said.

At only 32 years of age, Dr Brook is renowned for his innovative and comprehensive research in population and tropical ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management.

“It is essential to develop rational and methodical research findings that can be practically and effectively applied by those stakeholders and managers responsible for the protection and sustainability of our natural environment,” Dr Brook concluded.

Further details on Science at the Shine Dome is available from the Australian Academy of Science website.