Invasive species spaghetti for dinner? A network of species interactions for managing invasive cats and rats on Christmas Island

By Yi Han

Yi_XMas_Island_workshop

Photo: Dion Maple

 

Invasive cats and rats threaten native species on Christmas Island through predation and indirect changes in ecosystem processes. Management programs have been proposed to eradicate cats and possibly rats. Before an eradication program can commence, however we need to answer a number of key questions. What is the management goal? What are the alternative management strategies? What are the risks and benefits of these management strategies?

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Top tips for giving talks

During the last Buckley Lab meeting, we discussed some good pointers for giving good talks in preparation for the three honours students presenting their proposal talks in late April this year. Here are some our top tips!

Preparation

  • Prepare, prepare – know your content
  • Most people can remember one or two things from a talk, decide up front what the most exciting thing you have to say is, put that in the title, then set the back ground for the exciting thing in the intro, why should the audience care about the thing. Does it answer a long standing question, does it have important real world consequences?
  • Draw out an outline before making your presentation (e.g. as a flow diagram, where you plot out the transitions among components).
    Kristylee Marr working on her honours proposal talk (source: N. Kerr)

    Kristylee Marr working on her honours proposal talk (source: N. Kerr)

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Christmas Island Trip 2012

Reflection

Yi spent a whole week on Christmas Island for a workshop in December 2012. The workshop was held to assist three PhD students (including Yi) to get along with their projects and to familiarize them with the ecosystems that they are working on. Her reflection on her trip to Christmas Island:

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Yi discussing her project with staff from Christmas Island National Park in a workshop

“It is a wonderful and valuable experience. After two days’ meeting of discussion of our projects with staffs and managers from Christmas Island National Park, we spend a day to help out at the “Pink House”, where is the captive breeding center for two endemic reptile species, the Blue-tailed Skink and the Lister’s Gecko. Our job was to prepare a meal for these beautiful creatures by netting as many insects as we could. The staffs took us out to experience the island-wide survey the following day. It is mainly a survey of Red Crabs and invasive Yellow Crazy Ants across the whole of the island, but recording endemic birds, reptiles and exotic plants is also a part of the survey. It was a tough work for anyone since the survey point was evenly distributed across the island and many of them are very difficult and dangerous to access.  The land crabs are the most remarkable animals on Christmas Island.We were lucky to see ‘one of the wonders of the natural world’ – the amazing unique annual red crab migration. Fences were set up temporarily and roads were closed around the major migration path to help the crabs to migrate by park staffs.” Continue reading