Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

In this paper we advocate community-based research, that is, the integration of community knowledge and support into research programs aimed at solving conservation problems. The rewards for researchers include obtaining an economical source of data, including historical information, access to private lands and a high impact of research results when the community supports and helps to implement the recommendations. For the community, the rewards are that its concerns are taken into account by researchers, that management actions are more likely to succeed, and the community will gain a better understanding of the findings of the ecological research. While this appears to be a mutually beneficial partnership, there is a conflict. Some researchers do not accept that community knowledge can contribute to scientific endeavour and will not consider incorporating community information into their programs. Thus, a major aspiration of involving the community in biodiversity conservation will not be fulfilled. By the same token, some communities are rejecting the inclusion of scientific research when dealing with conservation problems. The Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), for example, receives massive funding which is, in our opinion, being allocated by the community to the community without any obligation to involve research scientists. This matters because the NHT is by far the biggest pool of funding for a better environment for Australia in the 21st Century. The consequence is that the gap between research scientists and community groups working on biodiversity issues will widen to an unbridgeable gulf unless both parties acknowledge the clash of paradigms and work to overcome them, rather than entrench them.

ANZECC 1998 National Koala Conservation Strategy. Environment Australia, Canberra.
Callaghan, J., Leathley, S. and Lunney, D. 1994 Port Stephens Koala Management Plan. Draft for public discussion. Pp. 1-179. Port Stephens Shire Council and (NSW) NPWS.
Commonwealth of Australia 1996 The National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity. Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra.
Hamilton, C., Lunney, D. and Matthews, A. 2000. An economic evaluation of local government approaches to koala conservation. Australian Journal of Environmental Management 7: 158-69.
Knott, T., Lunney, D., Coburn, D. and Callaghan, J. 1998. An ecological history of koala habitat in Port Stephens shire and lower Hunter on the central coast of New South Wales, 1801-1998. Pacific Conservation Biology 4: 354-68.
Lunney, D. and Matthews, A. 1997. The changing roles of State and Local Government in fauna conservation outside nature reserves: a case study of koalas in New South Wales. Pp. 97-106 in Conservation Outside Nature Reserves, edited by P. Hale and D. Lamb. Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Lunney, D., Moon, C. and Matthews, A. 1996. A 1990 survey of the koala Phascolarctos cinereus population at Iluka in northern New South Wales. Pp. 102-22 in Koalas: Research for Management, edited by G. Gordon. World Koala Research, Brisbane.
Lunney, D., Esson, C., Moon, C., Ellis, M. and Matthews, A. 1997. A community-based survey of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, in the Eden region of southeastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 24: 111-28.
Lunney, D., Phillips, S., Callaghan, J. and Coburn, D. 1998. Determining the distribution of koala habitat across a shire as a basis for conservation: a case study from Port Stephens, New South Wales. Pacific Conservation Biology 4: 186-96.
Lunney, D., Moon, C., Matthews, A. and Turbill, J. 1999 Coffs Harbour City Koala Plan of Management. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Moon, C. and Ferrier, S. 2000. Incorporating habitat mapping into practical koala conservation on private lands. Conservation Biology 14: 669-80.
Lunney, D., Coburn, D., Matthews, A. and Moon, C. 2001. Community perceptions of koala populations and their management in Port Stephens and Coffs Harbour Local Government Areas, New South Wales. Pp. 48-70 in The Research and Management of Non-urban Koala Populations, edited by K. Lyons, A. Melzer, F. Carrick and D. Lamb. Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.
Lunney, D., Matthews, A., Moon, C. and Turbill, J. 2002a. Achieving fauna conservation on private land: reflections on a 10-year project. Ecological Management and Restoration 3: in press.
Lunney, D., O'Neill, L., Matthews, A. and Sherwin, W. B. 2002b. Modelling mammalian extinction and forecasting recovery: koalas at Iluka (NSW, Australia). Biological Conservation 106: 101-13.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 1999 NSW Biodiversity Strategy. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Quarrie, J. (ed.) 1992 Earth Summit ‘92. Regency Press, London.
Reed, P. and Lunney D. 1990. Habitat loss: the key problem for the long-term survival of koalas in NSW. Pp. 9-31 in Koala Summit. Managing Koalas in NSW, edited by D. Lunney, C. A. Urquhart and P. Reed. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal