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Citizen science monitoring programmes are making increasingly important contributions to wildlife conservation, often at spatial and temporal scales unachievable by individual or teams of researchers. They are particularly valuable in estimating population trends and management impacts, and thus informing effective conservation decisions for declining species. The quality and potential biases of citizen science data are of concern, however, and appropriate experimental design and analysis are needed to ensure that the maximum scientific value is extracted. We investigated these issues in a citizen science survey of the Endangered Carnaby's black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris. Since 2010, citizen scientists have conducted synchronized annual counts of Carnaby's black-cockatoo at roost sites to estimate the population trend. Survey effort was substantial, with c. 150 sites surveyed by > 260 volunteers each year. Relatively few sites were occupied, however, and only 42 (16%) of the 265 sites surveyed in total accounted for 95% of all observations. Many sites were empty and survey effort was often inconsistent. Taking these issues into account, analysis showed a statistically significant decline in roost occupancy rate and a non-significant decline in the mean size of roosting flocks, with an estimated overall trend of 14% decline per annum in the number of roosting birds. We highlight three important issues for citizen science monitoring programmes: the need to maintain regular surveys of sample sites to avoid patchy data, use an appropriate model that accounts for variable survey effort, high frequency of zero counts, and sampling site turnover, and incorporate information on site characteristics to help explain variation.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
The woylie Bettongia penicillata is categorized as Critically Endangered, having declined by c. 90% between 1999 and 2006. The decline continues and the cause is not fully understood. Within a decline diagnosis framework we characterized the nature of the decline and identified potential causes, with a focus on the species’ largest populations, located in south-west Western Australia. We described the spatio-temporal pattern of the decline, and several attributes that are common across sites. We categorized the potential causes of the decline as resources, predators, disease and direct human interference. Based on the available evidence the leading hypothesis is that disease may be making woylies more vulnerable to predation but this remains to be tested. No substantial recoveries have been sustained to date, and one of the three remaining indigenous populations now appears to be extinct. Therefore, verifying the factors causing the decline and those limiting recovery is becoming increasingly urgent. Active adaptive management can be used to test putative agents, such as introduced predators. Insurance populations and ecological monitoring should also be included in an integrated conservation and management strategy for the species.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
This article concerns application of cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy to volcanic quartz and its utility in assessing variation in trace quantities of Ti within individual crystals. CL spectroscopy provides useful details of intragrain compositional variability and structure but generally limited quantitative information on element abundances. Microbeam analysis can provide such information but is time-consuming and costly, particularly if large numbers of analyses are required. To maximize advantages of both approaches, natural and synthetic quartz crystals were studied using high-resolution hyperspectral CL imaging (1.2–5.0 eV range) combined with analysis via laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). Spectral intensities can be deconvolved into three principal contributions (1.93, 2.19, and 2.72 eV), for which intensity of the latter peak was found to correlate directly with Ti concentration. Quantitative maps of Ti variation can be produced by calibration of the CL spectral data against relatively few analytical points. Such maps provide useful information concerning intragrain zoning or heterogeneity of Ti contents with the sensitivity of LA-ICPMS analysis and spatial resolution of electron microprobe analysis.
Previous studies have suggested that community self-help in affluent populations revolves around engagement in formal community-based groups, whilst the participatory culture of deprived populations is more orientated towards informal (one-to-one) community participation. Reporting the findings of 861 face-to-face interviews conducted in affluent and deprived urban and rural English communities, and reading participation in community self-help through the lens of a ‘total social organisation of labour’ perspective, this article transcends this dichotomous depiction and provides a finer-grained more multi-layered mapping of the multifarious varieties of community self-help and its socio-spatial variations. The article concludes by exploring the implications for theory, practice and policy.
Luminescence spectra from quantum wells are routinely interpreted in terms of atomically smooth and atomically abrupt interfaces. Here we show that this interpretation is inconsistent with photoluminescence, photoluminescence excitation, and quantitative microscopic (chemical lattice imaging) results. We argue that the discussion of interfacial roughness in terms of “an island size” is too naive. A full characterization of an interface requires the description of a “roughness spectrum”, specifying the amplitude of the interfacial corrugation vs corrugation wavelength over the relevant length scale.