Gilad Bino

Dr Gilad Bino

Research interests

My research is focused on understanding the underlying processes shaping biodiversity at multiple spatial and temporal scales. I am passionate about the application of ecological research and developing a robust scientific basis for conservation. Over the years, I have been intensively involved in ecological research including both monitoring and developing complex ecological models.

As part of an ARC research project, the Platypus Conservation Initiative, I'm investigating platypus population dynamics, movements, health, and genetics to assess the impacts of river regulation on the species. I'm using collated information to develop a national risk assessment for the platypus and identify best conservation practices to safeguard the platypus from a human-driven extinction.


I'm also researching freshwater ecosystems to promote better conservation practiceis through the use of ecological models including establishing quantitative environmental objectives, identifying thresholds of probable concern, and wetland prioritisation for waterbirds across the Murray Darling Basin.

I am always looking for new and exciting collaborations! so please contact me.



Refereed journal articles

  1. Bino, G., Kingsford, R. T., & Brandis, K. (2016). Australia's wetlands–learning from the past to manage for the future. Pacific Conservation Biology, 22(2), 116-129.
  2. Roque, F. O., Ochoa‐Quintero, J., Ribeiro, D. B., Sugai, L. S., Costa‐Pereira, R., Lourival, R., & Bino, G. (2016). Upland habitat loss as a threat to Pantanal wetlands. Conservation Biology.
  3. Kapota, D., Dolev, A., Bino, G., Yosha, D., Guter, A., King, R., & Saltz, D. (2016). Determinants of emigration and their impact on survival during dispersal in fox and jackal populations. Scientific reports, 6.
  4. Bino G, Kingsford RT, Porter J (2015) Prioritizing Wetlands for Waterbirds in a Boom and Bust System: Waterbird Refugia and Breeding in the Murray-Darling Basin. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132682. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132682
  5. Kingsford, R., Mac Nally, R., King, A., Walker, K., Bino, G., Thompson, R., Wassens, S., and Humphries, P. (2015) A commentary on â Long-term ecological trends of flow-dependent ecosystems in a major regulated river basinâ by Mathew J. Colloff, Peter Caley, Neil Saintilan, Carmel A. Pollino and Neville D. Crossman. Marine and Freshwater Research.
  6. Bino, G., S. A. Sisson, R.T. Kingsford, R. F. Thomas, S. Bowen (2015) Developing state and transition models of floodplain vegetation dynamics as a tool for conservation decision-making: a case study of the Macquarie Marshes Ramsar wetland. Journal of Applied Ecology.    In press DOI:10.1111/1365-2664.12410
  7. Catelotti, K., R.T. Kingsford, G. Bino, and P. Bacon (2015) Inundation requirements for persistence and recovery of river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in semi-arid Australia. Biological Conservation. 185: 346-356
  8. Bino, G. , C. Steinfeld, R.T., Kingsford. (2014) Maximizing colonial waterbirds’ breeding events using identified ecological thresholds and environmental flow management. Ecological Applications. 24: 142-157.
  9. Bino, G., D. Ramp, R.T. Kingsford. (2013) Niche evolution in Australian terrestrial mammals? Clarifying scale-dependencies in phylogenetic and functional drivers of communities. Evolutionary Ecology, 27:1159-1173.
  10. Bino, G., D. Ramp, R.T. Kingsford. (2012) Improving bioregional frameworks for conservation by including mammal distributions. Austral Ecology, 38:393-404.
  11. Bino, G., D. Ramp and R.T. Kingsford. (2014) Identifying minimal sets of survey techniques for multi-species monitoring across landscapes: An approach utilising species distribution models. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 28: 1674-1708.
  12. Roger, E., G. Bino., D. Ramp. (2012). Linking habitat suitability and road mortalities across geographic ranges. Landscape Ecology, 27:1167-1181.
  13. Bino, G., A. Dolev, D. Yosha, A. Guter, R. King, D. Saltz, S. Kark. (2010). Abrupt spatial and numerical responses of overabundant foxes to a reduction in anthropogenic resources. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47:1262-1271.
  14. Lanszki, J., G. Giannatos, A. Dolev, G. Bino, M. Heltai. (2010). Late autumn trophic flexibility of the golden jackal (Canis aureus). Acta Theriologica, 55:361-370.
  15. Bino, G., N. Levin, S. Darawshi, N. Van Der Hal, A. Reich-Solomon, S. Kark. (2008). Accurate prediction of bird species richness patterns in an urban environment using Landsat-derived NDVI and spectral unmixing. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29:3675-3700.

Scholarly book chapters

  1. Bino, G., K. Jenkins, and R. T., Kingsford. (2014) Climate adaptation and adaptive management planning for the Macquarie Marshes – A wetland of international importance. In: Palutikof J.P., Boulter S.L., Barnett J. and Rissik D. (eds), Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation. p 95-106. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford.



Author Date Title Link PDF
Bino et al. 2018 Floodplain ecosystem dynamics under extreme dry and wet phases in semi‐arid Australia


1. Ecological networks are a cornerstone of ecological theory, offering an integrated approach to understanding food webs and ecosystem dynamics required for restoration and conservation ecology.

2. We investigated ecological network dynamics in a large floodplain undergoing extreme variation in water availability, with drought and subsequent flooding representing a resource pulse. We used structural equation models to quantify ecological network dynamics for the Lowbidgee floodplain (Australia), based on surveys over 5 years while the floodplain transitioned from extremely dry (2009, 2010) to wet (2011) and post‐wet (2013, 2014) conditions.

3. We identified significant associations of species and trophic guilds with inundation at the site and floodplain scale, which allowed us to quantify the strength of biotic interactions within the network and the stability of interactions under differing patterns of resource availability. At the floodplain scale, most taxa responded strongly in distribution and abundance to the 2011 resource pulse, a widespread flood, but this response did not persist during subsequent years of moderate floods. In contrast, fish species, both native and exotic, responded strongly only in the post‐wet period. At the fine spatial scale (i.e., sites), complex responses were observed, with only waterbirds, frogs and tadpoles positively associated with inundation, while fish species showed a range of associations with fine‐scale inundation. Biotic interactions within sites, across all trophic guilds, were predominately overridden by inundation and water temperature, mediated by strong associations with aquatic vegetation.

4. Stratifying the ecological network to dry, wet and post‐wet periods highlighted varying associations of taxa with fine‐scale inundation, generally responding synchronously to resource pulses, with relatively weak biotic interactions. Associations with site‐scale inundation were strongest during the post‐wet period for fishes and frogs. Only Litoria spp. (Hylidae) tadpoles, waterbirds and aquatic vegetation had positive associations with site‐scale inundation during the dry period.

5. We conclude that responses of trophic guilds are largely dependent on the way they interact with their environment at particular spatial and temporal scales. Our investigation of this ecological network reinforced the importance of hydrological drivers over biotic interactions, with clear implications for the management of environmental flows, particularly in systems recovering from long‐term flow alteration. Management efforts should focus environmental flows to promote specialist species (e.g., southern bell frog, Litoria raniformis) and Murray hardyhead (Craterocephalus fluviatilis: Atherinidae), waterbirds and aquatic vegetation over the more generalist fish species that have established because of the loss of the natural flow regime.

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Bino et al. 2018 Use of implanted acoustic tags to assess platypus movement behaviour across spatial and temporal scales

Abstract: The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an evolutionarily distinct mammal, endemic to Australian freshwaters. Many aspects of its ecology and life-history, including detailed understanding of movements, are poorly known, hampered by its cryptic and mainly nocturnal habits and small numbers. We effectively trialled intraperitoneal implanted acoustic transmitters in nine platypuses in the Severn River (NSW), Australia, as a potential approach for studying movements in this challenging species. We tracked platypus movements over six months, at fine and broad spatial scales, using an array of acoustic sensors. Over six months (March-August 2016), four of five adult platypuses (two females\three males) maintained localized movements (average monthly maximums 0.37 km ± 0.03 sd), while one adult, one sub-adult, and one juvenile (males) moved further: average monthly maxima 1.2 km ± 2.0 sd, 0.9 km ± 0.6 sd, 4.5 km ± 5.9 sd, respectively. The longest recorded movement was by a male adult, covering 11.1 km in three days and travelling a maximum distance of about 13 km between records. Only one implanted animal was not detected immediately after release, indicative of transmission failure rather than an adverse event. High cumulative daily movements (daily 1.9 km ± 0.8 sd) indicated high metabolic requirements, with implications for previous estimates of platypus abundances and carrying capacities, essential for effective conservation. This novel approach offers new avenues to investigate relating to mating, nesting, and intraspecific competition behaviours and their temporal and spatial variation.

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Brandis et al. 2018 Decline in colonial waterbird breeding highlights loss of Ramsar wetland function


Water resource development on rivers significantly affects life cycles of species reliant on wetlands. However, assessing ecological impacts is often difficult because they are realised over long-time periods and large spatial scales, particularly on highly variable dryland rivers. Thirty percent of all Ramsar wetlands are in drylands. We examined the effects of diversions of water upstream on colonial waterbird breeding at the Narran Lakes, supplied by a highly variable dryland river. Narran Lakes is an important Ramsar-listed wetland in Australia for its provision of habitat for wetland fauna during key life history stages, including colonially breeding waterbirds. We use historical ibis breeding data over five decades (1970–2016) to determine the flow requirements for colonial waterbird breeding and modelled the impacts of water resource management options (current and restoration) on breeding. We identified thresholds (> 154,000 ML in 90 days with a secondary threshold of > 20,000 ML in the first 10 days) of river flow volume necessary to stimulate breeding. Water resource development reduced the frequency of large flows resulting in ibis breeding by 170%, from 1 in 4.2 years to 1 in 11.4 years. Restoration efforts by government to recover water for the environment was predicted to improve colonial waterbird breeding frequency associated with large flow events to 1 in 6.71 years, representing a 59% reduction from pre-development periods. Our framework has global application as a method for identifying long-term impacts of water resource development on key Ramsar wetland areas. This is important, as few mechanisms exist for assessing impacts and identifying restoration options on the listed criteria for many Ramsar wetlands.

Link to paper:!

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Kingsford et al. 2017 Continental impacts of water development on waterbirds, contrasting two Australian river basins: Global implications for sustainable water use


The world’s freshwater biotas are declining in diversity, range and abundance, morethan in other realms, with human appropriation of water. Despite considerable dataon the distribution of dams and their hydrological effects on river systems, there arefew expansive and long analyses of impacts on freshwater biota. We investigatedtrends in waterbird communities over 32 years, (1983–2014), at three spatial scales intwo similarly sized large river basins, with contrasting levels of water resource devel-opment, representing almost a third (29%) of Australia: the Murray–Darling Basin andthe Lake Eyre Basin. The Murray–Darling Basin is Australia’s most developed riverbasin (240 dams storing 29,893 GL) while the Lake Eyre Basin is one of the less devel-oped basins (1 dam storing 14 GL). We compared the long-term responses of water-bird communities in the two river basins at river basin, catchment and major wetlandscales. Waterbird abundances were strongly related to river flows and rainfall. For thedeveloped Murray–Darling Basin, we identified significant long-term declines in totalabundances, functional response groups (e.g., piscivores) and individual species ofwaterbird (n = 50), associated with reductions in cumulative annual flow. These trendsindicated ecosystem level changes. Contrastingly, we found no evidence of waterbirddeclines in the undeveloped Lake Eyre Basin. We also modelled the effects of the Aus-tralian Government buying up water rights and returning these to the riverine environ-ment, at a substantial cost (>3.1 AUD billion) which were projected to partly (18%improvement) restore waterbird abundances, but projected climate change effectscould reduce these benefits considerably to only a 1% or 4% improvement, withrespective annual recovery of environmental flows of 2,800 GL or 3,200 GL. Ourunique large temporal and spatial scale analyses demonstrated severe long-term eco-logical impact of water resource development on prominent freshwater animals, withimplications for global management of water resources.

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Catelotti et al. 2015 Inundation Requirements for Persistence and Recovery of River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Semi-arid Australia

The building of dams and diversion from rivers has had a major impact on the wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin. The Macquarie Marshes is one of the better studied of these wetlands. It is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, one which the Australian Government has formally notified the Ramsar Bureau of likely ecological change in character, predominantly because of the impacts of water resource development. To read the publication click here

Bino et al. 2015 Developing State and Transition Models of Floodplain Vegetation Dynamics as a Tool for Conservation Decision-making: a Case Study of the Macquarie Marshes Ramsar Wetland

Freshwater ecosystems provide a range of critical services including clean water, food, power as well as recreational and tourism. Although covering only a fraction of the earth’s surface (0.8%), freshwater ecosystems harbour a considerable proportion of biodiversity worldwide. They are also among the more vulnerable, degrading in quality and extent at disturbing rates. Australia’s freshwater ecosystems are no exception. Degradation has predominately been driven by increasing freshwater demand and construction of dams, diminishing and altering the flow of water. To read the publication click here

Bino et al. 2015 Prioritizing Wetlands for Waterbirds in a Boom and Bust System: Waterbird Refugia and Breeding in the Murray-Darling Basin

A systematic prioritisation of wetlands for waterbirds, across about 13.5% of the Murray-Darling Basin, using a 30-year record of systematic aerial surveys of waterbird populations.

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Kingsford et al. 2015 A commentary on ‘Long-term ecological trends of flow-dependent ecosystems in a major regulated river basin’, by Colloff et al.

Colloff et al. in Marine and Freshwater Research ( examined time-series data for flow-dependent vegetation, invertebrates, fish, frogs, reptiles and waterbirds in the Murray–Darling Basin, 1905–2013. They concluded that temporal patterns fluctuated, declining during droughts and recovering after floods. They suggested that major changes in land use in the late 19th century permanently modified these freshwater ecosystems, irretrievably degrading them before major water diversions. Restoring water to the environment might then be interpreted as not addressing biotic declines. We argue that their conclusions are inadequately supported, although data quality remains patchy and they neglected the influence of hydrology and the timing and extent of water resource development. We are critical of the lack of adequate model specification and the omission of statistical power analyses. We show that declines of native flow-dependent flora and fauna have continued through the 20th and early 21st centuries, in response to multiple factors, including long-term changes in flow regimes. We argue that flow-regime changes have been critical, but not in isolation. So, returning water to the environment is a prerequisite for sustained recovery but governments need to improve monitoring and analyses to adequately determine effectiveness of management of the rivers and wetlands of the Murray–Darling Basin.

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Bino et al. 2015 Life history and dynamics of a platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) population: four decades of mark-recapture surveys

Knowledge of the life-history and population dynamics of Australia’s iconic and evolutionarily distinct platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) remains poor. We marked-recaptured 812 unique platypuses (total 1,622 captures), over four decades (1973–2014) in the Shoalhaven River, Australia. Strong sex-age differences were observed in life-history, including morphology and longevity. Apparent survival of adult females (Φ = 0.76) were higher than adult males (Φ = 0.57), as in juveniles: females Φ = 0.27, males Φ = 0.13. Females were highly likely to remain in the same pool (adult: P = 0.85, juvenile: P = 0.88), while residency rates were lower for males (adult: P = 0.74, juvenile: P = 0.46). We combined survival, movement and life-histories to develop population viability models and test the impact of a range of life-history parameters. While using estimated apparent survival produced unviable populations (mean population growth rate r = −0.23, extinction within 20 years), considering residency rates to adjust survival estimates, indicated more stable populations (r = 0.004, p = 0.04 of 100-year extinction). Further sensitivity analyses highlighted adult female survival and overall success of dispersal as most affecting viability. Findings provide robust life-history and viability estimates for a difficult study species. These could support developing large-scale population dynamics models required to underpin a much needed national risk assessment for the platypus, already declining in parts of its current distribution.


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Bino et al. 2014 Maximizing colonial waterbirds' breeding events using identified ecological thresholds and environmental flow management

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Bino et al. 2014 Identifying minimal sets of survey techniques for multi-species monitoring across landscapes: An approach utilising species distribution models

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Bino et al. 2013 Improving bioregional frameworks for conservation by including mammal distributions

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Bino et al. 2013 Adaptive management of Ramsar wetlands View PDF
Kingsford et al. 2013 Waterbird communities in the Murray-Darling Basin, 1983-2012 View PDF
Bino et al. 2013 Niche evolution in Australian terrestrial mammals? Clarifying scale-dependencies in phylogenetic and functional drivers of co-occurrence

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Bino 2012 Using atlas data for large scale conservation strategies: a case study of NSW’s mammals

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Roger et al. 2012 Linking habitat suitability and road mortalities across geographic ranges

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