This work provides an overview of the distribution, current conservation status and biology of four species of sun-moths (Synemon spp. Lepidoptera: Castniidae) that are known to occur in the Mallee region of north-western Victoria. As it is apparent that three of these species are currently threatened, the possible reasons for this situation are briefly discussed. Some broad recommendations are also made for the conservation and management of these threatened species.
Urban expansion is a principal process threatening biodiversity globally. It is predicted that over half of the world's population will reside in urban centres by 2010. If we are to conserve biodiversity, a shift in perspective from traditional ecological studies based in natural environments, to studies based in less natural environments is paramount. To effectively conserve species which occur in urban environments, comprehensive analysis is necessary to determine the processes that are driving this urban usage. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology provides a valuable tool for efficient spatial analysis and predictive mapping of species distributions. This study used GIS to analyze current breeding sites for the powerful owl, a vulnerable top order predator in urban Melbourne, Australia. GIS analysis suggests that a number of ecological attributes were influencing powerful owl usage of urban environments. Using these ecological attributes, predictive mapping was undertaken, which identified a number of potential breeding sites for powerful owls within urbanized Melbourne. Urban environments are traditionally perceived as “the wastelands” of natural environments, however, this study demonstrates that they have the potential to support apex predators, an important finding for the management of rare and threatened species.