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Our plans for the future and bilby distribution

Happy New Year everyone!

2017 was a quiet year for Proteus in some regards, with Darryl spending a good portion of the year (more than he expected) adding the finishing touches to his book, Occupancy Estimation and Modeling. It was also the year when we decided to work towards expanding the business, looking to build an international network of like-minded individuals with the aim to help people learn about, and manage, ecosystems and wildlife populations through statistics. Part of that vision is to develop a team of younger statisticians and quantitative ecologists to assist with projects that may be located anyway around the world. 2018 is sure to be an exciting year, a year of challenges and tribulations, as we move to turn that vision into a reality. A first step in that process is getting involved with more projects so drop us a line if you are in need of some assistance. We'll be sure to keep you posted on our progress.

The Christmas and New Year period is the traditional summer vacation period for many New Zealanders, and as such there has been little recent project work for us to discuss with you. A notable milestone was achieved during this period, with Darryl returning to waterskiing (pictured) after fully rupturing his hamstring (i.e., torn completely off the bone) waterskiing 2 years ago!

However just before Christmas we helped staff from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions investigate the distribution of greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) in the La Grange region of Western Australia, using occupancy analyses. Greater bilby are a marsupial species of conservation concern due to their declining abundance and range, with some of their main threats being habitat loss and interactions with introduced species. Local aboriginal ranger groups conducted sign surveys at over 400 sites for bilby, also recording the presence of other species and information on the habitat at each site. We conducted analyses to look at how the presence of other species and local habitat affected bilby occupancy. Once the report is finalised we'll be sure to share the results with you.

Presently we are developing a new short course, in association with Joanne Potts from The Analytic Edge Statistical Consulting. Introduction to Population Estimation and Modelling is intended for the beginner- and intermediate-level researcher who is wanting a broad overview of available methods for estimating and modelling ecological populations, with an emphasis on abundance-based measures. We will be running the course for the first time in Perth, Australia, in February, but intend to offer it elsewhere in the future. As always, we are willing to travel anywhere in the world to conduct course so let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting such a course.

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