SciBlogs

The value of our environment – learning from Proctor & Gamble - Wayne Linklater Apr 08

New Zealand! The 100% purity and beauty of our freshwaters is an international inspiration… … for dishwashing liquid. Dawn Ultra, New Zealand Springs Dishwashing liquid is an environmental hazard. It adds phosphorous to the environment [1], causes river and lake eutrophication, and contributes to toxic and unsightly algal blooms. The Environmental Working Group lists Dawn Ultra, [...]

Fat, well-fed cats kill too… and they do it for fun - Wayne Linklater Mar 05

On our way down to the local corner store for the Saturday morning paper my 5- and 1-year-old daughters and I meet a feline ritual. At the front gate of a home half-way down, every day without fail stands a generously fed black moggy with white socks and nose, long hair, and an inviting purr. [...]

Killing to save, saving to kill – hunting rhino - Wayne Linklater Jan 27

Resurgent killing for horn that is then traded on the international black market for thousands of dollars a gram threatens to undo two decades of progress recovering the black rhinoceros from near extinction. Countries are mobilising and people are dying protecting rhino from international crime syndicates that out manoeuvre and out gun them. Do not underestimate [...]

Annihilate, really? – show me the evidence - Wayne Linklater Dec 18

The nation missed an important opportunity at Raglan. If cats have been removed from the Raglan community then, had we the time beforehand to prepare, we could have tested whether cats were a beneficial urban predator, as claimed here and here. We could have measured the movements and survival of other native and exotic wildlife, like [...]

Cats can’t kill it, if it is not there - Wayne Linklater Dec 13

For cats to be a “beneficial urban predator” they must largely kill the exotic predators and competitors of native animals. Dr. John Flux believes his 17-year record of the prey one cat brought to him [1] proves that cats are good for native wildlife in cities. His belief featured prominently in the media to have [...]

There is always more than one cat - Wayne Linklater Dec 07

Cats might be a “beneficial urban predator” according to Dr. John Flux and his conclusion featured prominently in the media to have a major influence on the public debate about cats and native wildlife. But Dr. Flux’s conclusion has relied heavily for evidence from just one cat [1]. There are five reasons why what John’s cat [...]

Presence of native species, not evidence all is hunky-dory - Wayne Linklater Nov 26

Cats might be a “beneficial urban predator” according to Dr. John Flux. His conclusion and its representation in media, however, has relied heavily on the 17-year record of prey John’s cat, Peng You, brought to him. But there are five reasons why John’s record cannot be used to conclude that cats are a beneficial urban [...]

Dr. Flux’s cat misleads us - Wayne Linklater Nov 18

Cats are a “beneficial urban predator” according to Dr. John Flux and his conclusion featured prominently in the media to have a major influence on the public debate about cats and native wildlife. What John describes is possible but the evidence is scant. John’s conclusion and its representation in media has relied heavily on the [...]

Dr. Flux’s cat and science communication - Wayne Linklater Nov 12

In the heat of public debate about cats and their impact on native wildlife, what scientific evidence did the media most use to inform? Mostly they used Dr. John Flux’s article [1] about one cat published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology in 2007. Dr. John Flux’s 17-year record of what his cat, Peng [...]

Academic profiling – unwise, unfair, unethical, but common? - Wayne Linklater Oct 29

University rankings can be useful. They can also be used inappropriately to discriminate inaccurately and unjustly. To students making enrolment decisions, or governments deciding how to invest in institutions, a university’s rank represents the relative and average quality of its measured parts – staff or student achievement, research output and influence, teaching quality, or resources. [...]

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