- Wayne Linklater

Dr Wayne Linklater is Professor and Chair of Department of Environmental Studies in the College of Social Science and Inter-disciplinary Studies at California State University in Sacramento. His research and teaching focus on human-dimensions ecology, wildlife biology, conservation and management, and considers the roles of science in society. He worked for 15 years in New Zealand and for 8 years in southern Africa before now.

Conservation, Zoos and Elephant - Politecol

Dec 11, 2012

  Elephant in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. Photo credit: Chris Kelly. Frighteningly, resurgent ivory demand threatens elephant with extinction over large areas of their range. It is a world-war for wildlife on a massive scale. Governments, conservation agencies and private landowners are mobilised across Africa and Asia spending enormous amounts of money to protect elephant. I hope they win the war so that our children can live in a world with big, magnificent animals. Meanwhile, in New Zealand… Auckland Zoo is hoping to import two elephants at a cost of about $3.2 million. Franklin Zoo is trying to raise $1.45 million to send an ex-circus elephant which recently killed its keeper to a sanctuary in the USA. Hamilton’s Gully Restoration Program … Read More

Pesky varmints - Politecol

Dec 04, 2012

Pesky varmints – not a cartoon, not a dream, but a real-life nightmare in New Zealand. “Did you know New Zealand has a pest problem?” New Zealand is waking up from a nightmare to discover it is real. At least 2788 New Zealand species are threatened with extinction. Our iconic native species and their habitats are in trouble because they are being eaten by introduced pests. Cats, rats, possums, stoats and several others are a leading reason why New Zealand has one of the world’s worst records of native species extinction. We should displace our nightmare with a dream. It is fun to dream and share our dreams. Our Department of Conservation (DoC) is dreaming… “By 2050, an environment where small mammal pests are no longer a threat to the security … Read More

Reflecting on ‘Happy-feet’ and wildlife rehabilitation - Politecol

Dec 01, 2012

It is a magnificent feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie when we rescue, rehabilitate (rehab) and release a wild animal back to its home – the culmination of a considerable emotional, community, and scientific (largely veterinary) investment. Many of us not involved admire the people who rescue and rehab wild animals. We assume that wildlife rehab is as good for wildlife as our feelings about it and the people involved. It is certain that sometimes it is – but not always. Experts debate the evidence for how often wildlife rehab is good and under what circumstances it is the right thing to do. Some suspect wildlife rehab is only rarely useful. Others devote their careers to it. When researchers from Deakin University asked 134 bird experts from … Read More

The Greening of National: just add Gold - Politecol

Nov 27, 2012

Perhaps your Grandmother, like mine upon seeing my striped shirt, advised that “blue and green shouldn’t be seen, without a colour in between”. Fashion though, like the economy and its politics, is never constant – they are always reinventing themselves. Those clashing stripes have ‘gone out’ again but I think blue-green is set to become fashionable in the economies and politics of Aotearoa. Conservation is portrayed in opposition to economic growth, and even freedoms and fairness that are central to our aspirations as communities [1] – especially our small communities whose economies were based on logging and mining forests. Increasingly, however, the protected landscape and its forests, lakes, rivers and wetlands are described by the services they provide to the same communities. Read More

Learning from US patent trends – innovation and synthesis in Aotearoa - Politecol

Nov 23, 2012

Innovating is hard and getting harder. You and I, apparently unlike any one before us, are ‘burdened by knowledge’. It is becoming more difficult to be novel – at least alone and early in life. The burden of knowledge –Intellectually deeper, conceptually wider First-time innovators are older, required to be more specialised, and therefore, more likely to lodge a patent as a team. Benjamin Jones at Northwestern University IL, USA (now Kellogg School of Management) analysed 2.9 million patents issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office to reveal these trends and, what he described as, the ‘death of the renaissance man1. Jones suggests the trends are a consequence of our facing a greater educational burden that delays innovation and drives specialisation to impair the capacity of individuals to innovate. Knowledge today is intellectually … Read More