So Shoot Me

The plague skink: Science or scaremongering?

Jamie Steer Jan 22, 2019

Introduced species can cause significant changes in their receiving environments. For any new species, a wide range of effects can be contemplated – both positive and negative. In the absence of evidence, caution is surely needed. Introduced by accident in the mid-1960s, ‘plague skinks’ (Lampropholis delicata) have been known for all but about the last eight years as ‘rainbow … Read More

Predator Free 2050: What are the target species?

Jamie Steer Jan 14, 2019

Answer: It’s not clear. Ambiguity over target species is counterproductive, both to the goal itself, and to the public’s ability to understand and monitor progress towards it. On 26 July 2016 the then National Government announced a plan to eradicate all of New Zealand’s rats, stoats and possums by 2050. The decision – including the species to be … Read More

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From Restoration to Reconciliation: Concluding thoughts

Jamie Steer Dec 24, 2018

I wanted to end now on a couple of final reflections and thoughts. First, I implore you as the next generation of ecologists to think critically about the assumptions of your disciplines. Don’t just blindly swallow the positions of your older colleagues, including me (OK, not so much me…). Restoration Ecology, in particular, was developed and propagated mostly by … Read More

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From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 10 – Winners never quit

Jamie Steer Dec 23, 2018

Some final comments from my interview with Kim Hill:  ‘It’s a very defeatist way of looking at things, and I don’t buy it!’ ‘Please make him stop! He’s such a defeatist!’ ‘So, the answer is don’t care? Do whatever?!’  A lot of people who advocate for novel ecosystems and new approaches in ecology and our understandings of nature … Read More

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From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 9 – We have to do it

Jamie Steer Dec 22, 2018

This is this idea that we either do this or something that we love dies – what might be referred to as ‘conservation at the barrel of a gun’. Here’s another collection of quotes from the feedback to Kim Hill again – the last one most notably being from one of New Zealand’s foremost conservation biologists: ‘By accepting many introduced … Read More

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From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 8 – Our ecosystems are going to collapse

Jamie Steer Dec 21, 2018

Here are more comments from my interview with Kim Hill: ‘…each species we lose puts the entire ecosystem at risk of collapse’  ‘Without the species that are adapted to these native environments a whole ecosystem will eventually collapse’ Some people say that our ecosystems are going to collapse under the weight of introductions, that our ecosystems are essentially going … Read More

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 7 – We’re going to end up with a monoculture

Jamie Steer Dec 20, 2018

Here are more comments from my interview with Kim Hill: ‘…we do not have to accept a future that sees our ecosystems as homogeneous with everything else, comprised of international tramp species and the few natives that can persist with them’ ‘…there’s a tonne of [introduced] plants out there that if we let go they’ll change landscapes and there’ll be … Read More

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From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 5 – Keep going we’re almost there

Jamie Steer Dec 18, 2018

We still very often retain this belief that we can put the bits of our fallen humpty dumpty back together again; that we can restore what we’ve lost. Nature, in this respect, is still often presented as this relatively static puzzle that is waiting for us to make it whole again. Unfortunately what the science of the last 30 … Read More

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