Tagged: Biodiversity

Back to the Future in Northland: Fossils illuminate a flight path towards ecosystem restoration - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Apr 18, 2018

Ground control to Major Tom: The otherworldly Herangi Hill at Motu i Pao/Cape Maria van Dieman where Fred found the ancient Moho skull. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carol. In the pouring rain, surrounded by flowing sand lava and cascading lahars, Fred Brook gingerly walks towards Matt Rayner and me. He’s sliding across a steep sand dune, his hands carefully … Read More

The northern white rhino should not be brought back to life - Guest Work

Guest Work Apr 11, 2018

Jason Gilchrist, Edinburgh Napier University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. A geriatric semi-captive rhino died in Kenya recently. “Sudan”, a 45-year-old northern white rhino was put to sleep as vets decided, after months of ill health, that his condition had deteriorated to the point where the levels of … Read More

We surveyed Borneo’s orangutans and found 100,000 had ‘disappeared’ - Guest Work

Guest Work Mar 19, 2018

Maria Voigt, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research; Erik Meijaard, Australian National University, and Serge Wich, Liverpool John Moores University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. “The Big House”, home to the University of Michigan’s American football team, is one of the world’s largest stadiums. Here’s … Read More

Through the looking glass: Fossils reveal a Miocene Wonderland at St Bathans - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 19, 2018

It’s the height of the Central Otago summer – barren, dry and dusty. Driving down the gravel road to St Bathans, we’re travelling back in time, down the rabbit hole to a world long gone. Only ghosts remain of this lost world and that’s what we’ve come here to find. The fossilised bones of a myriad of animals dating back … Read More

Predator Free by 2050 – a reputational risk to conservation - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Mar 16, 2018

I am suspicious when government conservation policy is promoted as a religious war against animals, like Predator-Free 2050 has been (see last month’s post). Instead, why isn’t the rational case for our support being made? I suspect that the religious and war-like language is indicative of flaws in the policy or its implementation (see my last post) In this post, … Read More

A tale of two penguins: Bice and Rosie - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 05, 2018

New Zealand has long been considered the cradle of penguin evolution. But two new fossil discoveries, affectionately known as Bice’s, (pronounced Bee-chee’s), and Rosie’s Penguins, are rewriting early penguin evolution and have taken the world by storm. Move aside Penguins of Madagascar; there are some new and cool kids on the block! But how did we get to this … Read More

Reply to the Threatened Species Ambassador - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Feb 21, 2018

In a recent article in The Spinoff, the Department of Conservation’s Threatened Species Ambassador Nicola Toki makes three arguments. First, that native species and introduced predators in New Zealand cannot co-exist. Second, that conservation should be undertaken not only in sanctuaries, but also on private land. And third, that it is the indigenous subset of our biodiversity that fundamentally … Read More

Predator Free 2050 – more like a religious war than science-based conservation policy - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Jan 29, 2018

One of the leaders of the Predator-Free movement, Sir Rob Fenwick (Chair of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust and a Director of Predator-Free 2050), described Predator-Free 2050 as a “project born in a leap of faith” (Dominion Post). He appears to think the predator-free goal is more like a religion than a science-based conservation project. And, his religion is … Read More

Traditional Chinese medicine: Eye of newt and toe of frog - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Dec 09, 2017

‘Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble’ chant the three witches in the cavern, lightening flashing outside, in Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s images like these, conjured up by the great bard himself, that I associate with traditional Chinese medicines and herbal remedies. The implied promise that if I take this concoction, my health … Read More

Sludge, snags, and surreal animals: life aboard a voyage to study the abyss - Guest Work

Guest Work Jun 26, 2017

By Tim O’Hara, Museum Victoria Over the past five weeks I led a “voyage of discovery”. That sounds rather pretentious in the 21st century, but it’s still true. My team, aboard the CSIRO managed research vessel, the Investigator, has mapped and sampled an area of the planet that has never been surveyed before. The RV … Read More