Tagged: Biodiversity

UN report says up to 850,000 animal viruses could be caught by humans, unless we protect nature - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 01, 2020

Katie Woolaston, Queensland University of Technology and Judith Lorraine Fisher Human damage to biodiversity is leading us into a pandemic era. The virus that causes COVID-19, for example, is linked to similar viruses in bats, which may have been passed to humans via pangolins or another species. Environmental destruction such as land clearing, deforestation, climate change, intense agriculture and the … Read More

‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should protect them - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 09, 2020

Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the views of some conservation scientists and managers who believe … Read More

The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 08, 2020

Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And as someone who experienced all 20,000 (and counting) Christchurch earthquakes, … Read More

Dissecting the Insect Apocalypse - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 09, 2019

Tom Saunders Studies on insect declines published over the last few years have thrown up some scary headlines. “The insect apocalypse is here” proclaims the New York Times, warning the pace of insect declines could spell catastrophe within decades. It’s a grim picture, but how accurate is it? In late 2017, European scientists reported a 75% decline in insects over the last … Read More

Biodiversity: Do non-native species count? - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Feb 04, 2019

Should non-native species classify as a kind of biodiversity?  The answer, one would think, is straightforward and should be uncontroversial. We need look only to the international Convention on Biological Diversity to find it. And the definition there is clear: biological diversity (or ‘biodiversity’) is defined as: ‘the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, … Read More

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Concluding thoughts - So Shoot Me

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

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 9 – We have to do it - So Shoot Me

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

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

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

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 3 – It’s a war! - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Dec 16, 2018

We often frame our relationship with introduced species in New Zealand this way – as a war, a fight, a battle. And there are plenty of examples of it, most recently in the Department of Conservation’s ‘War on Weeds’ or its ‘Battle for our Birds’. War metaphors feature prominently in both popular and scientific literatures in New … Read More

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 2 – Natives define us - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Dec 15, 2018

‘It’s hard to swallow giving up ur Godzone…’  (Feedback on Kim Hill interview). We have this idea in NZ that our national identity, at least when it comes to wildlife, is defined almost solely by our native species. Sure, we accept cows and kiwifruit and so on when in farmed or horticultural settings, but with the notable exception of … Read More