Tagged: conservation

The options for Hector’s and Māui dolphins - Making Waves

Otago Marine Science Sep 01, 2019

Professor Liz Slooten and Professor Steve Dawson, University of Otago The recently released Threat Management Plan for Hector’s and Maui dolphins presents government’s proposals for better protection from entanglement in fishing nets and other threats. Better options than any in the Threat Management Plan have been recommended by New Zealand and international experts. Worse options have been proposed by … Read More

Genomics, genetic persistence and the hihi - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Aug 20, 2019

Dr Anna Santure, University of Auckland How important is genetic diversity to species persistence? This is a question we’ve been puzzling over in New Zealand, and worldwide, for some decades. It has been difficult to address using ‘traditional’ approaches to determine genetic diversity, which sample just a handful of positions in the genome. However, in recent years, with much lower … Read More

New Zealand’s environmental parable for a world crisis - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 19, 2019

Brian Gill The fate of rats on a tiny New Zealand island is a story to retell as the world’s experiment with unlimited growth of human numbers threatens ruin. The world has too many people. As if more than 7,260 million souls are not enough, the population is in the dreaded phase of exponential growth, rocketing uncontrolled and uncontrollably to … Read More

Dolphin researchers say NZ’s proposed protection plan is flawed and misleading - Making Waves

Otago Marine Science Jul 01, 2019

Elisabeth Slooten and Steve Dawson The New Zealand government recently proposed a plan to manage what it considers to be threats to Hector’s dolphins, an endemic species found only in coastal waters. This includes the North Island subspecies Māui dolphin. Māui dolphins are critically endangered and Hector’s dolphins are endangered. With only an estimated 57 Māui dolphins left, … Read More

How endangered are New Zealand dolphins and sea lions? - Making Waves

Otago Marine Science Jun 05, 2019

Professor Steve Dawson, Professor Liz Slooten, Associate Professor Bruce Robertson The Department of Conservation (DOC) has downgraded the threat status of the New Zealand sea lion and New Zealand (Hector’s) dolphin. NZ sea lion has changed from “Nationally Critical” (the same category as the kākāpō) to “Nationally Vulnerable” based on “actual improvement”. The problem is, the available data do … Read More

Taxonomy for Sale to the Highest Bidder - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 15, 2019

Shaena Montanari Last December, the environmental group Rainforest Trust celebrated its 30th anniversary by auctioning off the rights to name 12 newly discovered species, including orchids, frogs, and an ant. The Virginia-based nonprofit group claimed the auction raised $182,500 for its conservation programs. The most valuable animal turned out to be a wormlike amphibian from Panama, which … Read More

Island focus to reduce extinction - News

Guest Author Apr 04, 2019

Erin Maessen Focusing conservation efforts on 169 islands, including five in New Zealand, could help to combat the global extinction crisis. This is according to the findings of a collaborative study between forty institutions, including universities and conservation organisations, published in PLOS ONE last week. The researchers combined conservation benefit with feasibility to assess 1,279 islands worldwide, whittling … Read More

Thoughts on a question about kākāpō - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Mar 21, 2019

My interest in kākāpō began way back in my honours year at uni: a guest speaker told us that as far as anybody knew, the last remaining birds were a few males, somewhere in Fiordland. I remember feeling that that sounded really sad – those lonely males booming for females who never came. Shortly after that, a relatively healthy population … 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