Tagged: conservation

Gene drives could wipe out island pest populations – study - News

John Kerr Aug 10, 2017

An entire island population of invasive mice could be eradicated by the single release of 100 engineered mice carrying ‘gene drives’ which spread infertility throughout a population. The finding comes from a new study, published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, using computer simulations to investigate how gene drives – essentially sets of ‘selfish genes’ … Read More

Rhino conservation dilemmas - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Aug 09, 2017

Since 2007-8 a number of species have undergone a sharp increase in poaching.  These include the African elephants (savannah and forest), the pangolin and African rhino (black and white).  Poaching of rhinos is nothing new. It’s been taking place since the 1960s and rhinos have all but disappeared except for their strong-holds in Southern Africa. South Africa and Namibia bucked … Read More

Supreme Court ruling on NZ’s largest irrigation dam proposal respects conservation law and protected land - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 28, 2017

Christine Cheyne, Massey University Earlier this month, New Zealand’s Supreme Court rejected a proposed land swap that would have flooded conservation land for the construction of the country’s largest irrigation dam. The court was considering whether the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s investment arm could build a dam on 22 hectares of the protected Ruahine Forest Park in … Read More

Trading biodiversity: gains and risks - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 21, 2017

Dr John Leathwick Two weeks ago, a vigorous debate was generated by the Supreme Court’s confirmation of a decision striking down the Department of Conservation’s plan to swap conservation land for private land to facilitate construction of the proposed Ruataniwha Dam in Hawke’s Bay. Much of this debate centred on whether biodiversity gains can be achieved through such trades. Conflicting … Read More

Publish and don’t perish – how to keep rare species’ data away from poachers - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 14, 2017

Andrew Lowe, University of Adelaide; Anita Smyth, University of Adelaide; Ben Sparrow, University of Adelaide, and Glenda Wardle, University of Sydney Highly collectable species, especially those that are rare and threatened, can potentially be put at risk from poaching if information describing where they can be found is published. But rather than … Read More

How your pile of laundry fills the sea with plastic pollution - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 06, 2017

Natalie Welden, Research Associate: Marine Pollution / Ecotoxicology / Microplastics, The Open University After decades of intense observation and campaigning by conservation groups, awareness of microplastic pollution has fortunately grown. There is now worldwide concern about tiny pieces of plastic litter that are having a harmful impact on marine species and habitats. Large plastic litter has already … Read More

NZ researchers line up worst island invaders - News

John Kerr Jun 14, 2017

New Zealand conservation researchers have assembled a rogues’ gallery of the worst invasive species for islands around the world. In a new article in Environmental Conservation, published this week, Dr James Russel from the University of Auckland and colleagues review the challenges of holding invaders at bay on small island states. Invasive species can have a detrimental impact on … Read More

For the birds – reflections on the PCE report - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 08, 2017

There’s an important recommendation missing from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s list of things to help endangered birds. It hardly would work for all birds, but it is ridiculous that it is banned for those birds for which it would work. Let people farm them. Roger Beattie has demonstrated that he can successfully raise weka. There would be … Read More

New homes for our native birds? - Guest Work

Guest Work May 31, 2017

By Prof Phil Seddon, University of Otago. The newly released report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Taonga of an island nation) highlights the precarious state of our native avifauna, with one in five of our 168 native bird species at risk of extinction. Birds are highly visible but also highly vulnerable indicators of habitat change, not just … Read More

Widespread invasive species control is a risky business - Guest Work

Guest Work May 26, 2017

By R. Keller Kopf, Charles Sturt University; Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University, and Paul Humphries, Charles Sturt University In 1977, on the islands of French Polynesia, government authorities released a predatory snail. They hoped this introduction would effectively control another species of invasive snail, previously introduced to supply escargot. Instead, by the early … Read More