Tagged: invasive species

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

The plague skink: Science or scaremongering? - So Shoot Me

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? - So Shoot Me

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

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 8 – Our ecosystems are going to collapse - So Shoot Me

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 5 – Keep going we’re almost there - So Shoot Me

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

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 4 – We need to restore the balance - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Dec 17, 2018

This is the idea that people have upset the balance or equilibrium of nature, but that we can return that balance in future if appropriate steps are taken. This belief is very much supported in New Zealand by this notion that our environment is Gondwanan and that it hasn’t changed much in the last 80 million years. Or if … 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

From Restoration to Reconciliation: Belief 1 – They don’t belong here! - So Shoot Me

Jamie Steer Dec 14, 2018

OK, Number 1 – the first belief for us to look at: that they don’t belong here. With ‘they’ of course being introduced species. Here are a couple of quotes from the feedback to my Kim Hill interview to lead us into this one. ‘We should round up all possums that have eaten more than a certain amount of … Read More

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