This video from campaigning group Plane Stupid has just been released in UK cinemas. Grim viewing, which younger children might find upsetting, even if you tell them it’s all done on computers. I’m not letting my 11 year old see it, or she’ll never get on a plane again, no matter how necessary/useful it is. Are these shock tactics appropriate?
The government’s chief scientist has suggested that a cull of all badgers in the South East of England would be a good idea. Many conservationists think this is daft, and that the rate of bovine TB would plummet if farmers stopped moving infected animals around. The farmers’ union (NFU) think it’s the badgers’ fault. You decide.
BBC news report; Sir David King’s report; Badger trust site; NFU statement.
Depressing BBC article about the threats of bluefin tuna stocks. The story, as ever, is one of over-fishing – even the Spanish Fisheries Ministry admits as much.
Open access article from PLoS Biology looking at the harsh choices conservation policy makers have to make, and try to compare the different approaches. They conclude “We discover that one could protect many more plant and vertebrate species by investing in a sequence of conservation actions targeted towards specific threats, such as invasive species control and fire management, rather than by relying solely on acquiring land for protected areas.”
The Yasuni national park in Ecuador is threatened by oil prospection. This article outlines the issues. Our 2nd Year field course to Ecuador helps provide an alternative income source for the local people. For an MEN article about the course, go here.
Excellent think-piece from Richard Leakey, Kenyan palaeontologist and wild-life expert.
Excellent magazine article in Nature about the problems facing conservationists in Africa – because there are too many elephants. Depressing BBC summary of African Journal of Ecology article about how Africa’s national parks are failing in their mission. (You or your institution will need a subscription to both these journals to get past the abstracts.) Moving and sometimes depressing blogs by conservation rangers in Africa.
Somewhat distressing piece about the annual blast-em-up fest for hunters on Malta, who seem to take great delight in firing away at anything in the sky.
Very useful review article from TREE about key arguments in interventionist conservation strategies, in particular around the concept of “re-wilding” – introducing species in order to recreate pre-human Pleistocene environments. You or your institution will need a subscription to get past the Abstract.
Interesting magazine article from the BBC website outlining the arguments for primates having rights. Or not.