Somewhat counter-intuitively, high yield farming could be essential for biodiversity conservation. Even though high yield farmland is typically quite a hostile place for many species, by delivering food production from a smaller area of farmland, it should permit the 'sparing' of crucial natural habitat. This shifts focus away from maximising the biodiversity value of a … Continue reading Nature-friendly farms, or nature-friendly landscapes?
The concept of shifting baselines was popularised by fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly. The idea goes that each generation of fisheries scientist accepts as a baseline the state of fish populations at the start of their career. As stocks get depleted over time, the baseline of successive generation shifts, and we gradually forget what we've lost. … Continue reading Something about baselines
It’s mid August, which means an intensification in the pro-/anti-shooting debate. It starts off with hen harriers, driven grouse moors, illegal persecution. It migrates towards pheasants and foxes, rural sports and conservation, battery chickens and veganism. It seems to boil down, inevitably, to whether or not we want gamekeepers. I don’t want gamekeepers. Their job … Continue reading The shooting thing
I'm attempting to become a more ethical eater, in the hope that small / individual / bottom-up changes will inspire larger / collective / top-down ones. It's hard though. I have some food allergies, I'm a bit lazy, and there are just so many factors to consider. I want to simultaneously minimise the carbon and water footprint of the … Continue reading Which carb.?
Our paper on land-bird migratory connectivity is now out in the Journal of Animal Ecology - it can be viewed here (now open access). Here are some words about it: If you're interested in understanding how an animal population might be affected by environmental change, a good starting point is knowing where the population is located. Tracking … Continue reading Migratory connectivity: high or low?
Following on from this vague post, here are some vague ideas about rewilding, starting with... >>A very brief natural history of Britain. We’ll begin in the Palaeolithic; a cycle of glacials and interglacials, during which Britain was repeatedly colonised and evacuated by European plants, animals and people. As the climate warmed and the ice retreated for … Continue reading Controversial Conservation (II)
Maybe I've only recently started paying attention, but it seems like British conservation has a lot on its plate at the minute. The conflict between 'them' and 'us' feels like it's intensifying, with issues such as rewilding, driven grouse shooting, predator control and farming all boiling over in recent weeks / months / years. There … Continue reading Controversial conservation (I)