Words like 'apocalypse' and 'armageddon' have cropped up in a bunch of recent commentaries referring to the state of biodiversity in the British Isles (and further afield). I'm not sure whether these words are particularly effective in bringing people 'on-board' - they may even be counter-productive (see #conservationoptimism). But the data clearly show that we've seen, … Continue reading Apocalypse Now
A quick post to share a short (4:35) video I made, as a quick explainer to land sharing & sparing. I made the cartoons with Inkscape, and the animations in PowerPoint. This is really just an experiment, in advance of a workshop I'm holding next month.
The 3rd goal in Defra's 25-year plan includes a vision to create "500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat outside the protected site network". Setting aside the significance of the phrase "outside the protected site network", a key question should be how these 50,000 hectares of new habitat will be configured. This represents something like 0.2% of … Continue reading Defra’s 25 year vision – to spare or share?
With trepidation, I think my views on predator control are inconsistent. The ideal First - I want to see our landscapes restored, with functional trophic relationships (where apex predators keep generalist ones in check) and consolidated blocks of decent habitat (where vulnerable species can reach sufficient numbers that they're not in such desperate need of … Continue reading Predator control
You've probably seen those "Nobody lives here" maps, which show pixels (usually 1×1km) where nobody lives. It strikes me that these maps are totally scale-dependent. That is, any conclusion will depend on the the size of the 'grain' at which you ask whether anybody lives here. To illustrate this (or to get my head around why I … Continue reading Personne ne vit ici
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