Graduate students, relax! The hardest part (choosing a topic) has finally been done for you, as scientists from across the world have decided on the 100 most important research questions for Conservation Biology, and it’s been published. I think legal issues preclude me from actually posting all 100, but this is really a great paper.
- Ecosystem Function and Services
- Climate Change
- Technological Change
- Protected Areas
- Ecosystem Management and Restoration
- Terrestrial Ecosystems
- Marine Ecosystems
- Freshwater Ecosystems
- Species Management
- Organizational Systems and Processes
- Societal Context and Change
- Impacts of Conservation Interventions
- Thanks to Kerry Knudsen (UC-Riverside), may I introduce the new species Caloplca obamae. I wonder who should be more pleased, the lichen or the president.
- “Wombat poo paper proves a hit.” What.
- Congratulations to Afghanistan, and to WCS for helping to set it up, on its first National Park, Band-e-Amir. Afghanistan, needless to say, is not an easy place to do conservation, but WCS has been doing amazing things in the region, dating back to George Schaller’s work in the 1970s on snow leopards, not to mention the tireless work of Peter Zahler. Unfortunately, the Bronx Zoo is not faring as well. THEY’RE CLOSING THE WORLD OF DARKNESS.
- I am going to go out on a limb and say that no species so large and abundant will ever be newly-described again. Acacia fumosa.
- Here’s 100 pictures for Earth Day. What? Every day is Earth Day. Happy Earth Day.
Interesting chart from the Center for Climate Change Communication. I think in this case, the public is being savvy: this is pretty much exactly right in line with the relative harm of climate change. (via 538)
Let’s try something new.
Joe Barton “baffles” Secretary Chu.
So apparently the downside to banning DDT is…air safety??
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“But every day should be Earth Day!” Exactly right. Which is why I propose Not Earth Day. Whether that means you go around throwing out aluminum cans, uprooting trees, littering on the beach, planting kudzoo and dumping zebra mussels, or you just consider it SPACE DAY, go ahead and designate one day a year to ignore the earth. Here are some great photos of Maasai Mara.
- In the past few weeks, two California condors have been shot with lead pellets (not fatally, they’re both recovering). The Center for Biological Diversity has hired a private investigator to capture the ne’re-do-well. I have to admit, the wacky aspects of conservation are part of what make the field so appealing. Somebody at CBD came into work a few days ago and was instructed to find a PI in Los Angeles. I’m sure they never expected to be doing such a thing.
- WCS researchers have discovered a huge population of Irrawaddy river dolphins. (More from DotEarth). It’s always interesting to see how conservation organizations spin good news (usually awkwardly). This is exciting — BUT THEY’RE STILL AT RISK! While I think that’s definitely true, it goes back to that problem of messaging. It’s hard to get people to care more than they do, while simultaneously saying that things aren’t as bad as we thought.
- In defense of the Red List. “Really, we’re getting better!!!”
- Rare shark found, eaten.
- New work on fossilized coral reefs is suggesting that sea levels can rise rapidly. Okay, so sea levels rose rapidly 100,000 years ago. But we still have coral… maybe this paradox is address in a new book by (Cal’s own) Tony Barnosky called Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming. Worth checking out.
Been hearing a lot about Pikas recently.