Rewilding: restoring lost species to save ecosystems

At first they were just shadows, dark impressions glimpsed through the mist. Is that really…? Could it be…? As we moved a little closer one of them turned to the east, to face the rising sun. His profile was unmistakable, the curved horns and humped shoulders proclaiming “bison”! And not just any bison, but free-ranging European bison, grazing…

Let’s not forget the scaly, slimy and spineless on Threatened Species Day

September 7th marks the anniversary of a spectacular failure in Australian wildlife conservation. On this day in 1936, the last known thylacine, the largest marsupial carnivore and the only member of the family Thylacinidae, died in captivity in a Hobart zoo. Today, this day is recognised (I cannot bring myself to write “celebrated”) as Threatened…

An Australia Day post on Australian wildlife conservation

Today, 26th January, is Australia Day. This is Australia’s national holiday, marking the arrival on this day in 1788 of the British First Fleet at Port Jackson in New South Wales. Of course one might wonder whether the anniversary of the proclamation of British sovereignty over eastern Australia is an appropriate date to celebrate Australian unity and…

What We’re Reading: Jan 2, 2015

Communicating Conservation Science to Policy Makers This article (sub) advocates for conservation scientists to re-frame their research findings in a way that address the political realities of policy makers. The author argues that scientists need to go beyond simple “storytelling” approaches previously advocated and place their science in a policy-relevant context. The author goes so…

What we’re reading: Dec 19, 2014

Do Policy Makers REALLY Want to Talk to Scientists? This open op-ed in Nature describes the misuse of a scientist’s genetic and population viability analysis (PVA, an analysis that estimates extinction risk of a population or species) by the Swedish government to justify their wolf culling program. An extremely bold move to write the op-ed…

What we’re reading: Dec 5, 2014

Relationship Between Wolf Culling and Livestock Loss Contrary to what you would think, killing wolves does not reduce livestock deaths, at least when mortality is 25% of wolves were killed prey take was reduced; however, this level of culling is unsustainable for packs. Wildlife in Iran Have so enjoyed reading the English translation newsletter for…

Let’s update the Lacey Act fine structure

Legal wildlife trade in the United States is a $3 billion per year industry. However, illegal trade is also a lucrative business with an estimated worldwide value of $10-20 billion annually (TRAFFIC). Estimating both the percentage of worldwide trade that the US accounts for and its value are difficult due to the illicit nature of…