A brief musing to say goodbye to the 2014 International Day for Biological Diversity
The soundest strategy for preserving biodiversity is to protect the last ‘islands’ of intact wilderness that remain. But as those last islands shrink and disappear, shouldn’t we have an alternative strategy?
Here is an alternative by Mendenhall et al : ‘…the fate of the world’s wildlife will be decided largely by the hospitality of agricultural or countryside ecosystems”.
I have not come across this idea in my own reading around the topic. But that wouldn’t bother Mendenhall et al because they demonstrate that, actually, biodiversity in rural settings is not so bad after all. To be more specific, the study shows that fruit bats living near fruit plantations seem to do alright.
Lots of respectable research departments collaborated to make this study. But the sponsorship came from The Nature Conservancy.
I'll let Wikipedia answer the question:Over the years
, The Nature Conservancy has faced a number of criticisms. They fall into the following main categories
…legislation to allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is supported by members of the Conservancy leadership council
…allegations of The Nature Conservancy obtaining land and reselling it at a profit
…President's Conservation Counsel of the Conservancy was also a member of the trophy hunting organization the Safari ClubOh, but who cares? you say
Aronson might care. Because Aronson et al show that human-dominated environments tend to be teaming with so called 'cosmopolitan species’. These species do alright, too. They crowd our cities. But biodiversity in cities is just 8% of the levels found outside the city limits.http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/370na2.pdf