Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

the devil is in the humans destroying the details...

tassie devil

As Anthony John Abbott is impersonating a Primal Minister of the crown and wants to destroy a "small" percentage of  protected Tasmanian forests, it is time to take a breather and see where humanity has gone wrong...

In regard to the Tasmanian Devil, once common — now considered an endangered species due to a ravaging form of mouth cancer — the question is how much the influence of human activities, especially that of poisoning the land, cutting the trees and the wanton decimation of the wildlife has had on the poor devils?

The obvious answer is "the lot"... Humans have introduced species, killed off the Tasmanian Tiger, on the way to wipe out some native parrots in the Tarkine Forest, poisoned a lot of animals under the guise they were "introduced species" and destroyed HABITATS. 

Now the cancer of the Tassie devil has been attributed amongst other thing to the LACK OF GENETIC DIVERSITY... Hum? Is this so? How come a thriving species, before the white trash came along — and I mean the white trash with saws, axes and draconian laws — end up with a LACK of genetic diversity?... Simple... All the destruction of everything as mentioned above ended up making only a few related groups of individuals from the species of Arcophilus harrisii survive...

You know what I mean... The human species has been stupid and our Primal Minister is adding to the level of stupidity — all for a buck...

 

Gus Leonisky

your species Latin names expert.

winners and the sacrificed...

Some environmentalists strongly oppose picking winners and losers, among them Greens Senator Larissa Waters.

"I can't bear the thought that we should give up on our iconic Australian species and I can't bear the thought that we somehow throw the towel in too soon," she said.

Which species win support to survive and which ones miss out would stir controversy among local campaigners trying to save beloved species.

The orange-bellied parrot has more than 300 volunteers in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia trying to preserve it in the wild.

"This is something we value as part of our natural heritage, something we want our children and grandchildren to see in the future," Debbie Lustig from Save the Orange-Bellied Parrot Campaign said.

"We can't afford not to spend the money on any of them."

But Professor Bowman says the parrot "looks like it's a goner".

"There are heroic efforts to try to keep it going in the wild. You really have to look at that expenditure and ask 'is this really a smart use of money?'" he said.

Species numbering less than a few hundred in the wild, like the orange-bellied parrot, are dubbed the "living dead" by scientists.

"We call those living dead or zombie species because the likelihood of them persisting for any reasonable amount of time in the future is pretty low," Professor Bradshaw said.

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The point here that human activity has helped the decline of many species... NOT A SINGLE SPECIES has not been immune to the impact from the "white" humans in recent times in Australia... Species come and go, sure but the process happens over long period of time... The human impact in recent times has been HORRENDOUS both in scope and speed. So, should we be able to find ways to reduce populations of wild CATS? FOXES? Should we find ways of protecting HABITATS? By not destroying the trees? By not poisoning food sources? DO WE CARE?  Of course we care. We need to do more... and more ... and stop whinging about the lack of resources... We need to become smarter, not defeated. 

Professor Bradshaw and professor Bowman should become real estate agents or dung retailers...

the sad lack of committed understanding...

Given we live in a rich, comfortable country, the only reason we cannot hand over the extraordinary array of life we have inherited to future generations is a lack of commitment, writes Stephen Garnett.

For more than 30 years Australian taxpayer funds have been spent trying to prevent the extinction of a small green parrot with orange on its belly that nests only in remote southwest Tasmania.

Fewer than 50 now remain. So dire was their situation that most offspring bred in 2011 were deliberately taken into captivity as insurance against complete loss of the wild population.

Such conservation is expensive, especially when it involves captive populations. Over the years millions of dollars have been spent on the orange-bellied parrot. Not only that, but fears for the parrot's welfare have delayed or prevented development worth tens of millions of dollars.

Can such expense be justified? Some people have suggested that we should give up on the parrot and spend the money on less expensive species with a better chance of long-term success.

They are two quite separate issues. The first concerns whether we should conserve species at all, and is essentially political. Through the Earth's history many species have become extinct just as others have evolved. Thus species have no intrinsic value - their value has been created by humans - so biodiversity conservation is as much subject to democratic processes as conservation of, say, great art.

While one can mount utilitarian arguments for keeping species - biodiverse landscapes do provide more services than depleted ones - I believe most people don't want species extinction because of an emotional response to losing something irreplaceable.

Personally I think the extent to which we conserve species says a great deal about who we are as a civilised society.

Many societies over the millennia have, usually without knowing it, caused extinction. Also many people around the world today are too impoverished to think beyond their personal needs, though the depth of commitment to retaining special species shown by some of the poorest people is astonishing.

Here in Australia we have stable government, well-enforced laws and the highest median income in the world. The only reason that we cannot hand over the extraordinary array of life we have inherited to future generations is a lack of commitment.

Thus the first question should be turned on its head. Instead of asking whether the expense can be justified, we should be asking whether extinction can be contemplated at all. So much of what we create in our society is ephemeral. Through the amazing process of reproduction, which we tend to take for granted, species have the potential to be with us indefinitely. If we allow them.

The second question about spending limited funds elsewhere is far harder. There can be no argument that we should try to spend conservation money as efficiently as possible. And this can best be achieved through systematic conservation planning rather than the ad hoc system we have adopted traditionally, and which has meant much money has been spent on species that are not really threatened at all.

At its simplest, systematic conservation planning involves estimating the cost of retaining each threatened species and spreading the available money across as many species as possible. At the end of the list will be species that are too expensive to retain.

However, society does not value all species equally. To allow for this, priorities can be weighted to give preference to species that are more distinctive, more threatened, more readily conserved or more charismatic. In addition, species to which society has shown a sustained commitment over many years can be insulated from the prioritisation process and funded from a separate allocation.

Of course adopting such a system has many uncertainties. If you take funds from existing programs, there is no guarantee they will be spent on other threatened species - look how readily the biodiversity fund was cut last year.

Also it assumes that only government will pay. Many threatened species programs around the world are funded by private organisations. There is great potential for public-private partnerships in threatened species management that could extend the public allocation.

Volunteers also play a major role - certainly the many thousands of hours volunteers have spent surveying orange-bellied parrots over the years in wintery saltmarsh is testament to the value some people place on the bird.

And it is this level of commitment that I think help justify the orange-bellied parrot as a special case. Some think a failure to increase the population over 30 years as a failure. I think retaining the species at all is a major achievement. And it is a species that retains the potential to increase if only we can identify and alleviate the greatest constraints - with the adverse effects of fire and food availability during the breeding season now seen as having far more significance than previously realised.

If we consciously decide to abandon this most critically endangered of Australian parrots, we are deliberately deciding to pass on a diminished world to our children.

This article was originally published by ABC Environment. Read the original article here.

Professor Stephen Garnett is a conservation biologist at Charles Darwin University. View his full profile here.

too important for being allowed to become extinct...

 

 

Don't give up on Australia's endangered species


It’s defeatist to say that some plants and animals should be allowed to become extinct. Here are five things we can do to help save them

 


from 


Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in the scientific community about whether we should allow some species to go extinct. The argument put forward is that the number of endangered species is so great, it isn’t worth the resources to attempt to save them all. But in a wealthy country like Australia – which has some of the best ecologists, conservation biologists and conservation scientists in the world – it is critical that we do far better in managing the nation’s natural resources. A loss of biodiversity is an indicator of poor environmental management. Suggesting that we should let yet more species go extinct on this continent is too defeatist and does not inform the public about what is needed to solve the country’s biodiversity issues.

The approach to allowing species extinction has been around for some time. It’s called “ecological triage”, whereby limited resources for conservation funding are targeted at the subset of species for which management success is most likely. The approach stems from the same process used in medicine to set priorities for allocating efforts to treat patients. The ecological triage approach is thought by some to be essential because it is believed that many resources are directed to species on the brink of extinction that are doomed in the long run, and too few are targeted at declining flora and fauna that are still recoverable.

As a counter to these ideas of ecological triage, some conservation biologists believe that parallels between emergency medicine and conservation biology are inappropriate. For example, they consider that it makes extinction acceptable and allow decision-makers to get away with allocating insufficient resources to address environmental problems. More than a decade ago, scientists Cameron and Soderquist argued in Nature that nations such as Australia should reject the concept of ecological triage because it is has the knowledge, time and ability to save threatened and endangered species.

My own opinion is that rather than arguing about which species to save and which ones to let go extinct, five key things need to be done.

1. We need to make some general calculations about how much money is needed to adequately conserve Australia’s biodiversity.

2. We must develop the funding framework to support effective conservation and land management efforts. Piecemeal, short-term and underfunded attempts characterise the environmental management arena in Australia – usually with limited success. Large-scale and long-term initiatives like an environmental levy (like the Medicare levy) or a GST on food with the funds directed in land management are possible options. Levies can work and if managed appropriately (and transparently) can raise sufficient funds to solve major problems and spread the burden across all of society to generate a public good outcome.

3. We must identify the management actions and expenditure of resources that will provide the maximum benefit.

4. We need to do the proper management interventions to tackle the processes threatening biodiversity in particular ecosystems – be it limiting industrial clearfelling in the wet forests of Victoria to conserving populations of the endangered leadbeater’s possum, continuing strategic fox-baiting to reduce feral predators and maintaining populations of animals like the eastern bristlebird, or protecting woodland remnants and re-vegetating patches of woodland on farmland to help recover temperate woodland birds.

5. We must do the monitoring so that we can tell what management is working (and then keep it going), and what is not, so that it can be changed. This last step is critical as it essential to show investors – the Australian public – what was the environmental return on the investment.

Debates about letting species go extinct are important to stimulate discussion among the public, policymakers and politicians about the long-term trajectory of conservation. This nation must properly identify the expenditure of resources, management actions and monitoring that will conserve its natural heritage.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/20/endangered-species-ecological-triange

 

Note. This debate seems to be resurrected EVERY time there is a CONservative government in this country... At state level and at federal level, the conservative DON'T CARE. They care more about the illusive value of cash... The Labor have usually shown a bit more care though not enough for proper sustainability of species. I have been on this case since the early 1970s and it's annoying to see this "debate" raising its ugly head... I believe the scientists proposing the concept of dumping species, actually do it to stir the emotional value of wildlife... Though they could be smack over the head for suggesting such atrocious idea, they might do it to make the Liberals (CONservatives) realise the horror of their scientific cutbacks... I have news for you, the Conservatives DON'T CARE and WON'T CARE unless the population burns their arse into submission.

 

homo the destroyer...

 

New research suggests there was no state of grace: for two million years humankind has been the natural world’s nemesis.

 

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 25th March 2014

 

....

 

A few months ago, a well-publicised paper claimed that the great beasts of the Americas – mammoths and mastodons, giant ground sloths, lions and sabretooths, eight-foot beavers(8), a bird with a 26-foot wingspan(9) – could not have been exterminated by humans, because the fossil evidence for their extinction marginally pre-dates the evidence for human arrival(10).

I have never seen a paper demolished as elegantly and decisively as this was at last week’s conference. The archaeologist Todd Surovell demonstrated that the mismatch is just what you would expect if humans were responsible(11). Mass destruction is easy to detect in the fossil record: in one layer bones are everywhere, in the next they are nowhere. But people living at low densities with basic technologies leave almost no traces. With the human growth rates and kill rates you’d expect in the first pulse of settlement (about 14,000 years ago), the great beasts would have lasted only 1,000 years. His work suggests that the most reliable indicator of human arrival in the fossil record is a wave of large mammal extinctions.

These species were not just ornaments of the natural world. The new work presented at the conference suggests that they shaped the rest of the ecosystem. In Britain during the last interglacial period, elephants, rhinos and other great beasts maintained a mosaic of habitats: a mixture of closed canopy forest, open forest, glade and sward(12). In Australia, the sudden flush of vegetation that followed the loss of large herbivores caused stacks of leaf litter to build up, which became the rainforests’ pyre: fires (natural or manmade) soon transformed these lush places into dry forest and scrub(13).

In the Amazon and other regions, large herbivores moved nutrients from rich soils to poor ones, radically altering plant growth(14,15). One controversial paper suggests that the eradication of the monsters of the Americas caused such a sharp loss of atmospheric methane (generated in their guts) that it could have triggered the short ice age which began 12,800 years ago, called the Younger Dryas(16).

And still we have not stopped. Poaching has reduced the population of African forest elephants by 60% since 2000(17). The range of the Asian elephant – which once lived from Turkey to the coast of China – has contracted by 97%; the ranges of the Asian rhinos by over 99%(18). Elephants distribute the seeds of hundreds of rainforest tree species; without them these trees are functionally extinct(19,20).

Is this all we are? A diminutive monster that can leave no door closed, no hiding place intact, that is now doing to the great beasts of the sea what we did so long ago to the great beasts of the land? Or can we stop? Can we use our ingenuity, which for two million years has turned so inventively to destruction, to defy our evolutionary history?

www.monbiot.com

 

 

See also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9121

 

kill a rabbit (and a cat) today... become bilby enthused...

 


Easter Bunny, Easter schmunny
IAN GUNN
ABC Environment

14 APR 2014



The rabbit is a species which has caused untold damage to the Australian environment. So why do we celebrate it at Easter? We should instead look to embracing the Easter Bilby.

WHILE THE EASTER BUNNY has long been a part of our Easter tradition, its suitability to Australians is questionable and perhaps dedicating Easter to the bilby could help the threatened species make a comeback.

Australia has a sad history of importing European animals — rabbits, foxes and cats, for example — that now pose a great threat to the survival of our native species. Feral rabbits are Australia's greatest pests, currently costing agriculture, and hence the community, about $200 million annually, in addition to untold costs to the environment.

In contrast, the native Australian bilby is seriously endangered and facing extinction. Fewer than 1,000 bilbies are thought to be living in the wild. They are now mostly restricted to the driest and least fertile parts of their former habitats, with the exception of populations in areas of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

The rabbit was introduced into the country some 200 years ago by early settlers and later released into the wild so they would breed and provide food. Unfortunately no one realised just how well the species would adapt to the harsh climate and how rapidly it would multiply. Today the rabbit, along with foxes and feral cats, still has devastating effect. Rabbits compete with bilbies for their food and burrows while foxes and feral cats prey on them. The only member of the bandicoot family to make a living in the outback needs our help to survive.

Why then do we still adopt the bunny as our Easter emblem instead of the native bilby? Walk in to our nation's supermarkets around Easter and you're confronted with display walls of stylishly presented chocolate bunnies! Is this a problem of tradition or of fancy marketing?

The bilby was put forward by environmentalists in the mid-1990s as an alternative Easter symbol to represent the ever-increasing list of Australia's endangered or extinct native animals. Initially the Easter Bilby was promoted on supermarket shelves as a rival to the traditional bunny, and retailers donated some of their chocolate bilby-derived profits to wildlife conservation projects. Sadly the support for this program has waned.

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2014/04/14/3871404.htm

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Kill a cat today...

 

kill a cat today...

 

Kill a cat today...

 

Australia has the worst rate of animal extinction in the world, and a new study shows it's getting worse.

A three-year national review has found that Australia’s mammal extinction rate is higher than previously thought, and will increase rapidly unless there's a plan to protect all native species.

The Action Plan for Australian Mammals draws on the contributions of more than 200 experts.
It found that more than 10 per cent of the country’s endemic species have become extinct since European settlement, and a further 20 per cent of land mammals are threatened.

But there is hope. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is building exclusion zones against one of the main culprits - feral cats.

CEO Atticus Fleming says it's estimated there are 15,000,000 feral cats in Australia, and each of them kills around five native animals a night.

He says sanctuaries established by the AWC show populations of native animals bounce back after feral animals are eliminated.

AWC is the largest private owner of land for conservation in Australia, protecting more than three million hectares in the Kimberley, Cape York, Lake Eyre and the Top End.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bushtelegraph/feral-cats/5494418#mce_temp_url#

 

There is NO difference between a feral cat and your little moggie eating whiskshit... Once a cat, ALWAYS  a cat. Cats are killers with only one eyebrow... And despite you saying your always knows where you CAT is, you are so wrong... 

Kill a cat today...