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Biodiversity of India: A Wiki Resource for Indian Biodiversity

Biodiversity of India: A Wiki Resource for Indian Biodiversity | our biodiversity | Scoop.it

We strongly believe that knowledge is the first step towards any kind of change. Thus, we created this Biodiversity Of India website. The BOI website, part of the Project Brahma Initiative, is an open-source, community driven project, much like Wikipedia, where anyone - regardless of their religion, nationality, language, expertise - can contribute their knowledge of India's biodiversity.

Roger Harris's insight:

This wonderful site should be an inspiration to those who want a repository of information for their region's or country's biodiversity.

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UK mulls biodiversity offsetting despite practice 'disappointing' in Australia

UK mulls biodiversity offsetting despite practice 'disappointing' in Australia | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Pilot studies remain incomplete and evidence from other countries show similar experiments have failed
Roger Harris's insight:

Is biodiversity offsetting policy driven by ideology and selfishness rather than sound science? Seems like it from this article.

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Sharp jump in deforestation when Amazon parks lose protected status

Sharp jump in deforestation when Amazon parks lose protected status | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Areas that have had their protected status removed or reduced have experienced a sharp increase in forest loss thereafter, finds a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO.
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Even though protected areas lose their status because of road-building, encroachment, etc. there is a strong case to retain some kind of protection. 

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Join Biodiversity Professionals for news, discussion and jobs

Biodiversity Professionals represents scientists, teachers, students and communicators in conservation, environmental and natural resources issues
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Biodiversity Professionals is the largest LinkedIn group for scientists, researchers, educators, communicators and students working in conservation, environmental, natural resources, wildlife and sustainability issues.

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Launch of the first online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas

Launch of the first online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
A new online Atlas of freshwater biodiversity presenting spatial information and species distribution patterns will be launched today at the land-mark Water Lives symposium bringing together Europe...
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According to the article: "A challenge for policy is how to integrate protection of freshwater life and the ecosystem services it provides with real and pressing demands on freshwater resources from the energy, food and sanitation sectors. This new Atlas is a response from freshwater scientists to this policy challenge."

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Zoos through the Lens of the IUCN Red List: A Global Metapopulation Approach to Support Conservation Breeding Programs

Zoos through the Lens of the IUCN Red List: A Global Metapopulation Approach to Support Conservation Breeding Programs | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Roger Harris's insight:

This is an interesting study. I am not against zoos as institutions that promote conservation and education, although it is a fine line between these purposes and entertainment, as we see in places such as SeaWorld.


My concern with this approach is that zoos invariably focus on charismatic megafauna, so as an option for conserving biodiversity, zoos are of marginal benefit, if any.

 

The study indicates that less than a quarter of the 4,000 or so terrestrial vertebrate species in zoos are threatened. That latter number suggests zoos house around 13% of the 30,000 described terrestrial vertebrate species. If we assume around 25% of all vertebrate species are threatened (since data for reptiles are insufficient but percentages of threatened species range from 13% for birds to 41% for amphibians), then only 1 in 7 threatened terrestrial vertebrate species are in zoos today. And this back of the envelope estimate ignores aquatic species and invertebrates entirely. (I see the study's authors estimate 15% which roughly agrees with my own estimate.)

 

So I don't really see how zoos are a viable option for biodiversity conservation, although they may have a role in captive breeding programs and reintroductions. The study seems to echo this sentiment, suggesting mainly that zoos aim to improve existing efforts.

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To change the outlook of climate change, landscapes and biodiversity are part of the equation

To change the outlook of climate change, landscapes and biodiversity are part of the equation | our biodiversity | Scoop.it

M. Ann Tutwiler writes from the Global Landscapes Forum and offers insights on biodiversity also being part of the landscapes approach.


Via Luigi Guarino
Roger Harris's insight:

The landscape approach offers the opportunity for addressing the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050, while adjusting and not contributing to climate change.

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The cyber-centipede: From Linnaeus to big data

The cyber-centipede: From Linnaeus to big data | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
The rates of extinction have lent urgency to the description of new species, but what is the point of names without meaningful data?
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Will this approach significantly boost species description rates? "An international team of scientists from Bulgaria, Croatia, China, UK, Denmark, France, Italy, Greece and Germany illustrated a holistic approach to the description of the new cave dwelling centipede species"

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Biodiversity hotspots 'too big to fail,' expert says

Biodiversity hotspots 'too big to fail,' expert says | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Günter Mitlacher from the German branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) talks about the challenges of saving the world’s ecosystems and why protecting biodiversity is just as important as bailing out big banks.
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In this apt analogy, WWF expert says that "protecting biodiversity is just as important as bailing out big banks."

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Environmental complexity promotes biodiversity

Environmental complexity promotes biodiversity | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
A new study helps explain how spatial variation in natural environments helps spur evolution and give rise to biodiversity.
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According to the article, "The new work provides a better basis for understanding how biodiversity evolves. While many people laud the idea of preserving biodiversity... much remains unknown about what an environment needs in order to maintain or produce biodiversity."

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Ground zero for endangered species: new program to assist animals on the brink across Southeast Asia

Ground zero for endangered species: new program to assist animals on the brink across Southeast Asia | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Organizations within the international conservation community are joining forces to minimize impending extinctions in Southeast Asia, where habitat loss, trade and hunting have contributed to a dramatic decline in wildlife.

Via Gerry Post
Roger Harris's insight:

Southeast Asia has among the world's richest biodiversity. It also has the world's highest population density. When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, something bad is going to happen... Hopefully, new and innovative conservation programs will mae a difference.

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Beer & Biodiversity

Thanks to ScienceAlert for support! - http://www.sciencealert.com

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The similarity between the beer industry and biodiversity is closer than you think!

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Ecology Lessons From the Cold War

Ecology Lessons From the Cold War | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Biodiversity was a survival strategy for the next global conflict.
Roger Harris's insight:

I especially like the closing paragraph "We need to stop treating the idea of biodiversity as a philosophical preference and embrace it as a strategy of survival..."

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Jimena Quiroga's comment, May 31, 2013 10:49 PM
todos los días desarrollarla
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Leafy sea dragon sculpture - Kirk McGuire Bronze Sculpture

Leafy sea dragon sculpture - Kirk McGuire Bronze Sculpture | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Roger Harris's insight:

One of the reasons that biodiversity is so important to us human beings is that it gives context and meaning to our lives. We can see this no more clearly than through the arts, whether it is photography, painting, dance or, in the case of Kirk McGuire, sculpture. Browse his gallery for more amazing nature-inspired bronze sculptures like this leafy sea dragon. 

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When the Science Doesn't Validate Your Position, Cherry Pick Your Own

When the Science Doesn't Validate Your Position, Cherry Pick Your Own | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
The war for the public's mind In the war against our wildlife and habitat, there are other sub wars (tactics) taking place; such as the media and the manipulated science wars. It has long been reco...
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Cherry picking data is not limited to climate change deniers
According to this article, wildlife managers can cherry pick data too -- in this case to justify muddle-headed eradication campaigns to prevent transmission of pathogens to domestic cattle herds. Evidently, if you choose your data right, you can use science to tell any story you want.

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Presentations from "Biodiversity Offsets in Canada: Getting it Right, Making a Difference" | Institute of the Environment


Via Carlos Ferreira
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Check out the LinkedIn Biodiversity Professionals page for an extensive and authoritative discussion on the pros and cons of biodiversity offsets.

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Maps Show Tropical Corridors Important to Wildlife As Climate Changes

Maps Show Tropical Corridors Important to Wildlife As Climate Changes | our biodiversity | Scoop.it

A new set of maps highlights the importance of habitat corridors in helping wildlife deal with the effects of climate change and deforestation. 

Roger Harris's insight:

Up to now most big ticket conservation efforts have consisted of buying intact forest and protecting it. While it has its merits this approach is vulnerable because it is fragmentary and as climate change worsens, the protected fragments are likely to diminish in size, leading to extinctions (given the species-area relationship). 

This new map from Woods Hole researchers suggests conservation can develop a new paradigm to complement the old. By using this map to identify corridors and then protecting them, conservationists will increase the effective area of reserves and provide a buffer for wildlife, enabling animals to move when habitat degradation threatens animal populations. 

The challenge as always, is to ensure buy-in from local farmers and landholders to ensure that such corridors remain intact.

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Biodiversity offsets in ACT spark ire

Biodiversity offsets in ACT spark ire | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
The ACT government is retrospectively claiming work in territory nature reserves as biodiversity offsets so that it can plough ahead with new urban developments, say two senior ANU academics.
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Aussies are not happy with biodiversity offsets, due to abuse leading biodiversity conservation to become "dependent on its destruction"
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Fighting to save Africa’s biodiversity

Fighting to save Africa’s biodiversity | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Political instability in the Central African Republic affects the region’s wildlife as well. Following a coup, the Dzanga-Sangha reserve can no longer be properly run. That’s opened the door to rampant illegal poaching.
Roger Harris's insight:

Africa's woes know no limit, it seems. Now, conflict is leading to rampant poaching.

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Biodiversity offsetting - an end to environmental protection?

Biodiversity offsetting - an end to environmental protection? | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
The UK Government plans to allow biodiversity destroyed by development to be recreated elsewhere. Hannah Mowat of FERN believes the idea is both wrong and dangerous. The official consultation ends on 7th November 2013.

Via Carlos Ferreira
Roger Harris's insight:

Is biodiversity offsetting a good thing or a bad thing? The jury still seems to be out.

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Longer Human Life Spans Linked To Declining Biodiversity - Science News - redOrbit

Longer Human Life Spans Linked To Declining Biodiversity - Science News - redOrbit | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
A new study reveals that as human life expectancy increases, so does the number of endangered and invasive bird and mammal species.
Roger Harris's insight:

I was hoping to live to 100. Now I am not so sure...

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Declining Corals May Damage Crustacean Biodiversity

Declining Corals May Damage Crustacean Biodiversity | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
New research indicates that crustacean populations living near rapidly declining coral reef habitats could be at risk.
Roger Harris's insight:

The natural world is so interconnected, that when one part is lost, others are lost too. 

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Green compensation scheme outlined

Green compensation scheme outlined | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
The UK government has outlined its proposals on compensating for the loss of biodiversity through development.
Roger Harris's insight:

The UK government is planning to compensate for the loss of biodiversity through development. The article points out that biodiversity offsetting is considered by some a "licence to trash". What do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Should we do biodiversity offsets in the US? 

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Creating Insect Conservation Sites in Cities

Creating Insect Conservation Sites in Cities | our biodiversity | Scoop.it

Urban green spaces are not just areas for plants and trees.  They are habitats and conservation sites for animals too, most commonly, insects.  While public opinion and appeal for insects isn’t always positive, insects are actually very beneficial to us.

Roger Harris's insight:

Even though bugs and creepy crawlies lack the charisma of fluffy cute animals, their role in functioning of our ecosystems is just as (if not more) important. It makes sense to help the little critters however we can.

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Candy Copeland's curator insight, October 13, 2013 1:35 PM

I love turning kids on to how facinating insects really are.  Ever since I took wildlife biology I have maintained and continued to add to my insect collection box.  They are amazing and many perform services for us that we can't do without.  Like our Bees, without them polinating our food crops, we'd starve.

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Fires have burned 3 percent of Amazon rainforest in 12 years, NASA says

Fires have burned 3 percent of Amazon rainforest in 12 years, NASA says | our biodiversity | Scoop.it
Scientists find that hard-to-track fires in forest ‘understory’ have done even greater damage to rainforest than traditional deforestation
Roger Harris's insight:

We must remember that these fires have always been part of the natural cycle, from which the forest readily recovers. The proportion of forest burned this way is much less than the forest that is destroyed by humans.

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