Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wildlife and fisheries management under climate change

I don't have much patience for students of conservation who won't make the effort to properly study climate change. Climatic changes are already moving habitats, and thus species, around the face of the earth rather dramatically, and every conservation program on the planet will have to consider how to manage habitats and populations under changing climate conditions.

I generally associate students' unwillingness to consider these phenomena to the either the "Animal Planet" mentality ("These fuzzy animals were put here to keep me entertained,") or the hunting show mentality ("These animals are put here for me to prove my manhood by killing them.") Both seem commonplace at our small college.

I'm probably oversimplifying here, the reductio ad absurdum, but whenever I make this challenge of students who seem to suffer from either phenomenon, I rarely get a adequate intellectual riposte. So I keep needling. If your ability to defend your ideas is this weak, you need them to be challenged.

The proper response, of course, is that it is instead your duty as a conservation professional to use your biological science and legal knowledge to protect the resource for future generations.

And if you can't understand climate science you can't do that.

I don't often demonstrate this point by publishing wildlife/climate news on this blog, because, well, my main job is to keep up with the climate science and the solutions, which are all related to energy conservation and new energy formats. That's a fast-moving field and it keeps me busy. But my first love was land conservation, and I've worked extensively in this field.

I decided to add more material about this stuff to the blog from time to time.

Here's a start: Fisheries managers in the UK are concerned to provide a biogeographical refugia for certain rare species of landlocked fish.

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