|Notice any likeness? That's me to the left, and Thopeutica whitteni to the right.|
|Red deer from the Mongolia Red List for Mammals.|
The Red Books and Red Lists, produced regularly by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are fundamental tools in the monitoring of the conservation status of the world’s animals and plants. On publication, the news they generate is very significant but generally rather depressing. However, these global Red Lists have their limitations at national levels – when species are nationally very common but globally threatened – or when species are very rare and threatened, with no global conservation concern whatsoever.
Take the Red Deer in Mongolia for example. Globally this is formally of ‘Least Concern’ (pdf) – the lowest category – because it has an enormous range, is managed for hunting in many countries, and effectively protected in others. But in Mongolia, its status is the highest possible ‘Critically Endangered’ (pdf).
|The number of Ironwood trees in Sumatra has greatly reduced because of heavy demand for the timber.
A promising web find that should catch the attention of our resident biodiversity expert, Tony, if it hasn't already: scientists from around the world are gathering this week in London for the e-Biosphere Conference, where they'll present and discuss a project to create a "macroscopic observatory" of biodiversity that
Priests and vicars have long demonstrated a penchant for biodiversity. There have been missionaries in remote places who have built up and preserved beautiful collections of butterflies, plants etc. which eventually found their way into the great natural history museums of the world. The Rev. Gilbert White (1720-93) was the classic 18th century English clergyman-naturalist.