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biodiversity

The destructive side of goats

Tony Whitten's picture

I hate goats. I’ll admit that I do love the feel of a good cashmere scarf or pullover, and have delighted in sensual cashmere socks I’ve been given. I am also partial to goat curry, goat kebabs, roast goat, and goat in a good wine sauce – though I lose my appetite on seeing a pop-eyed goat’s head staring at me out of a bowl of boiled goat bits at some of the meals I’m offered while on mission. And I do enjoy some nice goat cheese with a crisp cracker and celery.

Still, I hate goats.

How cute do you have to be to be safe?

Tony Whitten's picture

A recent paper by Berta Martín-López and colleagues in Conservation Biology reports how the size of an animal’s eyes appears to be people’s main measure for determining whether they think an animal is important enough for them to open their pocket books and pay for its conservation. This is something one needs to be wary of.

Biodiversity restoration in Lake Dianchi, China - Part 3: Alien invaders both hold back and support recovery

Tony Whitten's picture

Red-eared Sliders, one of the invasive alien species in Lake Dianchi. See full photogallery.
Another notable achievement of the ‘Restoration of Freshwater Biodiversity in Lake Dianchi’ project (see previous entries--part 1 and part 2) was the discovery and action taken against a number of invasive alien species which had not been recorded from the lake before the surveys initiated by the project. These include the Golden Apple Snail, Louisiana Crayfish, Red-eared Slider (the turtle or terrapin commonly found in pet shops the world over), and Muskrat. Their introduction to the area, as with many alien invasives, “seemed a good idea at the time” but they all have – or likely will have – serious negative economic and ecological impacts. The Golden Apple Snail has a predilection for young rice plants, the Louisiana Crayfish burrows into bunds, and the Red-eared Slider predates on fish.

Mapping deforestation, endangered species, and more with Google Earth

Claudia Gabarain's picture

Checking out Mongabay.com, I came across a very cool application of Google Earth to see the levels of deforestation across the world, including short data sheets per country. So you can quickly see that Malaysia has lost over 6% of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005 (according to different data sources), while China has increased its own by 25% over the same period of time.

Hot passion, tigers --and shoe shops

Tony Whitten's picture

The Bank is full of hot passion.  Indeed we are expected to fight passionately in our work, and for a small group of us recently the subject of that passion has been tigers.  Passion in the World Bank makes for noisy meetings, adrenalin and angst.

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