Saturday, 1 April 2017

Can You Buy Your Way Out of Extinctions?


It is highly topical that £4.6m of lottery funding has been reportedly allocated to the 'Back from the Brink' initiative (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2126399-uk-plans-to-bring-20-species-back-from-brink-of-extinction/). The funding is intended to help save 20 targeted species of animals and plants that are on the cusp of elimination from the UK and to help a further 200 threatened species. It seems that the money will be largely spent on training workers (volunteers?) who deal with these organisms. I would only comment, that whilst no doubt useful, this is a relatively modest amount of money given the pressures on animals and plants on these islands (purchasing of tracts of land is expensive and protecting species seems difficult, even in Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Parks, when local enthusiasms for jobs, house building, fracking et cetera are taken into account). The list of animals and plants, whilst varied and interesting, clearly illustrates that conservation involves 'political' choices by humans (the major cause of current extinctions on our planet).

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