Dbytes #492 (8 September 2021)

Info, news & views for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation and good environmental decision making

“Making ecocide an international crime is an appropriate response to the gravity of this harm and could help prevent mass environmental destruction. But whether it does so will depend on how the crime is defined.”
Burke and Celermajer [see item 5]


In this issue of Dbytes

1. How you can help save nature
2. Street life ain’t easy for a stray cat, with most dying before they turn 1. So what’s the best way to deal with them?
3. Extinction is a process, not an event
4. Buried Queensland government report found Adani plan to protect black-throated finch was ‘superficial’
5. Human progress is no excuse to destroy nature. A push to make ‘ecocide’ a global crime must recognise this fundamental truth
6. Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch site threatens wildlife
7. Climate change means Australia may have to abandon much of its farming


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1. How you can help save nature

There are many behaviours and campaigns that promote things like energy saving, reduced water consumption, recycling, etc, but there are few that are specifically targeted at protecting biodiversity. To address this, Selinske et al. used a behavioural prioritization method to identify and rank individual ‘everyday’ behaviours that could help deliver benefits for biodiversity.

Blog: How you can help save nature – Please keep to the path
Paper: Identifying and prioritizing human behaviors that benefit biodiversity (wiley.com)

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2. Street life ain’t easy for a stray cat, with most dying before they turn 1. So what’s the best way to deal with them?

Odds are, if you’ve seen a cat prowling around your neighbourhood, it doesn’t have an owner. Australia is home to hordes of unowned cats, with an estimated 700,000 living without appropriate care in urban areas, around rubbish dumps or on farms.

Street life ain’t easy for a stray cat, with most dying before they turn 1. So what’s the best way to deal with them? (theconversation.com)

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3. Extinction is a process, not an event

Every year, the September 7 marks National Threatened Species Day. Why this day? September 7 is the day the last known Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) died in the Hobart Zoo back in 1936. National Threatened Species Day is a time to reflect on all of the species currently facing extinction. It’s a day to raise awareness, and a call to action.

Setting aside a single day of the year for threatened species awareness posits extinction as an event. But extinction is a process. It’s a process that unfolds remarkably quickly in some cases, but usually one that plays out over many, many years. By seeing extinction as a process, it becomes a trajectory along which there are many opportunities for intervention.

https://www.rememberthewild.org.au/threatened-species-day-is-an-event-but-extinction-is-a-process/

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4. Buried Queensland government report found Adani plan to protect black-throated finch was ‘superficial’

Scientific panel finds Adani’s conservation aims for the endangered black-throated finch ‘do not meet the content requirements of an acceptable plan’

The Queensland government commissioned, mostly ignored, and then tried to keep secret the findings of an independent scientific panel that concluded Adani’s conservation plans for the endangered black-throated finch were “superficial” and not backed by evidence.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/02/buried-queensland-government-report-found-adani-plan-to-protect-black-throated-finch-was-superficial

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5. Human progress is no excuse to destroy nature. A push to make ‘ecocide’ a global crime must recognise this fundamental truth

Scientists recently confirmed the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs, due to uncontrolled burning and deforestation. It brings the crucial ecosystem closer to a tipping point that would see it replaced by savanna and trigger accelerated global heating. This is not an isolated example of nature being damaged at a mass scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this month confirmed global heating is now affecting every continent, region and ocean on Earth. That includes Australia, which is a global deforestation hotspot and where the Great Barrier Reef is headed for virtual extinction.

In the face of such horrors, a new international campaign is calling for “ecocide” – the killing of ecology – to be deemed an international “super crime” in the order of genocide. The campaign has attracted high-profile supporters including French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

https://theconversation.com/human-progress-is-no-excuse-to-destroy-nature-a-push-to-make-ecocide-a-global-crime-must-recognise-this-fundamental-truth-164594

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6. Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch site threatens wildlife

The private space race is already causing concern about the potential climate impacts of the fuel needed to propel the rockets. But environmentalists on the ground in south Texas say SpaceX’s testing site is having more immediate impacts.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch site threatens wildlife, Texas environmental groups say | Texas | The Guardian

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7. Climate change means Australia may have to abandon much of its farming

The findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggest Australia may have to jettison tracts of the bush unless there is a massive investment in climate-change adaptation and planning. The potential impacts of climate change on employment and the livability of the regions have not been adequately considered. Even if emissions are curtailed, Australia likely faces billions of dollars of adaptation costs for rural communities.

Climate change means Australia may have to abandon much of its farming (theconversation.com)

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About Dbytes

Dbytes is a weekly eNewsletter presenting news and views on biodiversity conservation and environmental decision science. ‘D’ stands for ‘Decision’ and refers to all the ingredients that go into good, fair and just decision-making in relation to the environment.

From 2007-2018 Dbytes was supported by a variety of research networks and primarily the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). From 2019 Dbytes is being produced by David Salt (Ywords). Dbytes is supported by the Global Water Forum.

If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info.

Anyone is welcome to receive Dbytes. If you would like to receive it, send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.

David

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