Late last year I blogged about what an early warning system for erosion of agricultural diversity might look like. I was thinking of an active reporting system, but today Conservation Maven reminds me of a paper published a few months ago that suggests that a more passive approach might also be possible. The authors ask the question: Can researchers who are interested in ecological monitoring tap into … increased flows of information by “mining” the internet to detect “early-warning” signs that may signal abrupt ecological changes? The paper is behind a paywall, but I’ve ordered it. Once I read it, I’ll report back whether web crawlers have a future in genetic erosion monitoring.