I’ll be posting later this week about the importance of geo-tagging biodiversity, but for now I just wanted to point out that Google Earth Blog, an independent forum for the discussion of the things you can do with Google Earth, has a section on the environment. Many of the things Frank Taylor posts on under this tag will be relevant to the study and conservation of biodiversity. And here’s a great Google Earth application I’ve recently come across, though from another source.Â The Malaria Atlas Project is pulling together data on the global distribution of the malaria parasites as a prelude to modelling their spatial limits.
It stands to reason that as the cost of finding and an over-harvestedÂ medicinal plant, say,Â increases beyond the market value of the product, people will stop looking for it, hopefully giving the population a chance to recover. Well, yes, but what if the very increasing rarity of the plant – or animal – actually in turn ratchets up its value? The result is a positive feedback loop which can only end in extinction. Or so says a mathematical model described in Nature, backed up by some telling examples.Â So publicizing the fact that a species may be rare and threatened (for example, in a Red Data List) may actually make things worse! Taking species into cultivation may be one way around the problem.
We may or may not be having a coup today here in Fiji, so blogging may be erratic for the next couple of days…
Domestic dogs are derived from wolves, right? Maybe not. There is apparently a minority view that says that a better interpretation of behavioural, morphological and genetic differences between the domestic dog and the wolf is that the dog was domesticated from a now-extinct, pariah-like precursor, with occasional hybridization with wolves along the way. You can read more about this controversial view on Darren Naish’s zoological blog.
Kathryn over at Blogging Biodiversity rounds up the latest on Starbucks vs Ethiopia here.