Garrett concedes: extinction inevitable

To: <>, <>
Subject: Garrett concedes: extinction inevitable
From: Simon Mustoe <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 10:45:15 +0000

Let's not forget that species are fundamental drivers of those ecosystem 
processes Garrett refers to. He mentioned this in a round about way. His 
advisors are very senior and extremely competent scientists though I am not 
convinced Garrett understands the issue well enough himself ... yet.

I was not impressed by the mention of the Great Barrier Reef as an example of 
why we need to protect ecosystems 'for the good of tourism'. Given the 
opportunity, it would have been nice for Garrett to have identified that 
everyone in Australia depends on maintenance of ecosystem processes. Our entire 
economy is supported by it and these benefits feed directly into our homes 
through food, health, climate, water and soil quality.

Species are important but not in their own right. They stitch together 
landscapes, often because they are the only things that move between. The role 
of birds and other larger species is in maintaining food chain symmetry and 
losing this results in substantial energetic shifts in the trophic systems that 
create resilience against things like climate change.

We do need to be very careful that we don't let species go extinct before we 
realise we actually needed some of them to maintain the ecosystem.

But there is a glimmer of hope that politicians are starting to see some of 
this in its true state. It would be nice now if our senior heads of party now 
took Garrett's words and turned this into action by establishing meaningful 
environmental management via mechanisms like carbon reduction and sustainable 



> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Garrett concedes: extinction inevitable
> Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:52:42 +1000
> I thought this interview really highlighted the pitfalls of single species
> based conservation efforts, rather than the ecosystem based approach. A lot
> of time was spend discussing the status of Koalas and whether or not they
> should be give a higher conservation status. These cute and fluffy mammals
> will always attract conservation dollars yet in my experience they are far
> more secure than many other animals who never get a cent spent on them.
> Cheers
> Graham Turner

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