Garrett concedes: extinction inevitable

To: Simon Mustoe <>
Subject: Garrett concedes: extinction inevitable
From: Chris Sanderson <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 20:57:02 +1000
Well said Simon.  If there was criticism over funding to save the bat
species on Chrismas Island, just think about how many of the trees there
depend on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.  How many other species
might go extinct if those two services were pulled from the ecosystem?  Good
conservation programs should be a mix of ecosystem protection and
rehabilitation, and protecting keystone species where they can be
identified.  It sounds like the government is at least on the right track
with their policy, though of course other recent decisions (selling all our
NW WA LNG to China before the EIS work has been done?) might call their
resolve into question.


On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 8:45 PM, Simon Mustoe <>wrote:

> Hi,
> 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 development.
> Regards,
> Simon.
> > 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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