The naturalist, John Muir said:
However, one of his best known quotes, and one which I feel we do well to remind ourselves of is this:
So when the other day, I came across an excellent blog by wildsoundscape.co.uk, exploring this very theme, I was inspired to share my own thoughts, as well as the blog I read, and the views I picked out which resonated with me.
Indeed, the blog contained certain themes I touch upon in various pages on this website.
I completely agree with this statement. Indeed, elsewhere on my website, I point out that fragmented habitats can cause inbreeding in bumble bees, for example.
This is why what we do in our gardens, how we manage verges
and hedgerows, what we do with public land (from parks and gardens, to strips
of land outside council owned buildings etc) – really does matter in the grand
scheme of things. Looking after
eco-systems is not merely a done and dusted job completed by a few nature
reserves dotted about here and there.
Nor is it entirely the job of farmers.
We are all contributing to the eco-system (or not) together.
The blogger wrote:
Indeed, and I agree entirely. Even removing a creature we regard as a “pest” can cause imbalances that might ordinarily be managed in a natural way by the eco-system itself, if humans were not interfering. And worse, our efforts can even be counter-productive to our original intended aims.
For example, Adrianna Szczepaniec et al
2011: found that “Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid Causes Outbreaks of Spider Mites on Elm Trees in Urban Landscapes” (You can read more about this theme here). In this particular case, an insecticide was used to kill one pest, resulted in the outbreak of another.
To quote the article:
Several years ago, I wrote in an article:
“This to me shows that intensive, isolated conservation efforts to save a species from extinction are all well and good, but they don't cut to the route of the problem in the grand scheme of things. We're seeing declines in invertebrates, birds and mammals on farmland - I suspect dousing hectares of land in poison isn't helping, and we need to do something about it!”
I would also add that I abhor any attempt to “normalise” wildlife and habitat loss, and to address the issue as though it is simply “the way of things” and an "inevitable trend'" which justifies the sticking plaster approach mentioned.
So yes, today is a day for remembering the great web of life, and how tugging at a single thing in nature can affect the rest of the world.
The more people on the planet who remember and act on this philosophy, the sooner we can put a stop to a reliance on 'sticking plaster' approaches to conservation, and genuinely protect the planet and its eco-systems for future generations.
You can read the blog here: http://wildsoundscape.co.uk/index.php?itemid=104&catid=15
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