HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientific bias helping cause mass extinction

Scientific bias towards the cute, unique or spectacular may be helping condemn a substantial proportion of the world's plants and animals to extinction, suggests an Australian ecologist.

Scientists develop and use lists of extinct and threatened species to provide social and legal mandates for conservation, to report on the state of the environment and to guide the allocation of scarce resources.

Associate Professor Mark Burgman, a University of Melbourne botanist, criticises the way the lists are developed and our reliance on them to manage the environment. He says they are biased and largely unresponsive to the underlying true threats to species.

"We are facing the prospect of a mass extinction event to rival the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago if we continue to rely on such lists as a management tool for the conservation of our environment," he says.

Burgman unveils his evidence for scientific bias in the lists and the consequences of the bias in an invited paper in the forthcoming January edition of the Australian Journal of Botany. His criticism flows from his involvement in a working group of international experts from the USA-based National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and from an Australian Research Council grant to investigate extinction in Australian flora.

"Possibly the most striking consequence of the way national lists are generated is their focus on large, spectacular, or high profile species, and on geographically restricted and specialised species, and these tend to be the vascular plants and vertebrates," he says.

"The result is that extinction rates amongst the less well studied groups are considerably higher than the rates implied by the lists of 'known' extinctions. These less appealing species are victims of a lack of interest and are unlikely to attract resources for conservation because priorities are tied to lists whose composition depends on the interests
'"/>

Contact: Jason Major
jmajor@unimelb.edu.au
61-3-8344-0181
University of Melbourne
10-Jan-2002


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. 2nd media alert First Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia
2. First International Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia
3. Scientific publications: Time for change
4. Dr. Walter Reich, Ph.D., receives prestigious AAAS 2003 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award
5. Press briefings at The Gerontological Society of Americas 56th Annual Scientific Meeting
6. Scientific study of twins shows forgiveness has genetic component
7. Scientific equipment including the first European student experiment reaches the ISS
8. Emorys CancerQuest wins top Web award from Scientific American
9. Scientific innovations, social issues and biobusiness at Bio Tech Helsinki 03
10. Scientific balancing act dominates AAAS top ten list of science policy stories for 2002
11. Acorda Therapeutics receives L.W. Freeman Award for Scientific Research

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/15/2017)... , Aug. 15 2017   ivWatch LLC , a medical ... (IV) therapy, today announced receipt of its ISO 13485 Certification, the ... the International Organization for Standardization (ISO®). ... ivWatch Model 400 Continuous Monitoring device for the early detection ... "This is an important ...
(Date:6/14/2017)...  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative ... to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place ... the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have ... France is one ... a 30 percent increase in the number of startups created ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, ... today. The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, ... significant growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... University City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. ... accept the award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks ... Strategy, will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October ... trends in the residential home security market and how smart safety and ... Parks ... "The residential ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by ... Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: