Reuters might better have blended two separate stories it has on the wire. They are too similar to expect many outlets to print both (to be sure, with on line reading, and the proliferation of systems to bring relevant material to a reader’s gaze, this is not the issue it once was):
- Science struggling to track destruction of nature ; Filed from London. I don’t see a byline, and below is a list of some other outlets covering a set of 16 reports on biodiversity, widening risk of mass extinction, and difficulty getting hard data. They are in the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions.
- David Fogarty – Fifth of vertebrates face extinction: study ; Filed from Nagoya, Japan, and a meeting there of the Int’l Union for the Conservation of Nature. That first story listed mentions this meeting and the overlap is enormous – it would have been a good insert to this one. The news was released there, propelled by a US teleconference and multiple press releases, reflecting two reports in this week’s Science.
The recent bad global economy, coupled with the dispiriting impact of so-called Climategate, emailgate, glaciergate, and so on have killed public and political appetite to do much about the overuse of Earth. But the science press, old line and new, has not given up on reporting what scientists are saying in major meetings, refereed journals, and all the rest. Reuters did good to handle them – separately or together – and these reports, esp. the one from Science and Nagoya, are getting plenty of attention elsewhere.
This is important. Important things are not always news, as in new. Haven’t we been hearing for long time from experts that a great extinction event is unfolding, on our watch, of the scale of the KT and maybe even Permian? I’m sure I heard that theme 20 years ago in Rio at the Earth Summit. How is this news different? In this case, what’s new is that conservation has measurable impact – but what’s remains most important is that extinction is moving fast anyway.
Other Stories on this week’s extinction and biodiversity news:
- Wall St Journal – Gautam Naik: A War Against Extinction ;
- AP -Malcolm Ritter: Study says conservation slowing animal extinctions ;
- Time Magazine (EcOcentric blog) Bryan Walsh: Wildife: Biodiversity Is Declining Fast – But It Would Be Even Worse Without Conservation Efforts ;
- Bloomberg – Rob Waters: Animals Face Extinction Threat as Conservation Efforts Lag, Scientists Say;
- Telegraph (UK) Louise Gray: One fifth of vertebrates in the grip of an ‘extinction crisis’ ;
- Washington Post – Juliet Eilperin: Global extinction crisis looms, new study says ; That’s the Post’s rendition of the study’s map. One wonders why the US West Coast is an extinction hot spot. Don’t they know we have scads of tree huggers out here?
- San Francisco Chronicle – David Perlman: Researchers assess extinction risks of vertebrates ; He starts with local focus, and works out to the larger mortality. A California Academy of Sciences press release
- BBC – Richard Black: More species slide to extinction ;
- PostMedia News (Canada) Margaret Munro: Conservation key to stopping global ‘extinction crisis’: Scientists ;
- LA Times – Eryn Brown: Grim news on animal extinction threat greeting Japan biodiversity summit ;
- USA Today – Dan Vergano: Animals face extinction threat ; I mentioned higher that what’s important is not necessarily what’s new. Vergano handles that dichotomy directly and explicitly.
- Guardian (UK) Jonathan Watts: One-fifth of world’s back-boned animals face extinction, study warns ; Good for the Guardian – Watts filed from Nagoya.
- NatureNews – Joseph Milton: Conservation offers hope for biodiversity decline ;
- Daily Mail – David Derbyshire: Species slide to extinction: A fifth of world’s animals face oblivion ; Hmmppphhhht. The Mail’s headlines often have only loose connection to the news. The story makes clear that this study is about vertebrates, not all animals. Derbyshire handles the news quite well and at some length.
- … could go on for quite some length
Grist for the Mill:
– Charlie Petit