Uncertainty of outcomes is a feature of conservation. That's perhaps why the "precautionary principle" is held so sacred in this field. But, considering the potential cost of inaction in a rapidly-changing world, are we being a bit too cautious? Michelle Marvier and Peter Kereiva recently tackled this topic in the peer-reviewed literature, and Michelle discussed it with me on the podcast.
Michelle Marvier is a professor in the Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences at Santa Clara University. She has authored and co-authored a textbook in Conservation Science and more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, among them several that challenge some of the less well-supported orthodoxy in biodiversity conservation.
Links to resources:
It is time to rebalance the risk equation - The paper upon which much of the podcast episode was based.
Recovery and Management Options for Spring/Summer Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River Basin - A paper related to the salmon example discussed.
Conserving Biodiversity Coldspots: Recent calls to direct conservation funding to the world's biodiversity hotspots may be bad investment advice - A paper mentioned in the discussion.
Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature - Textbook co-authored by Michelle.
Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma - Recent book edited by Michelle and colleagues.
The rapid spread of Australia's cane toad pests - A recent BBC summary of the cane toad story, which was discussed in the episode.
Researchers embrace a radical idea: engineering coral to cope with climate change - An article on altering the genetics of coral or the microbes that live on it, to which Michelle referred in our discussion.