Category Archives: Biodiversity

Antarctic Penguins are doing just fine, thank you

“The 1.5 million penguins were spotted on the Danger Islands, a chain of nine rocky islands off the Antarctic Peninsula’s tip, near South America.” click here

Public concern over global warming (aka climate change) is at all time low

“Now, 25 years later, public concern over global warming (aka climate change) is at an all-time low remains at the bottom of the list of environmental concerns.” click here

A Global Database of Terrestrial Biodiversity: Interpretation and Speculation

The shear number of names on this article is all the evidence needed to recognize this as a political effort, not a scientific effort. As with other large databases, presuppositions drive the data interpretation. Good data is hard to come by. The more the better. But safe guards are needed to ensure the data is not arbitrarily changed as has been done with global temperature data. The database may be useful but the “human impacts” discovered will be a matter of interpretation and/or speculation.

Hudson LNĀ and lots of others. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution. 2014 Dec;4(24):4701-35. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1303

Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups – including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems – We make site-level summary data available alongside this article. The full database will be publicly available in 2015.

Click here for paper (Open Access).