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Great Article on US Conservation Priorities

This is a great article, the gist of which (in my words only) is that the conservation priorities in the US are mismatched with the needs of our biodiversity. Essentially, we have this strange situation where most of our preserved lands/habitats are in the western US. And of course, most of our endangered species, habitats, and development concerns occur in the east, where there is a great deal less protection.

It is my hope that studies like these can prioritize conservation goals, and steer us in a direction that works better for the plants and animals most at risk of extinction.


Oh, and not to take away from the importance of the study though, but an anecdote: the journal is great, but its name (PNAS) is a common butt of jokes in the science world.
Interesting and tragic, Kev. Hopefully studies like this are a step toward correcting any erroneous conservation efforts.
I think all conservation is great and necessary. In fact, I'd say we've done a decent job protecting stuff out west. It's rather that we need to step up our game along the Mississippi River watershed and east coast. Notice how a lot of the animal/plant diversity maps follow the mississippi.
Agreed. I had terrible word choice above.

I should be awake for at least an hour before using multisyllabic words.
Sometimes when I see vast tracts of a single variety of crop I wonder how long nature would take to make it rich by way of bio-diversity if we stopped active agriculture there. A century? More perhaps. When buildings are abandoned it's amazing to watch green stuff grow out of what we think as solid concrete. It makes me stop and wonder and how these things happen. Do insects move in first? Or do the birds visit and drop seeds? Perhaps the dust carries in spores. Even if we watched it everyday, we might not notice the first changes. It's like nature takes something which was not fitting in and reshapes it to fit in. When a ship sinks the ocean creatures move in and make it their home. They make is a part of the ocean. Walls which kept out the water, soon keeps sea creatures in, making it a part of the marine ecosystem. Budding marine biologists learn about 'Organisms of the Seabed' (Source: Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology), they go diving to understand these ecosystems and museums showcase them, but the basic wonder at how these things start has always left me surprised. Imitation is the best form of flattery and at least in Biomimicry we have started looking at nature for solutions. It's the tip of the iceberg for we understand very little about how Nature runs her set up. We have learnt to spot dots, but we have a long way to go before we can learn to join them well. Well, it's like solving mysteries. Once we learn more we could learn to build and maintain biodiversity as effortlessly as nature does.