Fossa: Conservation

music
ambience: Madagascar forest

Scientists who do research in field biology may find themselves looking past the study of single species — to a broader perspective. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Luke Dollar is a Doctoral Fellow in ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He’s studying the fossa, an animal only found in Madagascar.

“The worst case scenario for the fossa is a similar worst case scenario for Madagascar, with a few other variables thrown in. Madagascar has about eight percent of its original standing forests left. That’s bad. The majority of those forests have been lost in the last fifty years. That’s worse. It’s a recent trend and it’s fast, it’s going quickly at theto the tune of three to six percent per year.”

Luke Dollar is concerned that in even 10 to 20 years, Madagascar’s unique ecosystem will be gone. He feels it is the responsibility of research scientists like himself to bring these issues to attention of the general public.

“While the research that we do is important, the conservation work that we do is more important, Because I could continue to go to Madagascar with blinders on and just try to find fossa and find everything I know about them, and then at the end of my career, I’m going to know a lot about an extinct species. I can’t let that happen. Field biologists today can’t let that happen. They can’t go into the forests with blinders on and just do science anymore because they are in many cases the only people that are on the front lines of the global biodiversity crisis. And to take the reconnaissance data that they’re coming up with, and to write a paper and be done with it, and not communicate that to a policy level or do something to preserve the forest that they’re studying in, they might as well not be there, because the forest isn’t gonna be there.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Fossa: Conservation

A field biologist on the front lines of a biodiversity crisis has a greater mission than scientific discovery of a single species.
Air Date:11/20/2002
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: Madagascar forest

Scientists who do research in field biology may find themselves looking past the study of single species -- to a broader perspective. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Luke Dollar is a Doctoral Fellow in ecology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. He's studying the fossa, an animal only found in Madagascar.

"The worst case scenario for the fossa is a similar worst case scenario for Madagascar, with a few other variables thrown in. Madagascar has about eight percent of its original standing forests left. That’s bad. The majority of those forests have been lost in the last fifty years. That’s worse. It’s a recent trend and it’s fast, it’s going quickly at theto the tune of three to six percent per year."

Luke Dollar is concerned that in even 10 to 20 years, Madagascar's unique ecosystem will be gone. He feels it is the responsibility of research scientists like himself to bring these issues to attention of the general public.

"While the research that we do is important, the conservation work that we do is more important, Because I could continue to go to Madagascar with blinders on and just try to find fossa and find everything I know about them, and then at the end of my career, I’m going to know a lot about an extinct species. I can’t let that happen. Field biologists today can’t let that happen. They can’t go into the forests with blinders on and just do science anymore because they are in many cases the only people that are on the front lines of the global biodiversity crisis. And to take the reconnaissance data that they’re coming up with, and to write a paper and be done with it, and not communicate that to a policy level or do something to preserve the forest that they’re studying in, they might as well not be there, because the forest isn’t gonna be there."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music