A Zoological Revolution: Using native fauna to assist in its own survival
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Michael Archer, 2002. "Confronting crises in conservation: a talk on the wild side", A Zoological Revolution: Using native fauna to assist in its own survival, Daniel Lunney, Chris Dickman
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Conservation of the Australian biota and rural and regional communities is at a critical crossroads and our generation is at the wheel. Three to five billion dollars in land degradation is accumulating every year, more species are going extinct here than on any other continent in the world and rural Australia is struggling with deepening cultural/economic crises about long-term viability. The perspective from deep time suggests that our current limited range of strategies for solving these crises, including reliance on the effectiveness of protected areas, will ultimately fail—sometimes catastrophically. Environmental and economic necessity urges us to consider all potential strategies that could turn this around, whether or not they fly in the face of conservative or minority group prejudices. Sustainable use of native wildlife, in urban as well as rural Australia, has the potential to increase the capacity for long-term effective conservation of the biota and rural and regional Australia, as it now does in other areas of the world such as southern Africa and as it once did in Australia when Indigenous people managed this continent. It may well offend animal rights advocates and environmental conservatives to suggest that valued wildlife could be the only alternative to no wildlife, but if that is the choice then there is no choice. The time has come to stand up to irrational views if they put at risk the long-term future of the natural and cultural things we value. Long-term conservation of the biota and rural and regional Australia requires that we trial new and potentially more effective ways of putting people and environments back together for the mutual benefit of both. This document overviews imperatives for change, potential if challenging initiatives that could assist traditional efforts and suggestions about how they might be translated into action.