What about the little things?

A few days ago BBC Science and Environment posted a rather infuriating article entitled ‘World wildlife ‘falls by 58% in 40 years” . Not only is this infuriating but misleading too. The data is based on vertebrates. I have nothing against vertebrates at all, but they do not encompass wildlife as a whole. It may not surprise readers of this blog to hear that I love all wildlife, especially the things that others dismiss and think unimportant. I have always been interested in the things that I feel matter most, the smaller things in life. I have been lucky enough to have been paid for the last 9 months to care about invertebrates, and hope to find a role that will allow me to continue recording wildlife when my job finishes in 3 months time.

We know a lot about vertebrates relatively speaking, but that doesn’t mean that plants, lichens, fungi, invertebrates (the list goes on and on…) should be dismissed. We cannot protect what we do not know exists though, which is why biological recording seems to have become my life over the last few years. I have rather enjoyed studying minuscule beetles this year that spend most of their lives as larvae in dead wood in trees, recycling nutrients and going unnoticed. The State of Nature Report this year has gone a long way to highlight declines in less well known groups, and I am pleased to see lots of biological recording projects are looking at trickier groups now including the up and coming Biolinks and WildSide projects. But more needs to be done to end this vertebrate bias. It is really not healthy for us or the environment. All life is wonderful, all life can be charismatic, all life matters.



4 responses to “What about the little things?

  1. yes it really annoyed me too – and I have a blog post in preparation but in the meantime did my tweet on invertebrate safaris which seemed to do very well indeed, so I think we may be getting the message across

  2. Very timely – I’m running a final year seminar on the Living Planet Report on Monday morning and will get the students to look at your post, Ryan, and Simon’s

  3. Thanks Jeff and Simon!

  4. Pingback: The Living Planet Report 2016 – taking stock with a student seminar | Jeff Ollerton's Biodiversity Blog

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