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The last snail: conservation and extinction in Hawai’i

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013

The last snail: conservation and extinction in Hawai’i

Thom van Dooren: As I stood in the presence of this individual, the last of a species, I was reminded of how incredibly ill equipped we are as a culture to make sense of the immensity of the loss that is extinction. I spent last Tuesday afternoon with Professor Mike Hadfield, a biologist at the University of Hawai’i. Mike is a man passionate about biology – about living things and their conservation, but also about research to better understand life itself: the complex entanglements and interactions that make reproduction and other fundamental developmental processes possible at...

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Albatross, plastic and the undoing of generations

Posted by on Nov 3, 2012

Albatross, plastic and the undoing of generations

Thom van Dooren: In the middle of the North Pacific Ocean, at the far north west end of the Hawaiian Archipelago, lie a few tiny coral and sand islands encircled by a small reef. These little patches of dry land in the midst of a vast expanse of water and sky are Midway Atoll. Each year, these islands provide breeding habitat for a range of bird species. For example, the largest remaining colonies of two threatened species of albatross – the black-footed and Laysan – are to be found here. Between a third and two thirds of the global population of each species call this place home for...

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Tjilpa – Quoll – Native Cat – Dasyurus geoffroii – Dreaming – Vulnerable – Coming home

Posted by on Oct 25, 2012

Tjilpa – Quoll – Native Cat – Dasyurus geoffroii – Dreaming – Vulnerable – Coming home

James Hatley and Deborah Rose An advertisement for the nocturnal tour at the Alice Springs Desert Park invited us to come and see endangered species. The work of protecting rare marsupials interests us enormously, and we were also drawn, it must be admitted, to the idea of seeing creatures we would never see any other way. In spite of our discomfort at the thought of getting glimpses of ‘the last of their kind’, we were keen to learn more about the Desert Park, its relationship with endangered animals, its captive breeding programs for vulnerable species such as quolls and mala (rufous...

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In the Shadow of All This Death

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012

In the Shadow of All This Death

Keynote Address prepared for the conference ‘Animal Death’, paperswriter Hosted by the Human-Animal Research Network, Sydney University, June 12-13, 2012 Deborah Bird Rose Professor of Social Inclusion, Macquarie University Visiting Professorial Fellow, Environmental Humanities, UNSW Deathzone (n): a place where the living and the dying encounter each other in the presence of that which cannot be averted. This intimate and ultimate place is not, as some have imagined, a purely human domain. Animals belong here too, and when we humans deprive ourselves of participation with them we lose...

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