⚪️ One poster a week to record points of interest when reading about human & non-human interactions ⚪️
Survival of the Cutest
Analysis published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS] has found that more than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction and likely to be lost within the next 20 years. In comparison, the same number of species were lost over the WHOLE of the last century [100 YEARS]. We often hear about increasing numbers of charismatic megafauna, such as the @wwf announcement that wild tiger numbers are increasing for the first time. However, what we often don’t see or hear about, are the many species that are being pushed to a critical point, that perhaps don’t look as cute on the poster..
Resource: PNAS Vertebrates on the brink as indicators of biological annihilation and the sixth mass extinction. Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich & Peter H. Raven. June 16, 2020.
Living with Pests
As agents operating within the natural world, we need to re-evaluate our preconceptions of the ‘pest’. We might champion the success of species conservation globally but, what use are these successes if we hold a blatant disregard for the rapid habitat loss on our front door step? We complain about defecating bats, though they are the main predator of disease-harbouring mosquitos. We remove beehives and ward off bees, despite the fact that bees pollinate over 90% of the world’s wild vegetation and over 30% of the world’s crops. Not only are bat & bee populations declining in urban environments, but they are also endangered in rural areas. Natural pollinators are struggling due to the increasing use of chemical pesticides. If we continue to regard certain species as ‘pests’ (and in turn, a disposable part of our ecosystem) we only contribute towards the current ecological crises.
As a designer, I am practicing within a landscape of shifting cultural and ecological values. I must not only develop outcomes that integrate wildlife habitat & biodiversity into the built environment but, I need to also take on the challenge to rethink the spatial & cultural dimensions in which urban animals and organisms may exist. In doing so, this should enable urban inhabitants to envision the possibility of a truly biodiverse urban landscape, one which there is space for all species to co-exist.
Resource: Volume #35: Everything Under Control