[Taxacom] Funding biodiversity?

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sat Jan 29 23:34:55 CST 2011

Hi Sergio,
        To me "real biodiversity" research at the present time should
revolve around endangered or "nearly" endangered species.  Neither
wolves nor moose are anywhere close.  That either species should garner
more research and funding than great apes is hard to comprehend (except
that North Americans and even Europeans with greater access to financial
resources often tend to be too fixated on certain Holarctic taxa that
are not really endangered).  That vertebrates (especially mammals and
birds in particular) get more attention and funding is not surprising,
but disappointing if one wants to be really fair and objective in their
approach to biodiversity.  I'm sure many entomologists find a
distressingly similar disparity in the interest in butterflies over
other insect groups.                               
       And I suspect the excessive interest in wolves is related to
humans' fascination with domesticated dogs (wolf descendants), the
populations of which now rival the over-population of humans on our
planet.  Of course, this is even more extreme in the last century in
western societies, where grocery stores now have whole aisles dedicated
to pet food, especially for their "lap-dogs".  There seems to be a huge
discrepancy between such dogs (many bored and over-indulged, and too
often over-weight) and healthier dogs that actually tend to get more
exercise, thrive on table scraps, and are probably well-adjusted to
their domestication and actuallly earn their keep.       
          Too many domesticated dogs are now bored (and spoiled) or on
the other hand, bored and neglected.  Either way, their barking and
howling (due to neglect or being spoiled and bored) are an increasingly
problem for neighbors to those humans who do not properly care for or
train their dogs.                
         Increasingly it seems like spoiled brats are raising spoiled
dogs, or angry brats are raising angry dogs. Either way, it's the dogs
and neighbors who both suffer, and those kind of dog owners are
relatively self-centered and oblivious (and their dogs only get
attention when their owners find it convenient for their own comfort). I
guess it's not surprising that we see extreme cases where humans treat
their human servants like crap and leave millions of dollars for their
dog in their will (Leona "you-know-who" is an extreme example).  It's
really a shame that those millions don't go to conservation of species
(rather a one particular human and her dog).  It's really absurd.   Such
humans and their over-spoiled pets are the worse examples of an
antithesis to biodiversity.  Nothing natural about such excess
(especially in our modern cities).    
Sergio wrote:  
just a brief question: 
what's real biodiversity research? 
and a comment, 
>How does this kind of research get priority over real >biodiversity
I've noticed that funding agencies tend to favor hypothesis-driven
research and to avoid funding long-term inventory work with no clear
outcome but "a list" of what's there and some new species... don't know
just my perception perhaps. But I might be missunderstanding what "real
biodiversity research" is anyways. 

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