The Earth has experienced a dramatic increase in the human population, globally; in 2000, the world had 6.1indianme.JPG billion human inhabitants and this number is expected to increase to more than 9 billion in the next 50 years (PRB 2005). A result of this human domination is that biodiversity is severely threatened. Indeed, the past five decades witnessed the extinction of many species, and estimates put the current rate of extinction at 50-500 times the background rate (Woodruff 2001; Baillie et al. 2004). The main driver of such dramatic declines of biodiversity is the acceleration at which habitat has been lost or altered to cope with the pressures of the expanding human population (Wilcove et al. 1998; Wilcove et al. 2005; Andelman & Willig 2003; Pereira et al. 2004). For instance, each year 1% of the Earth’s ecosystems are converted for human land use (Balmford et al. 2002). Across biomes the rate of habitat conversion is eight times greater than land conservation in both temperate grasslands and Mediterranean communities (Hoekstra et al. 2005). For broad scale habitats primary forest have lost six million hectares per year since 2000 (CBD 2006) through conversion to agricultural land (CBD 2006). Alone, the loss of habitat has had major impacts on 86% of threatened birds, 86% of threatened mammals and 88% of threatened amphibians (Baillie et al. 2004).
Preventing further decline of biodiversity is a major challenge facing society. Such extreme land use change and fragmentation of land can potentially cause drastic effects on native biodiversity and ecosystems (Hansen et al. 2002; Hansen and Rotella 2002; Brown et al. 2004)
Evidence of the plight of biodiversity in the US comes from listings under the Endangered Species Act 1973 (ESA 1973). This act protects both native species which are recognised as threatened or endangered, as well as protecting their habitats. Despite the country’s attempt to conserve its biodiversity and ecosystem services, new additions to the US endangered species list have increased over the decades: 178 species in 1976 to 1272 species in 2002 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1976, in Scott et al. 2001; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2005a). In fact, the number of known species threatened with extinction is at least 10 times greater than the number protected (Wilcove and Master 2005).
In terms of conservation action the conservation literature itself is undernourished (Prendergast 1999; Cabeza & Moilanen 2001) and conservation assessment without implementation is suggested to be worthless (Whitten et al. 2001). The activities of conservation organisations are rarely based on published research (Pullin et al. 2004) and practitioners usually devise their own conservation assessments without the influences from research based publications (Prendergast et al 1999).
Biodiverity is in seriours crisis and more of the human population needs to take action and recognise the need for wildlife conservation. With Isla’s background and passion being about conservation and promoting an awareness of respect and compassion for all living things, Isla is developing another side to Kachina Canine Communication. This is called Kachina Canine Conservation.
Isla is passionate about creating a co-existence between people and wildlife, particularly of large megafauna such as canines as well as other large carnivores. Such species appear to receive a mixed press between being honoured and sacred by some, yet hated and menaced by others. Co-existing with large predators is a challenge, especially for those who live in close proximity to such animals as well as those who are in direct conflict with large carnivores, who have livestock to care for and rear.
Kachina Canine Conservation hopes to provide up to date information on wild canines for readers to view, learn and listen about conserving and co-existing with large carnivores, such as wolves. There is a plethora of data, websites and organisaations whose aim is to promote, protect and/or conserve wolves and provide funds for on the ground research in the hope that we can reach a co-existence between not just wolves and people, but all wildlife and people.
The website will be updated as it develops but Kachina Canine Conservation hopes to begin a series of talks about canine conservation. All proceeds will be given to an organisation that is working towatds reducing conflict and creating a co-existence between people and wildlife.
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.” American Indian proverb