Use of a car for observations

Situations worst here in rain here, because frogs and toads came out and sit on road, very high in number which get smashed by cars in busy road. that is not even worst part, worst part is that road become slippery which leads to accident.

Well, as individuals we should try to consume less and make choices which minimize our impact - walk the talk. But whether we - even collectively - refrain from driving that extra hour on a Saturday will make little difference without broader changes - like holding industry to cleaner standards, land management that encourages biodiversity, more robust public transit, etc.

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Not dogmatic in the slightest … it’s the position I have gradually drifted into over the past decade until finally replacing my IC engined car with an electric one.

Are you aware of the “Green Birding” movement? The principle applies equally to botanists and entomologists but the concept is that we self limit ourselves to only going after birds etc that we can reach on foot, on a bike or by canoe. It is by no means at all as limiting as you might think because it compels you to focus more on your local patch and get to know the “neighbours” in depth rather than just ticking off new species and moving on. Of course, there are no green birding police so if you have a good reasons for that longer drive occasionally then take it.

There’s a book …
https://www.amazon.com/Green-Birding-Birds-Protect-Environment/dp/0811726150

Even Facebook groups - this is one …
https://www.facebook.com/groups/620268465096967

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And not having previous knowledge to this when @inspector_crow brought this movement to my attention back in April of 2020, I created a project for this type of observing of all Life in Dec 2019 (Footzoom - shameless plug)

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I would venture to say that you did meet that goal – you might not have visited as many as you wanted to, but you visited as many as you could.

I highly recommend the mobile app “Where is Public Toilet.” It’s a wiki, so all mapped toilets were added by users – a daresay all or nearly all American Canyon locations were added by me.

And that bothers me. I saw a story about a seabird die-off; when it came to the part about “What’s being done,” the answer was basically, “documenting.” Documenting doesn’t help unless and until it leads to real preservation actions.

I confess that I’m biased – it seems that I’m seldom in the locations where I would most want to do that. I just find it hard to sustain interest in a region already overrun with naturalists. There may not be any blank spots on the map anymore, but there are certainly blank spots on the ecological and natural history map.

When I was young, my dream was to live in a remote biological station in the Amazon or Congo – because those are places where the biota is still little-known. iNaturalist has exactly one observation of a Congo peafowl in the wild. I doubt you will find any North American or European bird like that, especially not one of comparable size to the Congo peafowl. There is a reason we have that thread, Operation Dethrone Mallard. I agree with the premise – “it’s been done to death.”

Now, if your green birding practices lead you to the small, inconspicuous, and seldom noticed (as in biota other than birds; probably other than vertebrates), well, I would call that a redemption. Edwin Way Teale began Grassroot Jungles with that premise. That’s what it would take for it to feel worthwhile to me.

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as an ecologist i find that documenting is way, way underdone compared with action. There are soooo many ‘restoration’ projects that aren’t based on monitoring or even baseline or recon data. So i have to disagree with this one. I get the sentiment, but we’ve got lots of people volunteering for this and that and not always enough science to back it up. Science requires documenting.

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I think it’s a calming way to approach this, but really do we all do the maximum of what we can? I doubt there’s a single person like that, we all can do better and visit more locations.

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Maybe it’s because those in my network who are interested in nature are more likely to be ecologists, but that is the reverse of what it looks like to me. By the time that seabird die-off has been ‘sufficiently’ documented, how many hundreds or thousands of birds have died? My main complaint against ecologists is that they never think we know enough to act; there is always more data needed first. And by the time ‘enough’ data has been collected – if there can ever be such a thing – the destruction has happened.

We have documentation of a Tasmanian wolf, in the form of film footage of a captive specimen. And when we watch that video on YouTube, we can feel all sad that they are gone. But how, exactly, did that documentation benefit that species? It makes no difference to the animal if we have footage of it; it’s extinct either way.

I could see that being the case too. I guess it depends on what is meant by actions, from individuals, from agencies, what sorts of actions, etc. If i saw a seabird dieoff if i am not sure what I’d be able to do other than document and forward the data to someone who knows something about seabirds. If it’s a wetland issue that is another question, both in terms of advocating for/helping set up policy, and in terms of personal life like growing native platns and restoring a small wetland in my yard. Still all that being said i hardly think driving somewhere to take iNat observations is doing more harm than good given the greater socioeconomic context. Of course some might disagree. It is not easy to decide what to do faced with such vast problems as we are.

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I’ve often said the best way any individual can do something positive for nature conservation is 1) get filthy rich and 2) use your vast wealth to buy large tracts of land for conservation and to influence politicians and industry to implement actions that benefit the natural world.

I got stuck on the “get filthy rich” part.

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That documentation illustrates what we lost. It doesn’t help that species, but perhaps it can push individuals and the public at large to realize what extinction means and to maybe do what we can to keep it from happening to other organisms. Steering public opinion is not unlike steering a super-tanker, it is slow and difficult, but it’s really the only way to influence actions at the government level where broad-scale change can be achieved. (Which is not to say that more local efforts, by individuals and small groups, are unimportant.)

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Being filthy rich and politician would be even better, but probably you’ll get corrupted on your way up.

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would using the ‘vast wealth’ compensate for the damage done getting filthy rich in the first place? Could it?

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Good question. Unless you can get rich by investing in truly green technology, if there is such a thing. But it does suggest we’re all contributors to damaging the natural world, although some more than others.

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If it’s not you it’s somebody else and no benefits for nature from that.

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Yeah, and there’s certainly no evidence that the people taking the photos could have otherwise saved the species. Sometimes it feels like whatabout-isn

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This certainly seems to be true

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It’s true - some of the problems are too big for individual people to deal with. I read a piece in the Guardian ( Dumped fishing gear is killing marine life. Yet no governments seem to care | George Monbiot | The Guardian). It would require a worldwide effort to track this crap, but as long as it is in international waters, no government is able to act. Fishing boats can stay at sea a very long time - a few months ago China had a large fishing fleet just outside the boundary of the Galapogos islands, fishing for weeks. Even if the Ecuadoran government had decided to chase them off, what would it do? Sink a ship or two, and risk a war with China? The Brits sink a French or other boat and again, risk a war? In Canada we saw the collapse of the offshore cod fishery, mainly due to foreign overfishing. How do we, as individuals, stop this kind of nonsense?

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