What do you think the biggest human related threats to biodiversity are?

i don’t think they used to nest in huge colonies on exposed islands before? i don’t know, i’m a plant ecologist, maybe i’m totally wrong here :sweat_smile:

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Yup, sorry. Cormorants have always been colonial nesters.

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i am just passing on knowledge that was imparted to me, i am sorry if it was wrong.

No problem. Looks like I should have used an emoji to soften my reply. I am a bit emotional about this issue (see below), but you didn’t say anything bad.

I’m pretty sure the colonies are the biggest reason people “flip out” over Cormorants returning to areas where they’d been extirpated. They look ugly, and I think that’s all the motivation people need. But nobody is willing to put that forward as the central reason to cull cormorants, so they come up with lots of plausible-sounding but bullshit stories: They’re eating all the fish! (Yet they aren’t proposing to cull other bird species which eat fish.) They’re overpopulated! (Yet Cormorants aren’t even close to reaching their pre-WWII population.) They destroy the habitat of endangered species! (Yeah? Which ones?) And “the colonies are ugly” ends up as a reworded footnote about them being “detrimental to aesthetics” (direct quote from a recent attempt in Ontario). But that’s the only argument in favour of culling which doesn’t fall apart when you poke it.

I think ugliness is not a sufficient reason to kill birds.

… end rant. I swear I can debate rationally about this. But it’s an issue where I have to work hard to stay calm. Too close to home, I guess.


ok maybe I misunderstand something

I’m not saying most people think so, I just wrote my version.

Ugliness is an ugly reason to kill. I’m just learning about the control measures on the lakes. It sounds like there may sometimes be legitimate concerns about displacing other birds who then have nowhere to go, but that the reason for that is that we reserved habitat at a time when cormorant populations were artificially very low. What naturally accommodated them and other species is now mostly used by humans. Nobody has seen normal populations in their lifetime and see them as invasive, which seems strange to me for a highly mobile species not being brought over a geographic barrier or losing a predator. With most of their diet now consisting of invasive fish, instead of going after them for them damage created by crowding them into the scant habitat we’ve left them, shouldn’t we be finding ways to accommodate more of them?


Help me out here. This isn’t just supposed to be a brainstorm session of all the human-caused threats; it is our ideas of which ones are the biggest. So please help me understand how you feel these two are bigger, meaning more destructive to biodiversity, than the ones on the original poll.

Well, cormorants get more consideration than spiders, then. People who kill spiders have no difficulty admitting that ugliness is the reason (“I just don’t like all those legs”).

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I must apologize but I don’t have time to be a teacher here. Try digging into the academic world of noise and light. They are HUGE problems to biodiversity! Start with “The phantom roadway.”

Think about, for instance, California’s loss of 95% of their wetlands as well as a massive Serengeti-like bottomland complex of herbaceous vegetation, flood plain, and tule swamp. Essentially all obliverated along with countless plants and animals, probably dozens of lically endemic plants and animals rendered extinct before they were documented by Western science, not to mention the genocide of the people living there and managing the land. So, compare that with noise and light pollution. The latter matter, yes, but they are in and of themselves a subset of habitat loss in their impacts. So i don’t understand saying they are the biggest threat.


Human builduings’ existence in their current numbers alone is a bigger problem that light pollution, which wouldn’t have that big effect if biosystems weren’t already damaged and vulnerable.

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

That is an inappropriate post for this forum.

Good. censor me and stick your heads in the sand about light and noise pollution not being huge threats. The OP asked and that’s my opinion.

Asserting that the biggest threat to biodiversity is light and noise pollution isn’t against the forum guidelines but attacking other users is. You can edit the post snd we can unflag it, if you want.


I am currently in middle school, and I can definitely say that the only thing we are supposed to learn about nature is that is is dangerous and generally dirty and bad (I obviously didn’t listen). Education about the enviroment would really make a big impact.


Right, I think the only nature-related classes we have was in 2nd grade when children are 8 y. old and can’t really care about anything serious or when we had to gather collections of fallen leaves, of course I had more as I moved to school where classes had specifications, but otherwise in my first school in some aspects I knew more than our bilogy teacher, she didn’t get any additional qualifications probably for decades, and my husband hated bilogy overall because his teacher was crazy and broke some of his things, he wasn’t an angel, but it shows why so few people know anything about environment they live in.