What an important area for research!
It may be good to start with Colombus.
According to the book "1421" that points out that maps of the Caribbean had
been available 70 years before Colombus got there (he probably had them with
him) it seems that he and his brother were not beyond a bit of hard selling
and embellishment in their quest to raise finances for their voyages and
imply great resources existed there.
His statements about the relative abundance of turtles and caimans (American
crocodiles) in the Cayman Islands have always worried me: in the sense that
the proposed abundance of "caimans" does not make a lot of sense
biologically. Historical research here on crocodiles indicated that a river
described as "teaming with crocodiles" may still only have had 10 per km of
With our recovery program with crocodiles here historical research played a
pivotal role. After 13 years protection we thought we were 1-2% recovered
(implying the program was not working), but the historical research
indicated we were conservatively 30% recovered (te program was working well)
- now that the population is stable we think it was 40% recovered at that
time. The value of objective historical research may often be profound in
terms of establishing tangible recovery goals and dispelling the assumption
of pristine abundance everywhere.
On 7/12/04 2:23, "Sara Maxwell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Apologies for cross-postings.
> Marine Conservation Biology Institute is embarking on the third year of
> the Mia J. Tegner Memorial Research Grants in Marine Environmental
> History and Historical Ecology. To date MCBI has awarded 17 grants,
> each $6000 and below (http://www.mcbi.org/Advancing/Advancing.htm#mia).
> This program provides funding for high-quality, results-oriented
> research projects in the areas of marine environmental history and
> historical ecology. To our knowledge, this is the first dedicated
> program for funding research in this neglected and important area of
> This grants program is dedicated to the memory and scientific legacy of
> Mia J. Tegner, a marine biologist from Scripps Institution of
> Oceanography who lost her life in January 2001 while carrying out
> research in the waters of Southern California. Dr. Tegner's primary
> research focused on the ecology of kelp forest communities. She studied
> the ecology and restoration of abalone populations in southern
> California, and her long time series of observations made significant
> contributions to the scientific understanding of the effects of ocean
> climate on nearshore ecosystems. Dr. Tegner was a Pew Fellow in Marine
> Conservation and a fellow of the American Association for the
> Advancement of Science. Her work, her dedication to the field of marine
> biology and her contribution to a seminal paper on historical ecology,
> was the inspiration for creating this program to both insure Dr.
> Tegner's legacy and honor her memory.
> Applications are due by January 28, 2005. Please view additional
> details and application guidelines at:
> Sara Maxwell
> Program Assistant
> Marine Conservation Biology Institute
> 15805 NE 47th Court
> Redmond WA 98052 USA
> 425.883.3017 (fax)
Grahame J.W. Webb,
Director, Wildlife Management International
Adjunct Prof., Key Center for Tropical Wildlife Management, NTU
PO Box 530, SANDERSON, NT. 0813. Australia
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
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