Looking for some good blogs about biodiversity? Here are some of my old favourites and some new discoveries. There’s something for everyone here, but I’d like to know your top tips too.
To see why I produced this list and what I think is missing from it, you can read the accompanying post: Five vacant niches in the biodiversity blogosphere . Or you can read that later and continue here to my list of old favourites and new discoveries.
Here goes… (in no particular order)
First up is the Earth Watch blog by the BBC’s Richard Black. He has a fantastic grip on what biodiversity really means. He shares his analysis in the most accessible of ways, and his blog is one of the few mainstream media sites to give biodiversity the time and space it deserves.
Other good sources of original news and commentary are Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth blog at the New York Times, the Yale Environment 360 blog, the independent journalist Stephen Leahy, and George Monbiot and other bloggers at The Guardian. Note that these journalists all focus on other issues too, and you are far more likely to find posts on climate change than on biodiversity at their blogs.
Another commentator whose blog I only just found is biologist Marcelino Fuentes. His Biopolitical blog explores the ways science and social policy about environmental issues can combine or clash (as an example, see his post on the environmentalist’s paradox).
Mongabay.com is one of the best places to go online for news about forests, conservation, wildlife and biodiversity — and for well-written summaries of the latest academic research on these topics. Though it is more of an online magazine than a blog, it has a dedicated biodiversity news blog, which collects all of the site’s biodiversity content into one place.
Our World 2.o, the blog from the UN University, also has a dedicated (and well-presented) biodiversity channel, while Corey Bradshaw’s Conservation Bytes discusses conservation science and its impacts (or lack of) on global biodiversity.
O Eco is a Brazilian site with a strong focus on biodiversity, forests and sustainable development. It has a separate project — O Eco Amazonia — that shares stories (in Portuguese, English and Spanish) from the nine countries that share the Amazon basin.
Brazil-based Tim Hirsch’s Earth Matters also covers biodiversity and forests, among other things, while the UN Redd Programme Blog discusses moves to tackle climate change by limiting deforestation in developing nations — and what this means for forest-dependent people.
Wildlife Direct has a whole collection of biodiversity-related blogs — including Bushmeat in Kenya and Bornean Sun Bear and Island Biodiversity Race — which are easy to browse through to find something interesting.
Next up is Resilience Science, whose enticing subtitle is “coping with ecological surprise in a human dominated world”. This blog’s collective of authors are researchers who study resilience in social-ecological systems. They recently published an interesting paper on The Environmentalist’s Paradox, and you can find them blogging on all sorts, from ecological crises to urban ecology.
Related blogs that focus on the links between people and nature include Human Landscapes, and the blog from Japan’s Satoyama Initiative which aims to conserve human-influenced environments and the traditional practices for managing them that people have developed and used sustainably over a long time.
The British Ecological Society’s Ecology and Policy Blog and the Ecological Society of America’s Ecotone provide news and views on the interface between ecological research and public policy. Both are more international in scope that their titles suggests.
Surprisingly few blogs focus heavily on the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the international law that aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure that it is used in a fair and sustainable way (though Blogging Biodiversity did in the past).
For NGO perspectives you can follow a network of civil society organisations at the CBD Alliance, which also produces the UndecoverCOP blog during the international negotiations that take place each year to refine the CBD. TK Bulletin is also useful for posts about the traditional knowledge that for many communities goes hand-in-hand with the sustainable use and management of biodiversity.
For a more market-oriented view of our natural world, then the Eko-Eco blog is the place to be. It discusses how to incorporate the value of ecosystem services into our economic system, and is a joint project of Ecosystem Marketplace and EKO Asset Management Partners. The Ecosystem Services Blog (which I hope takes off again soon).
International organisations with blogs about biodiversity include Conservation International and the Zoological Society of London. Its EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) blog tells the stories of species that are not only rare, but also have very few close relatives.
For specific areas of biodiversity news or research or policy you can try out the Invasive Species Blog (which tracks one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide), the RTSea blog (on marine and coastal biodiversity), the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog set up by Luigi Guarino and Jeremy Cherfas, and the like-minded Agrobiodiversity Grapevine.
For taxomony and systematics, try Morgan Jackson’s Biodiversity in Focus or if you want to get really technical — and visually treated — then see Biodivertido, where a group of bloggers share their experiences in bioinformatics.
Blogs with a national or regional focus include: Bionesian – Pacific Biodiversity, Phil Gates’s The Cabinet of Curiosities about nature in the North-East of England, and Mario Balzan’s BioBlog, which has a special focus on the Mediterranean and its insects.
Two travel blogs that are worth are look are David Without Borders (by Canadians David Aimé and David Fabregand) and Gaia Vince’s Wandering Gaia, which covers broader topics than biodiversity alone. I’m not sure what will happen to these sites when Gaia stops wandering and the two Davids are back within their own borders, but I guess they will keep on blogging.
Also seemingly time-bound is the Parasite of the Day blog, which the American Society of Parasitologists is using to highlight one parasite per day during 2010, the UN International Year of Biodiversity. Parasitologists never get bored of new parasites so I hope they keep blogging into the next year and beyond.
Last but not least I recommend Paolo Viscardi’s Zygoma – which is home to the weekly challenge that is the Friday Mystery Object.
Okay, I have written more than a thousand words on this post so it is time to stop and hand over to you… I’m sure there are many excellent blogs out there that are new to me, so please do share any suggestions you have by adding a comment with a description and a link to the blog.
You can read about what I think is missing in the accompanying post: Five vacant niches in the biodiversity blogosphere.