Biodiversity indicators in California: Taking nature's temperature
Michael E. Soulé, UC Santa Cruz
California Agriculture 49(6):40-44. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v049n06p40.
Several habitats and ecosystems in California, including those that have been converted to agriculture, are severely threatened — the remnants of these disappearing communities constitute only 10% or so of their original extant. As a society we have begun a last-ditch effort to salvage and protect these remnants and the species that depend on them. To succeed, we must develop and agree on criteria for ecological integrity. These criteria must include “indicators” — ways to take nature's temperature. But more is needed than good science; saving this diverse living legacy also requires a moral consensus.
M.E. Soulé is Chair, Board of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz.