Sunday 31 October 2010

Habitat destruction at Tense Towers

Sadly, I must report that, like billions of my fellow humans, I suspect I've been too "busy" with my own life to worry too much about 2010, International Year of Biodiversity. We're not very good at seeing beyond our immediate field of view (sometimes it is just a field), nor the greater landscape beyond, let alone a whole planet's worth of Nature.

My conscience is partly salved by the knowledge that in this little corner of the world, our lass and I have created tiny pockets of habitat to encourage as many species as possible to the environs around Tense Towers. But all the gardens on Earth aren't going to save those plants and animals that require a wider landscape or more specific conditions to live their lives.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has just ended in Nagoya, Japan, with a set of resolutions to protect more land and sea habitats and to lessen the rate of species' loss. Whether the leaders of the world have the will and the wherewithal to finance these proposals and to carry their electorates along with them, only time will tell. 

Meantime, I must report an unforeseen consequence of the latest trends in home improvement.

Whilst brushing my teeth yesterday morning, I noticed a "hairy bear" forlornly negotiating the barren wastes of the bathroom window sill. This small larva of the Carpet Beetle was a long way from anywhere it could call home, as tiles cover the walls and floor. If it made it to the lounge, it would discover that the vast plains of carpet, that once spread right across this room, have been replaced by wood laminate flooring. A whole ecosystem removed at a stroke. This would be one unimpressed invertebrate.

"You b******s!"
And this probably is the crux of the matter. Whilst we presume that there will be some species with which we'd quite happily not share the planet, we forget that Nature is a food web. OK, we're sitting pretty as a top consumer, but we're still joined to everything else by slender threads. How many species do you think we could lose before it's no longer a web and we're as doomed as the hairy bear?

Never mind carpets, it'll be curtains for us all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read that carpet beetle larva is actually more harmful than adult carpet beetles. It’s kind of crazy how the baby version can be worse to have in your house than the adult version.