My life as a goldfish

To mark ten years this month since I finished school, this recently rediscovered essay that I wrote in Upper Sixth takes a light-hearted view of things from a different perspective.

In this essay we will examine life as a goldfish, the benefits and advantages as well as the more negative aspects.  While looking at the specific case study of one particular Carassius auratus, we will also consider the historical and contemporary opinions associated with life as a goldfish in a captive setting.  Although intended to enlighten and inform on the complexities of the goldfish’s existence, the author accepts no responsibility for those of the anti-goldfish lobby such as cats who are offended by this personal account of and view on goldfish life. Continue reading

Snow leopards and sustainability

Snow Leopard Research Nepal

Jonny’s recent presentation on his research at the 17th Student Conference on Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge, 22nd – 24th March.

Presentation abstract (summary)

Given the prevalence of poverty and pastoralism across the snow leopard’s range, this talk addresses the assumptions that more diverse and resilient livelihoods, and a decentralised conservation governance model, will improve attitudes to and reduce conflict with the species. It also tests these assumptions in relation to snow leopard conservation. Using systematic sampling, a quantitative questionnaire was administered to 705 households at two sites in Nepal: Sagarmatha National Park, with a centralised governance model; and Annapurna Conservation Area, with a decentralised one. Seventy qualitative interviews were also collected for cross-methods triangulation. Regression models were the main form of analysis.

Attitudes to snow leopards were best predicted by attitudes to snow leopard conservation and numbers of livestock; with attitudes to snow leopard conservation, it was…

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Salvation

Part three of a series on reasons to care for creation.

Since early childhood I have had a particular fascination with the cat family, or Felidae. Of the 37 or so species I’ve had the great privilege to work with 17 of them in captivity, to see two in the wild and to hear a third: it’s a humbling experience to be sleeping outside and in the half-light of morning to hear a leopard calling close by!

During a university summer holiday I was working at a wildlife sanctuary, where, among other animals, I had to look after a tiger called Sonia. And after a few days I had the opportunity to go into her enclosure along with her keeper. Continue reading

Provision

Part one of a series on reasons to care for creation.

In Genesis 1:29 + 31 we read that ‘God saw all that He had made and it was very good’. Also: ‘I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’

God has created a world in balance that is wonderfully interconnected; that is self-sustaining; that does not produce waste; and that provides, or should provide, amply for all life on earth. Here I want to divide this section further into extrinsic and intrinsic valuations of God’s provision for us. Continue reading