TIME | 5 May 2011, 4pm onwards
LOCATION | CSAFE Seminar Room, , Dunedin
SPEAKER | Sarah Meadows
Over the last 40 years, New Zealand agriculture has been characterised by intensification, the rate of which still may be accelerating. Presently, nearly 80% of private land below 500m is used in agriculture. The warm, fertile conditions that characterise these areas historically enabled them to support high levels of biodiversity. Agricultural-based products represent 53% of New Zealand merchandise exports. The majority of products go to overseas markets, where consumers increasingly demand commodities that are produced using methods that are sustainable and mindful of non-production biodiversity. Accordingly, efforts to enhance and conserve biodiversity should direct focus toward production lands. Using birds as indicators of wider biodiversity at the ecological level and surrogates of farmer attitudes and actions at the social level, a transdisciplinary model is described for the selection of a “Market Flagship Species.” The model integrates ecological and social criteria to inform the selection of a species that simultaneously indicates farm environment health and biodiversity and resonates with both farmers and consumers.
Sarah Meadows received her BSc in Zoology at the University of Otago in 2003. She completed her Masters in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007. She recently completed her PhD in Zoology at the University of Otago. Her research was conducted as part of the Agriculture Research Group on Sustainability and sought to take a transdisciplinary look at social and ecological indicators of biodiversity on sheep/beef farms.