It’s not all bad news: conservation success should be celebrated

Success stories like the recovery of the Southern White Rhino give cause for hope, and impetus to act. AAP

A recent article in Nature Neuroscience contends that optimism is hard-wired – that we are more likely to update our knowledge with positive than negative news.

So what happens if all the news seems bad?

That certainly seems the case in conservation – virtually all we hear is about dreadful things happening and how there is worse to come.

Some believe we should just tell it how it is; that if we scare people enough they will reform their ways. That was certainly the response to a letter David Lindenmayer and I wrote to the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution (you can see the responses here and here).

The outlook is bleak for these particular haddock, but the species is recovering. AAP