A sense of history

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A sense of history

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Why Native Landscaping Makes Sense With conservation dollars more scarce than ever, how do we decide which species to save? So when some friends and I decided to visit New Guinea, we spent a lot of time thinking about the birds we hoped to see.

Four species topped our list: The first two, at least, should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the avifauna of New Guinea.

A sense of history

The Blue Bird-of-Paradise in particular is a magnificent animal, with its velvet-black head, sky-blue wings, and delicate lacework of gold and blue feathers across its back.

The male King-of-Saxony Bird-of-Paradise sports two outrageously long, odd-shaped feathers that extend from either side of its head, which it can twirl around like antennae during displays. And most bird watchers, I think, would share our enthusiasm for the Southern Crowned-Pigeon, one of four species of giant, powder-blue pigeons with A sense of history crests that inhabit the lowland forests of New Guinea.

Vulnerable to overhunting, they have disappeared near most settled areas, so finding one requires a trip to the more remote, unsettled parts of this already remote region.

But the Wattled Ploughbill? Why would we care about seeing a sparrow-sized green-and-black bird whose only notable feature is two pink fleshy wattles hanging from either side of its face?

Some considered it to be an odd member of the whistler family Pachycephalidaea heterogeneous group of small to medium-sized songbirds that occur in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and various islands in the central and south Pacific. Most bird watchers are at least vaguely aware of this revolution, if only because it has resulted in a major reshuffling of the birds in their field guides, pushing the loons farther into the interior pages, yanking the falcons away from the hawks and depositing them closer to the songbirds, and turning the last few pages of tanagers, cardinals, buntings, and the like into a strange new jumble.

In the case of the Wattled Ploughbill, the data suggest it is not all that closely related to the whistlers. Rather, it forms a distinct and lonely branch within a cluster that includes crows, birds-of-paradise, and monarch flycatchers. Indeed, it is so different that it probably deserves to be in its own family, which is precisely why we were so keen to see it.

Like most bird watchers, we are drawn to birds not solely for their beauty or rarity, but also for their amazing diversity. Seeing representatives of the different bird lineages, whether they are puffins, parrots, or painted-snipes, is part of the joy of bird watching.

This aesthetic sensibility also has important parallels in conservation. Given the finite resources available for conservation, decision-makers such as the U. Fish and Wildlife Service or BirdLife International must decide how best to allocate scarce dollars for saving endangered species.

A simple rule of thumb would be to allocate the most money to the species with the greatest risk of extinction—to the rarest of the rare.

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But that approach quickly runs afoul of a set of practical considerations: How likely is the species to respond to conservation efforts? How expensive will it be to acquire the habitat, reduce the pollution, or do whatever is necessary to save the species?

And, most importantly, what are the opportunity costs associated with protecting a particular species—i. This last question, in turn, forces us to think more about what we aspire to protect when we protect endangered species.

The two goals do not necessarily result in the same set of priorities. May took as his starting point the strange, iguana-like reptiles called tuataras.

Native to New Zealand, the two surviving species of tuataras represent the sole surviving members of an ancient order of reptiles, the Rhyncocephalia.

In the world of reptiles, they are roughly as distinctive as kiwis or mousebirds are in the world of birds. Moreover, both species of tuataras are endangered, largely as a result of predation by non-native animals introduced to New Zealand. Of course, there are plenty of other endangered reptiles in the world, some much more so than the tuataras.

May posed the question of whether we should value, say, the yellow-lipped grass anole, a critically endangered Anolis lizard, as much as either tuatara, given that there are hundreds of species of Anolis lizards, most of which are quite common.

Losing either tuatara, he argued, would represent a loss of much more of reptilian evolutionary history than the loss of any Anolis lizard. Northern Spotted Owl and California Condor.From Henry VIII to Winston Churchill, find out about Britain's history with BBC programmes, timelines and games.

Now with Voice Speak to Sense to find out how well you slept, set your Smart Alarm, play Sleep Sounds, control compatible smart devices like your Nest Learning Thermostat or Phillips Hue lights, and more.

A Sense of History. How to make a kitchen look like it's been there forever. By Terry Trucco of This Old House magazine. Owners of old houses love to talk about preservation. But you rarely hear talk about a vintage kitchen faithfully restored to its former glory.

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History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past as it is described in written documents.

Events occurring before written record are considered schwenkreis.com is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information.

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Combining the latest research on American memory with insights gained from Glassberg's more than twenty years of personal experience in a variety of public history projects, Sense of History offers stimulating reading for all who care about the future of history in America/5(3).

In , Hitler and his followers staged the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, a failed takeover of the government in Bavaria, a state in southern Germany. Hitler had hoped that the “putsch,” or.

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