Perhaps we don't even need academics any more. Perhaps we need engineers to look at secure waste management, or human psychologists, even professional mediators. What we, the community, need is a system that works.
Pete Oxford is a zoologist, writer, photographer and conservationist. He is a permanent resident of Betty's Bay working hard to find a practical and manageable solution to the baboon/human issues within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.
It seems Justin O'Riain's article is once again forcing us to to waste time on yet another rebuttal of the same old tired arguments. I understand the ecology and the reasons why baboon incursions are happening, despite the claimed "careful collective design".
There is a lot of veiled criticism in the article, particularly of the work of the "activists" to whom he and Shirley Strum refer. Is this helpful? Should we then call the other "side" radicals? Here in Betty's Bay they certainly call for radical "solutions". Will our taunts help to provide a way forward?
O'Riain comes well qualified as an academic with PhD students and published papers etc. Remember though that the single greatest driving force of an academic is to get things out in the scientific journals. Have...