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The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal

Exploring the evolution and architecture of the mind

Science Writers Who Write About Goats

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Several weeks ago, science writer Virginia Hughes wrote a piece about her trip to the Galapagos Islands. In it, she described a project in which scientists intentionally killed eighty thousand feral goats on one of the islands in the archipelago. The post led to an interesting conversation in the comments. Following the discussion, Ginny put me in touch with Michelle Nijhuis, who recently wrote a feature for Scientific American on conservation management. At Ginny's urging, Michelle and I decided to discuss some of the questions raised when considering the role of humans in shaping or guiding natural ecologies and why the wiping out of 80,000 goats raises emotional questions in a way that other sorts of conservation-related decisions might not. We turned that conversation into a blog post.

Head over to The Last Word On Nothing to check it out: Galápagos Redux: When Is It OK to Kill Goats?

Image: Liz Dawson, used under Creative Commons license.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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