Lutra 49(1)_Editorial_2006

Knowledge is the key to protection

Species protection starts with knowledge about the distribution of a species and the factors that are responsible for its decline. Most of the distribution data available for our mammal species are not systematically collected in a standardised way. Many mammal databases, if available at all, are a jumble of incidental sightings which are difficult to interpret, as the article on whales and dolphins in this edition of Lutra shows. Mostly they can only be used to say something on presence/absence of a species. Luckily more and more people who try to protect mammals realise that such data are not sufficient to draw conclusions about species population dynamics....