In Abundant Earth, Eileen Crist not only documents the rising tide of biodiversity loss, but also lays out the drivers of this wholesale destruction and how we can push past them. Looking beyond the familiar litany of causes—a large and growing human population, rising livestock numbers, expanding economies and international trade, and spreading infrastructures and incursions upon wildlands—she asks the key question: if we know human expansionism is to blame for this ecological crisis, why are we not taking the needed steps to halt our expansionism?
Crist argues that to do so would require a two-pronged approach. Scaling down calls upon us to lower the global human population while working within a human-rights framework, to deindustrialize food production, and to localize economies and contract global trade. Pulling back calls upon us to free, restore, reconnect, and rewild vast terrestrial and marine ecosystems. However, the pervasive worldview of human supremacy—the conviction that humans are superior to all other life-forms and entitled to use these life-forms and their habitats—normalizes and promotes humanity’s ongoing expansion, undermining our ability to enact these linked strategies and preempt the mounting suffering and dislocation of both humans and nonhumans.
Abundant Earth urges us to confront the reality that humanity will not advance by entrenching its domination over the biosphere. On the contrary, we will stagnate in the identity of nature-colonizer and decline into conflict as we vie for natural resources. Instead, we must chart another course, choosing to live in fellowship within the vibrant ecologies of our wild and domestic cohorts, and enfolding human inhabitation within the rich expanse of a biodiverse, living planet.
The world is in the midst of an ecological explosion with devastating implications. Thousands of species of microbes, plants, and animals are being introduced, both deliberately and inadvertently, to new land areas, seas, and freshwaters. In many regions, these new colonists are running wild, disrupting the dynamics of ecosystems, pushing native species toward extinction, and causing billions of dollars in direct economic damages.Alien Species in North America and Hawaii provides a comprehensive overview of the invasive species phenomenon, examining the threats posed and the damage that has already been done to ecosystems across North America and Hawaii. George W. Cox considers both the biological theory underlying invasions and the potential and actual effects on ecosystems and human activities. His book offers a framework for understanding the problem and provides a detailed examination of species and regions. Specific chapters examine: North American invaders and their threats how exotic species are dispersed to new regions how physical and biotic features influence the establishment and spread of invasives patterns of exotic invasions, with separate chapters covering each of the ten most seriously invaded regions and ecosystems patterns of invasiveness exhibited by major groups of exotics the theory of invasive capability of alien species and the resistance of communities to invasion theoretical aspects of ecosystem impacts of invaders and the evolutionary interaction of invaders and natives management and public policy issuesAlien Species in North America and Hawaii offers for the first time an assessment and synthesis of the problem of invasive species in North American and Hawaiian ecosystems. Scientists, conservation professionals, policymakers, and anyone involved with the study and control of invasive species will find the book an essential guide and reference to one of the most serious and widespread threats to global biodiversity.
Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest provides a global context for what is happening in the Pacific Northwest, analyzing the remaining ancient forest and the threats to it from atmospheric changes and logging. It shows how human tampering affects an ecosystem, and how the Pacific Northwest could become a model for sustainable forestry worldwide.
Ecologists, although they acknowledge the problems involved, generally conduct their research on too few species, in too small an area, over too short a period of time. In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L. Pimm argues that ecology therefore fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet.
Ecologists describing phenomena on larger scales often use terms like "stability," "balance of nature," and "fragility," and Pimm begins by considering the various specific meanings of these terms. He addresses five kinds of ecological stability—stability in the strict sense, resilience, variability, persistence, and resistance—and shows how they provide ways of comparing natural populations and communities as well as theories about them. Each type of stability depends on characteristics of the species studied and also on the structure of the food web in which the species is embedded and the physical features of the environment.
The Balance of Nature? provides theoretical ecology with a rich array of questions—questions that also underpin pressing problems in practical conservation biology. Pimm calls for nothing less than new approaches to ecology and a new alliance between theoretical and empirical studies.
Biodiversity and the Law
Edited by William J. Snape III Island Press, 1996 Library of Congress K3488.B563 1996 | Dewey Decimal 346.04695
Biodiversity and the Law is a timely and provocative volume that combines historical perspective and cutting-edge legal analysis in an authoritative and broad discussion of biodiversity and the law. Leading legal and policy experts consider a variety of options for the worldwide protection of biodiversity and present a succinct but comprehensive overview of the legal mechanisms available. They examine how conservation advocates can better utilize existing law, and consider what new law is needed.
Among the topics considered are:
scientific and policy foundations of biodiveristy protection
domestic efforts to establish an effective endangered species protection regime
international biodiversity protection
biodiversity as a genuinely public entity
the future of biodiversity law
Contributors include Mollie Beattie, Don Waller, Jason Patlis, Lindell Marsh, Todd Olson, Peter Jenkins, Suzanne Iudicello, John Pendergrass, Dinah Bear, Walter Kuhlmann, Rodger Schlickeisen, David Downes, and others.
How do you measure biodiversity, and why should landscape architects and planners care? What are the essential issues, the clearest terminology, and the most effective methods for biodiversity planning and design? How can they play a role in biodiversity conservation in a manner compatible with other goals? These are critical questions that Jack Ahern, Elizabeth Leduc, and Mary Lee York answer in this timely and useful book.
Real-world case studies showcase biodiversity protection and restoration projects, both large and small, across the U.S.: the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle,Washington; the Crosswinds Marsh Wetlands Mitigation Project in Wayne County, Michigan; the Florida Statewide Greenway System; and the Fort Devens Stormwater Project in Ayer, Massachusetts. Ahern shows how an interdisciplinary approach led by planners and designers with conservation biologists, restoration ecologists, and natural and social scientists can yield successful results and sustainable practices. Minimizing habitat loss and degradation-the principal causes of biodiversity decline-are at the heart of the planning and design processes and provide landscape architects and planners a chance to achieve their professional goals while taking a leading role in the environmental community.
In 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), signed by over 160 countries and hailed as the key symbol of a common vision for saving Earth's biodiversity, set forth three primary mandates: preserving biodiversity, using biodiversity components sustainably, and enabling economic benefit-sharing. The CBD—which gave signatory countries the ability to claim sovereignty over nonhuman genetic resources native to each nation—defined biodiversity through a politics of nationhood in ways that commodified genetic resources. In Biogenetic Paradoxes of the Nation Sakari Tamminen traces the ways in which the CBD's seemingly compatible yet ultimately paradox-ridden aims became manifest in efforts to create, conserve, and capitalize on distinct animal and plant species. In using Finland as a case study with which to understand the worldwide efforts to convert species into manifestations of national identity, Tamminen shows how the CBD's policies contribute less to biodiversity conservation than to smoothing the way for frictionless operation of biotechnologically assisted circuits of the global bioeconomy. Tamminen demonstrates how an intimate look at the high-level politics and technical processes of defining national genetic resources powerfully illuminates the limits of anthropocentric biopolitical theory.
The Biophilia Hypothesis
Edited by Stephen R. Kellert Island Press, 1993 Library of Congress GF21.B56 1993 | Dewey Decimal 179.1
"Biophilia" is the term coined by Edward O. Wilson to describe what he believes is humanity's innate affinity for the natural world. In his landmark book Biophilia, he examined how our tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes might be a biologically based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species. That idea has caught the imagination of diverse thinkers.
The Biophilia Hypothesis brings together the views of some of the most creative scientists of our time, each attempting to amplify and refine the concept of biophilia. The variety of perspectives -- psychological, biological, cultural, symbolic, and aesthetic -- frame the theoretical issues by presenting empirical evidence that supports or refutes the hypothesis. Numerous examples illustrate the idea that biophilia and its converse, biophobia, have a genetic component:
fear, and even full-blown phobias of snakes and spiders are quick to develop with very little negative reinforcement, while more threatening modern artifacts -- knives, guns, automobiles -- rarely elicit such a response
people find trees that are climbable and have a broad, umbrella-like canopy more attractive than trees without these characteristics
people would rather look at water, green vegetation, or flowers than built structures of glass and concrete
The biophilia hypothesis, if substantiated, provides a powerful argument for the conservation of biological diversity. More important, it implies serious consequences for our well-being as society becomes further estranged from the natural world. Relentless environmental destruction could have a significant impact on our quality of life, not just materially but psychologically and even spiritually.
Climate and Conservation presents case studies from around the world of leading-edge projects focused on climate change adaptation-regional-scale endeavors where scientists, managers, and practitioners are working to protect biodiversity by protecting landscapes and seascapes in response to threats posed by climate change.
The book begins with an introductory section that frames the issues and takes a systematic look at planning for climate change adaptation. The nineteen chapters that follow examine particular case studies in every part of the world, including landscapes and seascapes from equatorial, temperate, montane, polar, and marine and freshwater regions. Projects profiled range from North American grasslands to boreal forests to coral reefs to Alpine freshwater environments.
Chapter authors have extensive experience in their respective regions and are actively engaged in working on climate-related issues. The result is a collection of geographical case studies that allows for effective cross-comparison while at the same time recognizing the uniqueness of each situation and locale.
Climate and Conservation offers readers tangible, place-based examples of projects designed to protect large landscapes as a means of conserving biodiversity in the face of the looming threat of global climate change. It informs readers of how a diverse set of conservation actors have been responding to climate change at a scale that matches the problem, and is an essential contribution for anyone involved with large-scale biodiversity conservation.
Conservationists have long been aware that political boundaries rarely coincide with natural boundaries. From the establishment of early "peace parks" to the designation of continental migratory pathways, a wide range of transborder mechanisms to protect biodiversity have been established by conservationists in both the public and private sectors.
Conservation Across Borders presents a broad overview of the history of transboundary conservation efforts and an accessible introduction to current issues surrounding the subject. Through detailed examinations of two initiatives, the International Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA) and the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative (Y2Y), the book helps readers understand the benefitsand challenges of landscape-scale protection.
In addition to discussing general concepts and the specific experience of ISDA and Y2Y, the author considers the emerging concept of "conservation effectiveness" and offers a comparative analysis of the two projects. The book ends with a discussion of the complex relationships among civil society, governments, and international borders.
By considering the history, goals, successes, and failures of two divergent initiatives, the book offers important insights into the field of transborder conservation along with valuable lessons for those studying or working in the field.
Some ecosystem management plans established by state and federal agencies have begun to shift their focus away from single-species conservation to a broader goal of protecting a wide range of flora and fauna, including species whose numbers are scarce or about which there is little scientific understanding. To date, these efforts have proved extremely costly and complex to implement. Are there alternative approaches to protecting rare or little-known species that can be more effective and less burdensome than current efforts?
Conservation of Rare or Little-Known Species represents the first comprehensive scientific evaluation of approaches and management options for protecting rare or little-known terrestrial species. The book brings together leading ecologists, biologists, botanists, economists, and sociologists to classify approaches, summarize their theoretical and conceptual foundations, evaluate their efficacy, and review how each has been used.
Contributors consider combinations of species and systems approaches for overall effectiveness in meeting conservation and ecosystem sustainability goals. They discuss the biological, legal, sociological, political, administrative, and economic dimensions by which conservation strategies can be gauged, in an effort to help managers determine which strategy or combination of strategies is most likely to meet their needs. Contributors also discuss practical considerations of implementing various strategies.
Conservation of Rare or Little-Known Species gives land managers access to a diverse literature and provides them with the basic information they need to select approaches that best suit their conservation objectives and ecological context. It is an important new work for anyone involved with developing land management or conservation plans.
The Wildlands Project is a far-reaching effort by scientists and activists to develop better ways of protecting nature, wilderness, and biodiversity. Its ultimate goal is to establish an effective network of nature reserves throughout North America -- core conservation areas linked by corridors, and buffered, where appropriate, by lands that may also serve economic objectives.
Continental Conservation represents the work of thirty leading experts-including Michael Soulé, John Terborgh, Reed Noss, Paul Paquet, Dan Simberloff, Rodolfo Dirzo, J. Michael Scott, Andrew Dobson, and others -- brought together by The Wildlands Project to examine the science underlying the design and management of these regional-scale networks. It provides conservationists and biologists with the latest scientific principles for protecting living nature at spatial scales that encompass entire regions and continents.
Following an opening chapter that sets the stage by introducing major themes and the scientific and policy background, the contributors:
consider scale in the identification, selection, and design of biological reserves
examine the role of top carnivores in regulating terrestrial ecosystems
suggest the need for a paradigm shift in the field of ecological restoration
consider the scientific details of implementing regional conservation in core areas, corridors, and in buffer zones
discuss the need for megareserves and how to design them
The book ends by challenging the reader, whether scientist or advocate, to commit more time to the effort of saving nature. The authors argue that the very survival of nature is at stake, and scientists can no longer afford to stand behind a wall of austere objectivity.
Continental Conservation is an important guidebook that can serve a vital role in helping fashion a radically honest, scientifically rigorous land-use agenda. It will be required reading for scientists and professionals at all levels involved with ecosystem and land management.
Anyone working in biodiversity conservation or field ecology should understand and utilize the common-sense process of scientific inquiry: observing surroundings, framing questions, answering those questions through well-designed studies, and, in many cases, applying results to decision making. Yet the interdisciplinary nature of conservation means that many workers are not well versed in the methods of science and may misunderstand or mistrust this indispensable tool.
Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation addresses that problem by offering a comprehensible, practical guide to using scientific inquiry in conservation work. In an engaging and accessible style, award-winning tropical ecologist and teacher Peter Feinsinger melds concepts, methods, and intellectual tools into a unique approach to answering environmental questions through field studies. Focusing on the fundamentals of common sense, independent thinking, and natural history, he considers:
framing the question and designing the study
interpreting and applying results through judicious use of statistical inference
taking into account the natural history of plants, animals, and landscapes
monitoring and assessing progress through approaches such as "bioindicator species" or "species diversity measures"
helping other interested parties (park guards, local communities, school teachers) use scientific inquiry in addressing their own concerns
Detailed appendixes explain technical issues, while numerous sidebars and illustrations provide important background and thought-provoking exercises. Throughout, the author challenges the reader to integrate conceptual thinking with on-the-ground practice in order to make conservation truly effective. Feinsinger concentrates on examples from Latin America but stresses that the approach applies to local conservation concerns or field biology questions in any landscape.
Designing Field Studies for Biodiversity Conservation is an essential handbook for staff and researchers working with conservation institutions or projects worldwide, as well as for students and professionals in field ecology, wildlife biology, and related areas.
Gardeners, with all good fortune and flora, are endowed with love for a hobby that has profound potential for positive change. The beautifully illustrated Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East approaches landscape design from an ecological perspective, encouraging professional horticulturalists and backyard enthusiasts alike to intensify their use of indigenous or native plants. These plants, ones that grow naturally in the same place in which they evolved, form the basis of the food web. Wildlife simply cannot continue to survive without them-nor can we.
Why indigenous plants, you may ask? What makes them so special to butterflies and bees and boys and girls? For Carolyn Summers, the answer is as natural as an ephemeral spring wildflower or berries of the gray dogwood, "As I studied indigenous plants, a strange thing happened. The plants grew on me. I began to love the plants themselves for their own unique qualities, quite apart from their usefulness in providing food and shelter for wildlife.
Emphasizing the importance of indigenous plant gardening and landscape design, Summers provides guidelines for skilled sowers and budding bloomers. She highlights . . .
The best ways to use exotic and non-indigenous plants responsibly
Easy-to-follow strategies for hosting wildlife in fields, forests, and gardens
Designs for traditional gardens using native trees, shrubs, groundcovers as substitutes for exotic plants
Examples of flourishing plant communities from freshwater streams to open meadows
How to control plant reproduction, choose cultivars, open-pollinated indigenous plants, and different types of hybrids, and practice “safe sex in the garden
From Maine to Kentucky and up and down the East Coast, Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East lays the "gardenwork" for protecting natural areas through the thoughtful planting of indigenous plants. Finally we can bask in the knowledge that it is possible to have loads of fun at the same time we are growing a better world.
Drafting a Conservation Blueprint lays out for the first time in book form a step-by-step planning process for conserving the biological diversity of entire regions. In an engaging and accessible style, the author explains how to develop a regional conservation plan and offers experience-based guidance that brings together relevant information from the fields of ecology, conservation biology, planning, and policy. Individual chapters outline and discuss the main steps of the planning process, including:
• an overview of the planning framework
• selecting conservation targets and setting goals
• assessing existing conservation areas and filling information gaps
• assessing population viability and ecological integrity
• selecting and designing a portfolio of conservation areas
• assessing threats and setting priorities
A concluding section offers advice on turning conservation plans into action, along with specific examples from around the world.
The book brings together a wide range of information about conservation planning that is grounded in both a strong scientific foundation and in the realities of implementation.
At the dawn of the 21st century, it is clear that changes of enormous ecological significance are occuring on our planet. The ozone layer is beginning to disintegrate. Since 1970 the world's forests have almost halved. A quarter of the world's fish have been depleted. We live in an age of ecocide. 70% of biologists believe the world is now in the midst of the fastest mass extinction of species in the planet's 4.5 billion-year history. Biodiversity loss is rated as a more serious environmental problem than the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, or pollution and contamination. How have we come to this, and what can be done to conserve our environment for the future? Ecocide: A Short History of the Mass Extinction of Species examines the facts behind the figures to offer a disturbing account of the ecological impact that the human species has on the planet. Research specialist Franz Broswimmer shows how we are wilfully destroying our world. Highlighting important countermovements who are working for ecological democracy, this unique book is essential for anyone who cares about conserving our environment for the future.
Meeting today’s environmental challenges requires a new way of thinking about the intricate dependencies between humans and nature. Ecology and Ecosystem Conservation provides students and other readers with a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of ecological science and their applications, offering an essential overview of the way ecology can be used to devise strategies to conserve the health and functioning of ecosystems.
The book begins by exploring the need for ecological science in understanding current environmental issues and briefly discussing what ecology is and isn’t. Subsequent chapters address critical issues in conservation and show how ecological science can be applied to them. The book explores questions such as:
• What is the role of ecological science in decision making?
• What factors govern the assembly of ecosystems and determine their response to various stressors?
• How does Earth’s climate system function and determine the distribution of life on Earth?
• What factors control the size of populations?
• How does fragmentation of the landscape affect the persistence of species on the landscape?
• How does biological diversity influence ecosystem processes?
The book closes with a final chapter that addresses the need not only to understand ecological science, but to put that science into an ecosystem conservation ethics perspective.
Species are disappearing from the earth at a rate of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of times greater than every before witnessed. According to many scientists, this rapid destruction will lead to irreversible changes in the earth’s ecosystem. The Expendable Future provides a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the politics of biological diversity in the United States and of state and federal policies on endangered species from the early 1960s to the present. Drawing on congressional hearing and debates, previously unpublished public opinion surveys, interviews with state officials and employees of the Department of the Interior, and internal documents from this and other government agencies, Tobin provides an in-depth analysis of the policies on endangered species and the policy relationships among the different units of government involved in implementation. He examines the resources that are available for the protection of endangered species and the way in which those resources are matched to the priorities. Tobin also discusses the processes by which species are classified as endangered, how these species’ critical habitats are determined and protected, and the successes, and mostly failures, of current recovery programs.
A growing body of evidence shows that agricultural landscapes can be managed not only to produce crops but also to support biodiversity and promote ecosystem health. Innovative farmers and scientists, as well as indigenous land managers, are developing diverse types of “ecoagriculture” landscapes to generate cobenefits for production, biodiversity, and local people.
Farming with Nature offers a synthesis of the state of knowledge of key topics in ecoagriculture. The book is a unique collaboration among renowned agricultural and ecological scientists, leading field conservationists, and farm and community leaders to synthesize knowledge and experience across sectors. The book examines:
the knowledge base for ecoagriculture as well as barriers, gaps, and opportunities for developing improved ecoagriculture systems
what we have learned about managing landscapes to achieve multiple objectives at a landscape scale
existing incentives for farmers, other land managers, and investors to develop and invest in ecoagriculture systems
pathways to develop, implement, manage, and scale up successful ecoagriculture
Insights are drawn from around the world, in tropical, Mediterranean, and temperate environments, from farming systems that range from highly commercialized to semi-subsistence. Farming with Nature is an important new work that can serve as a foundation document for planners, farm organizations, researchers, project developers, and policy makers to develop strategies for promoting and sustaining ecoagriculture landscapes. Replete with valuable best practice guidelines, it is a critical resource for both practitioners and researchers in
Fish Conservation offers, for the first time in a single volume, a readable reference with a global approach to marine and freshwater fish diversity and fishery resource issues. Gene Helfman brings together available knowledge on the decline and restoration of freshwater and marine fishes, providing ecologically sound answers to biodiversity declines as well as to fishery management problems at the subsistence, recreational, and commercial levels. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book:
considers the value of preserving aquatic biodiversity
offers an overview of imperiled fishes on a taxonomic and geographic basis
presents a synthesis of common characteristics of imperiled fishes and their habitats
details anthropogenic causes of decline
examines human exploitation issues
addresses ethical questions surrounding exploitation of fishes
The final chapter integrates topics and evaluates prospects for arresting declines, emphasizing the application of evolutionary and ecological principles in light of projected trends. Throughout, Helfman provides examples, explores case studies, and synthesizes available information from a broad taxonomic, habitat, and geographic range.
Fish Conservation summarizes the current state of knowledge about the degradation and restoration of diversity among fishes and the productivity of fishery resources, pointing out areas where progress has been made and where more needs to be done. Solutions focus on the application of ecological knowledge to solving practical problems, recognizing that effective biodiversity conservation depends on meeting human needs through management that focuses on long term sustainability and an ecosystem perspective.
For the Wild Places profiles five of the unsung heroes of the new discipline of conservation biology -- the front-line soldiers of the conservation movement who have dedicated their lives to saving endangered species and habitats. In addition to describing the day-to-day activities of the scientists, author Janet Bohlen explores the wider issues that are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of conservation efforts. In the course of her travels, she came to appreciate the complex interaction of local and global needs, and the reality of the political and social context in which all such efforts take place. In describing the scientists, their lives, and their work, she effectively conveys the fundamental importance and ever-present challenge of a life devoted to protecting the environment.
As part of a global effort to identify those areas where conservation measures are needed most urgently, World Wildlife Fund has assembled teams of scientists to conduct ecological assessments of all seven continents. Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar is the latest contribution, presenting in a single volume the first in-depth analysis of the state of freshwater biodiversity across Africa, Madagascar, and the islands of the region. Looking at biodiversity and threats in terms of biological units rather than political units, the book offers a comprehensive examination of the entire range of aquatic systems.
In addition to its six main chapters, the book includes nineteen essays by regional experts that provide more depth on key issues, as well as six detailed appendixes that present summary data used in the analyses, specific analytical methodologies, and a thorough text description for each of Africa's ninety-three freshwater ecoregions.
Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar provides a blueprint for conservation action and represents an unparalleled guide for investments and activities of conservation agencies and donor organizations.
In the absence of innovation in the field of conservation finance, a daunting funding gap faces conservationists aiming to protect America's system of landscapes that provide sustainable resources, water, wildlife habitat, and recreational amenities. Experts estimate that the average annual funding gap will be between $1.9 billion and $7.7 billion over the next forty years. Can the conservation community come up with new methods for financing that will fill this enormous gap? Which human and financial resources will allow us to fund critical land conservation needs?
From Walden to Wall Street brings together the experience of more than a dozen pioneering conservation finance practitioners to address these crucial issues. Contributors present groundbreaking ideas including mainstreaming environmental markets; government ballot measures for land conservations; convertible tax-exempt financing; and private equity markets.
The creativity and insight of From Walden to Wall Street offers considerable hope that, even in this era of widespread financial constraints, the American conservation community's financial resources may potentially grow dramatically in both quantity and quality in the decades to come.
In Ghost Bears, R. Edward Grumbine looks at the implications of the widespread loss of biological diversity, and explains why our species-centered approach to environmental protection will ultimately fail. Using the fate of the endangered grizzly bear -- the "ghost bear" -- to explore the causes and effects of species loss and habitat destruction, Grumbine presents a clear and inviting introduction to the biodiversity crisis and to the new science of conservation biology.
As environmental awareness grows around the world, people are learning that a diversity of species and the habitat to support them is necessary to maintain the ecological health of the earth. At the same time, however, the pressure to develop wildlife habitat for human settlement and economic gain also grows, causing frequent clashes between the forces of development and of conservation.
This pioneering study focuses on a new tool for resolving the land-use conflict—the creation of habitat conservation plans (HCPs). Timothy Beatley explores the development and early results of this provision of the United States' federal Endangered Species Act, which allows development of some habitat and a certain "take" of a protected species in return for the conservation of sufficient habitat to ensure its survival and long-term recovery.
Beatley looks specifically at nine HCPs in California, Nevada, Texas, and Florida, states where biological diversity and increasing populations have triggered many conflicts. Some of the HCPs include the San Bruno Mountain HCP near San Francisco, the North Key Largo HCP in the Florida Keys, the Clark County HCP near Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Balcones Canyonlands HCP near Austin, Texas. This first comprehensive overview of habitat conservation planning in the United States will be important reading for everyone involved in land-use debates.
Recent years have seen a steep rise in invasions of non-native species in virtually all major ecoregions on Earth. Along with this rise has come a realization that a rigorous scientific understanding of why, how, when, and where species are transported is the necessary foundation for managing biological invasions.
Invasive Species presents extensive information and new analyses on mechanisms of species transfer, or vectors, as the latest contribution from the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). Contributors assess invasion vectors and vector management in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems for major taxonomic groups in a variety of regions around the world. The book:
examines invasion causes, routes, and vectors in space and time
highlights current approaches and challenges to preventing new invasions, both from a geographic and taxonomic point of view
explores strategies, benefits, and limitations of risk assessment
offers a synthesis of many facets of vector science and management
presents recommendations for action
Chapter authors review fungi, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, with geographic assessments covering New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.
Although the full extent and cumulative impact of nonnative species can only be approximated, biological invasions are clearly a potent force of global change, contributing to a wide range of deleterious effects including disease outbreaks, habitat alteration and loss, declines of native species, increased frequency of fires, and shifts in nutrient cycling. Vectors are the delivery mechanisms, resulting in recent increases in rates of new invasions. Invasive Species brings together in a single volume new information from leading scientists around the world on approaches to controlling and managing invasion vectors. This volume is a timely and essential reference for scientists, researchers, policymakers, and anyone concerned with understanding biological invasions and developing effective responses to them.
Blue jeans, MTV, Coca-Cola, and… ecology? We don't often think of conservation sciences as a U.S. export, but in the second half of the twentieth century an astounding array of scientists and ideas flowed out from the United States into the world, preaching the gospel of conservation-oriented ecology.
Inventing Global Ecology grapples with how we should understand the development of global ecology in the twentieth century—a science that is held responsible for, literally, saving the world. Is the spread of ecology throughout the globe a subtle form of cultural imperialism, as some claim? Or is it a manifestation of an increasingly globalized world, where ideas, people, and things move about with greater freedom than ever before?
Using India as the case study, Professor Michael Lewis considers the development of conservation policies and conservation sciences since the end of World War II and the role of United States scientists, ideas, and institutions in this process. Was India subject to a subtle form of Americanization, or did Indian ecologists develop their own agenda, their own science, and their own way of understanding (and saving) the natural world? Does nationality even matter when doing ecology?
This readable narrative will carry you through the first fifty years of independent India, from the meadows of the Himalayan Mountains to the rainforests of southern India, from Gandhi and Nehru to Project Tiger. Of equal interest to the general reader, to scientists, and to scholars of history and globalization, Inventing Global Ecology combines ethnographic fieldwork and oral history conducted in India and the United States, as well as traditional archival research.
Kinship to Mastery is a fascinating and accessible exploration of the notion of biophilia -- the idea that humans, having evolved with the rest of creation, possess a biologically based attraction to nature and exhibit an innate affinity for life and lifelike processes. Stephen R. Kellert sets forth the idea that people exhibit different expressions of biophilia in different contexts, and demonstrates how our quality of life in the largest sense is dependent upon the richness of our connections with nature.
While the natural world provides us with material necessities -- food, clothing, medicine, clean air, pure water -- it just as importantly plays a key role in other aspects of our lives, including intellectual capacity, emotional bonding, aesthetic attraction, creativity, imagination, and even the recognition of a just and purposeful existence. As Kellert explains, each expression of biophilia shows how our physical, material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to a great extent dependent on our relationships with the natural world that surrounds us.
Kinship to Mastery is a thought-provoking examination of a concept that, while not widely known, has a significant and direct effect on the lives of people everywhere. Because the full expression of biophilia is integral to our overall health, our ongoing destruction of the environment could have far more serious consequences than many people think. In a readable and compelling style, Kellert describes and explains the concept of biophilia, and demonstrates to a general audience the wide-ranging implications of environmental degradation.
Kinship to Mastery continues the exploration of biophilia begun with Edward O. Wilson's landmark book Biophilia (Harvard University Press, 1984) and followed by The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press, 1993), co-edited by Wilson and Kellert, which brought together some of the most creative scientists of our time to explore Wilson's theory in depth.
Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity
Edited by Wendy Hudson; Foreword by M. Rupert Cutler; Defenders of Wildlife Island Press, 1991 Library of Congress QH75.L28 1991 | Dewey Decimal 333.9516
In Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity experts explain biological diversity conservation, focusing on the need for protecting large areas of the most diverse ecosystems, and connecting those ecosystems with land corridors to allow species to move among them more easily.
Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity brings together more than thirty leading scientists and conservation practitioners to consider a key question in environmental conservation: Is the conservation of large carnivores in ecosystems that evolved with their presence equivalent to the conservation of biological diversity within those systems? Building their discussions from empirical, long-term data sets, contributors including James A. Estes, David S. Maehr, Tim McClanahan, Andrès J. Novaro, John Terborgh, and Rosie Woodroffe explore a variety of issues surrounding the link between predation and biodiversity: What is the evidence for or against the link? Is it stronger in marine systems? What are the implications for conservation strategies?
Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity is the first detailed, broad-scale examination of the empirical evidence regarding the role of large carnivores in biodiversity conservation in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It contributes to a much more precise and global understanding of when, where, and whether protecting and restoring top predators will directly contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. Everyone concerned with ecology, biodiversity, or large carnivores will find this volume a unique and thought-provoking analysis and synthesis.
The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is the first comprehensive exploration of the status and future of natural capital and ecosystem services in American law and policy. The book develops a framework for thinking about ecosystem services across their ecologic, geographic, economic, social, and legal dimensions and evaluates the prospects of crafting a legal infrastructure that can help build an ecosystem service economy that is as robust as existing economies for manufactured goods, natural resource commodities, and human-provided services. The book examines the geographic, ecological, and economic context of ecosystem services and provides a baseline of the current status of ecosystem services in law and society. It identifies shortcomings of current law and policy and the critical areas for improvement and forges an approach for the design of new law and policy for ecosystem services.
Included are a series of nine empirical case studies that explore the problems caused by society’s failure to properly value natural capital. Among the case study topics considered are water issues, The Conservation Reserve Program, the National Conservation Buffer Initiative, the agricultural policy of the European Union, wetland mitigation, and pollution trading.
The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is a groundbreaking look at the question of whether and how law and policy can shape a sustainable system of ecosystem service management. It is an accessible and informative work for faculty, students, and policy makers concerned with ecology, economics, geography, political science, environmental studies, law, and related fields.
Most scientists and researchers working in tropical areas are convinced that parks and protected areas are the only real hope for saving land and biodiversity in those regions. Rather than giving up on parks that are foundering, ways must be found to strengthen them, and Making Parks Work offers a vital contribution to that effort. Focusing on the "good news" -- success stories from the front lines and what lessons can be taken from those stories -- the book gathers experiences and information from thirty leading conservationists into a guidebook of principles for effective management of protected areas. The book:
offers a general overview of the status of protected areas worldwide
presents case studies from Africa, Latin America, and Asia written by field researchers with long experience working in those areas
analyzes a variety of problems that parks face and suggests policies and practices for coping with those problems
explores the broad philosophical questions of conservation and how protected areas can -- and must -- resist the mounting pressures of an overcrowded world
Contributors include Mario Boza, Katrina Brandon, K. Ullas Karanth, Randall Kramer, Jeff Langholz, John F. Oates, Carlos A. Peres, Herman Rijksen, Nick Salafsky, Thomas T. Struhsaker, Patricia C. Wright, and others.
Measures of Success is a practical, hands-on guide to designing, managing, and measuring the impacts of community-oriented conservation and development projects. It presents a simple, clear, logical, and yet comprehensive approach to developing and implementing effective programs, and can help conservation and development practitioners use principles of adaptive management to test assumptions about their projects and learn from the results.
The book presents a systematic approach to improving the focus, effectiveness, and efficiency of projects, with specific guidelines and advice on:
designing a realistic conceptual framework based on local site conditions
developing clearly defined goals, objectives, and activities
creating a monitoring plan that can be used to assess whether goals and objectives are being met
integrating social and biological science techniques to collect the most relevant and useful data in the most cost-effective way
using the information obtained through the monitoring plan to modify the project and learn from the result
The text is developed in eight chapters that follow the structure of a planning process from conception to completion, with the chapters linked by four scenarios that serve as teaching case studies throughout the book. Examples from these scenarios illustrate the processes and tools discussed, and each scenario case study is presented in its entirety in an appendix to the volume. The approach has been developed and field tested by practitioners working in many different projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and their experience and input ensure that the guide is both practical and useful.
Measures of Success is the only work of its kind currently available, and represents an invaluable resource for field-based practitioners, project managers, and local community leaders, as well as for international NGO staff, college and university teachers and students, researchers, and government officials.
Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) is a methodology developed by The Nature Conservancy to provide comprehensive and reliable information about biodiversity resources in situations where time and financial resources are limited. REAs utilize a combination of remote-sensed imagery, reconnaissance overflights, field data collection, and spatial information visualization to generate useful information for conservation planning.
Nature in Focus is an in-depth guide to the theory and practice of REAs, offering a detailed approach for assessing biodiversity in a rapid and integrative manner. It provides researchers with the essential tools and techniques they need to conduct an REA, and offers valuable advice about the planning and implementation aspects. The book:
presents an overview of the REA methodology and sampling framework
reviews all aspects of an REA: planning and management, mapping and spatial information, information management
describes surveys of vegetation and fauna
presents a generalized description of threat assessments
explores the manner in which large amounts of data produced by different REA teams are integrated and synthesized into a cohesive set of management recommendations
explains how the REA effort is documented, published, and disseminated
offers a detailed REA case study
Also included is a set of twelve color maps that describe the sequence of mapping activities in the case-study REA, along with other map examples from a range of REAs. In addition to the case study, appendixes offer a full set of REA field forms for sampling, and a model "Scope of Work" that describes the nature of work to be conducted in an REA and outlines the roles and responsibilities of the participating organizations.
Nature in Focus presents the collective experience of more than ten years of REA field-testing. Conservation practitioners and biodiversity scientists who are involved with REA initiatives, along with managers, policymakers, and others involved with conservation programs will find the book a useful and nontechnical guide to an essential element of successful conservation.
Using the experience of the Parks in Peril program -- a wide-ranging project instituted by The Nature Conservancy and its partner organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to foster better park management -- this book presents a broad analysis of current trends in park management and the implications for biodiversity conservation. It examines the context of current park management and challenges many commonly held views from social, political, and ecological perspectives. The book argues that: biodiversity conservation is inherently political sustainable use has limitations as a primary tool for biodiversity conservation effective park protection requires understanding the social context at varying scales of analysis actions to protect parks need a level of conceptual rigor that has been absent from recent programs built around slogans and stereotypesNine case studies highlight the interaction of ecosystems, local peoples, and policy in park management, and describe the context of field-based conservation from the perspective of those actually implementing the programs. Parks in Peril builds from the case studies and specific park-level concerns to a synthesis of findings from the sites. The editors draw on the case studies to challenge popular conceptions about parks and describe future directions that can ensure long-term biodiversity conservation.Throughout, contributors argue that protected areas are extremely important for the protection of biodiversity, yet such areas cannot be expected to serve as the sole means of biodiversity conservation. Requiring them to carry the entire burden of conservation is a recipe for ecological and social disaster.
A significant consequence of the development of natural landscapes is habitat loss and fragmentation that results in widespread loss of biological diversity. While scientists have made great strides in determining principles and concepts fundamental to preserving biodiversity, their work will have little impact unless it is understood and implemented by those who are making on-the-ground decisions about land use.
Planning for Biodiversity provides an accessible introduction to ecological concepts for planning professionals and students. Sheila Peck explains why planners should be concerned with habitat preservation and presents practical approaches to incorporating conservation principles into planning efforts. The book.
introduces a clear framework for understanding biodiversity explains concepts related to ecosystem structure and function discusses the effects of size and connectivity on habitat quality and species movement suggests conservation priorities at different scales presents elements of reserve design examines types and sources of information considers the causes of uncertainty in biodiversity planning and the need for monitoring and adaptive management.
In each chapter, Peck presents case studies that explore the practical implications of the concepts examined, and provides contact information for each group involved in the case. Case studies include the Beaverhead/Deerlodge National Forest, Montana; Pinhook Swamp Linkage, northeastern Florida; National Gap Analysis Program; CALFED Bay-Delta Program, California; and numerous others. In addition, she includes planning guidelines which summarize the main points of the chapters, and a useful glossary of ecological terms.
Planning for Biodiversity synthesizes and explains important ecological concepts and represents the first guide for planners that clearly details how to incorporate conservation plans into their work. Planners, landscape architects and designers, planning and design students, developers, local officials, and anyone interested in designing and developing more ecologically sound land-use projects will find the book an invaluable resource.
The rate of extinction of biological species is greater today than at any time in the last 65 million years. Some predict that if this rate continues, two-thirds of all living species will disappear during the next century. Because reaching consensus on specific courses of action involves complex issues, any adequate response to this impending crisis must include coverage of many areas of inquiry and understanding. Protection of Global Biodiversity features essays by distinguished international experts who communicate with each other across disciplinary boundaries to address the challenge of formulating policies to protect biodiversity. Although the global community has recently adopted a Convention of Biological Diversity, the agreement sets forth only abstract goals. Contributors to this volume advance the Convention’s initial steps by providing workable solutions that can be implemented regionally, nationally, and locally. The contributors—including natural, social, and political scientists; economists; lawyers; and environmentalists; and decisionmakers in business, agriculture, and government—have united to create a common discourse and to evaluate and propose strategies for halting this alarming loss of biodiversity. In recognizing the diverse aspects of this task—scientific, economic, institutional, moral, and legal—this book presents a new picture of emerging action.
Contributors. S. James Anaya, Gregory Benford, Graciela Chichilnisky, S. Todd Crider, Yvonne Cripps, Robert T. Fraley, Anil K. Gupta, Lakshman D. Guruswamy, G. M. Heal, Brent Hendricks, Robert B. Horsch, Laura L. Jackson, Annie Lovejoy, Ariel E. Lugo, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Brian G. Norton, Elinor Ostrom, Peter H. Raven, John W. Reid, Walter V. Reid, Mark Sagoff, Roger A. Sedgo, R. David Simpson, Ana Sittenfeld, Christopher D. Stone, Gary H. Toenniessen
The biodiversity crisis -- the extinction of thousands of species of plants and animals -- is not just a faraway problem for scientists to solve. Instead, the crisis is as close as our backyards, our gardens, and our refrigerator shelves. This engaging, practical guide inspires average Americans to wield their consumer power in favor of protecting the world's plant and animal species.
Environmentalist activist Martin Teitel offers compelling evidence that by slightly modifying how we shop, eat, and garden, we can collectively influence the operating decisions of today's corporate agribusiness and help preserve our precious genetic resources. Teitel offers strategies so simple that they require no significant lifestyle change or expense.
In Rewilding North America, Dave Foreman takes on arguably the biggest ecological threat of our time: the global extinction crisis. He not only explains the problem in clear and powerful terms, but also offers a bold, hopeful, scientifically credible, and practically achievable solution.
Foreman begins by setting out the specific evidence that a mass extinction is happening and analyzes how humans are causing it. Adapting Aldo Leopold's idea of ecological wounds, he details human impacts on species survival in seven categories, including direct killing, habitat loss and fragmentation, exotic species, and climate change. Foreman describes recent discoveries in conservation biology that call for wildlands networks instead of isolated protected areas, and, reviewing the history of protected areas, shows how wildlands networks are a logical next step for the conservation movement. The final section describes specific approaches for designing such networks (based on the work of the Wildlands Project, an organization Foreman helped to found) and offers concrete and workable reforms for establishing them. The author closes with an inspiring and empowering call to action for scientists and activists alike.
Rewilding North America offers both a vision and a strategy for reconnecting, restoring, and rewilding the North American continent, and is an essential guidebook for anyone concerned with the future of life on earth.
Saving All the Parts is a journalist's exploration of the intertwining of endangered species protection and the economic future of resource dependent communities -- those with local economies based on fishing, logging, ranching, mining, and other resource intensive industries. Rocky Barker presents an insightful overview of current endangered species controversies and a comprehensive look at the wide-ranging implications of human activities.
The book analyzes trends in natural resource management, land use planning, and economic development that can lead to a future where economic activity can be sustained without the loss of essential natural values. Throughout, Barker provides a thorough and balanced analysis of both the ecological and economic forces that affect the lives and livelihoods of the nation's inhabitants -- both human and animal.
Written by two leading conservation biologists, Saving Nature's Legacy is a thorough and readable introduction to issues of land management and conservation biology. It presents a broad, land-based approach to biodiversity conservation in the United States, with the authors succinctly translating principles, techniques, and findings of the ecological sciences into an accessible and practical plan for action.
After laying the groundwork for biodiversity conservation -- what biodiversity is, why it is important, its status in North America -- Noss and Cooperrider consider the strengths and limitations of past and current approaches to land management. They then present the framework for a bold new strategy, with explicit guidelines on:
selecting areas for protection
designing regional and continental reserve networks
establishing monitoring programs
setting priorities for getting the job done
Throughout the volume, the authors provide in-depth assessments of what must be done to protect and restore the full spectrum of native biodiversity to the North American continent.
From the days of the American Frontier, the term "open spaces" has evoked a vision of unspoiled landscapes stretching endlessly toward the horizon, of nature operating on its own terms without significant human interference. Ever since, government agencies, academia, and conservation organizations have promoted policies that treat large, complex systems with a one-size-fits-all mentality that fails to account for equally complex social dimensions of humans on the landscape. This is wrong, argues landscape ecologist and researcher Charles Curtin. We need a science-based approach that tells us how to think about our large landscapes and open spaces at temporally and spatially appropriate scales in a way that allows local landowners and other stakeholders a say in their futures.
The Science of Open Spaces turns conventional conservation paradigms on their heads, proposing that in thinking about complex natural systems, whether the arid spaces of the southwestern United States or open seas shared by multiple nations, we must go back to "first principles"--those fundamental physical laws of the universe--and build innovative conservation from the ground up based on theory and backed up by practical experience. Curtin walks us through such foundational science concepts as thermodynamics, ecology, sociology, and resilience theory, applying them to real-world examples from years he has spent designing large-scale, place-based collaborative research programs in the United States and around the world.
Compelling for not only theorists and students, but also practitioners, agency personnel, and lay readers, this book offers a thoughtful and radical departure from business-as-usual management of Earth's dwindling wide-open spaces.
The vast savannas and great migrations of the Serengeti conjure impressions of a harmonious and balanced ecosystem. But in reality, the history of the Serengeti is rife with battles between human and non-human nature. In the 1890s and several times since, the cattle virus rinderpest—at last vanquished in 2008—devastated both domesticated and wild ungulate populations, as well as the lives of humans and other animals who depended on them. In the 1920s, tourists armed with the world’s most expensive hunting gear filled the grasslands. And in recent years, violence in Tanzania has threatened one of the most successful long-term ecological research centers in history.
Serengeti IV, the latest installment in a long-standing series on the region’s ecology and biodiversity, explores the role of our species as a source of both discord and balance in Serengeti ecosystem dynamics. Through chapters charting the complexities of infectious disease transmission across populations, agricultural expansion, and the many challenges of managing this ecosystem today, this book shows how the people and landscapes surrounding crucial protected areas like Serengeti National Park can and must contribute to Serengeti conservation. In order to succeed, conservation efforts must also focus on the welfare of indigenous peoples, allowing them both to sustain their agricultural practices and to benefit from the natural resources provided by protected areas—an undertaking that will require the strengthening of government and education systems and, as such, will present one of the greatest conservation challenges of the next century.
A holistic approach to analyzing distinct grassland habitats that integrates ecological, historical, and archaeological data
Today the southeastern United States is a largely rural, forested, and agricultural landscape interspersed with urban areas of development. However, two centuries ago it contained hundreds of thousands of acres of natural grasslands that stretched from Florida to Texas. Now more than 99 percent of these prairies, glades, and savannas have been plowed up or paved over, lost to agriculture, urban growth, and cattle ranching. The few remaining grassland sites are complex ecosystems, home to hundreds of distinct plant and animal species, and worthy of study.
Southeastern Grasslands: Biodiversity, Ecology, and Management brings together the latest research on southeastern prairie systems and species, provides a complete picture of an increasingly rare biome, and offers solutions to many conservation biology queries. Editors JoVonn G. Hill and John A. Barone have gathered renowned experts in their fields from across the region who address questions related to the diversity, ecology, and management of southeastern grasslands, along with discussions of how to restore sites that have been damaged by human activity.
Over the last twenty years, both researchers and the public have become more interested in the grasslands of the Southeast. This volume builds on the growing knowledge base of these remarkable ecosystems with the goal of increasing appreciation for them and stimulating further study of their biota and ecology. Topics such as the historical distribution of grasslands in the South, the plants and animals that inhabit them, as well as assessments of several techniques used in their conservation and management are covered in-depth. Written with a broad audience in mind, this book will serve as a valuable introduction and reference for nature enthusiasts, scientists, and land managers.
As part of a global effort to identify those areas where conservation measures are needed most urgently, World Wildlife Fund has assembled teams of scientists to conduct ecological assessments of all five continents. Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar is the latest contribution, presenting in a single volume the first comprehensive assessment of biodiversity patterns, threats to biodiversity, and resulting conservation priorities across the African continent and its islands. Looking at biodiversity and threats in terms of biological units rather than political units, the book offers a comprehensive examination of African biodiversity across all biomes and multiple taxonomic groups.
In addition to the seven main chapters, the book includes twenty essays by regional experts that provide more depth on key issues, as well as nine detailed appendixes that present summary data used in the analyses, specific analytical methodologies, and a thorough text description for each of Africa's 119 terrestrial ecoregions.
Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar provides a blueprint for conservation action and represents an unparalleled guide for investments and activities of conservation agencies and donor organizations.
International peace parks—transnational conservation areas established and managed by two or more countries—have become a popular way of protecting biodiversity while promoting international cooperation and regional development. In Transforming the Frontier, Bram Büscher shows how cross-border conservation neatly reflects the neoliberal political economy in which it developed.
Based on extensive research in southern Africa with the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project, Büscher explains how the successful promotion of transfrontier conservation as a "win-win" solution happens not only in spite of troubling contradictions and problems, but indeed because of them. This is what he refers to as the "politics of neoliberal conservation," which receives its strength from effectively combining strategies of consensus, antipolitics, and marketing. Drawing on long-term, multilevel ethnographic research, Büscher argues that transfrontier conservation projects are not as concerned with on-the-ground development as they are purported to be. Instead, they are reframing environmental protection and sustainable development to fit an increasingly contradictory world order.
The Value of Life is an exploration of the actual and perceived importance of biological diversity for human beings and society. Stephen R. Kellert identifies ten basic values, which he describes as biologically based, inherent human tendencies that are greatly influenced and moderated by culture, learning, and experience. Drawing on 20 years of original research, he considers:
the universal basis for how humans value nature
differences in those values by gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, and geographic location
how environment-related activities affect values
variation in values relating to different species
how vlaues vary across cultures
policy and management implications
Throughout the book, Kellert argues that the preservation of biodiversity is fundamentally linked to human well-being in the largest sense as he illustrates the importance of biological diversity to the human sociocultural and psychological condition.
Philosopher Bas Haring argues that mass extinction is not a harbinger of global disaster.
Each year, climate change drives more and more species extinct, leaving many fearful for the fate of the planet. Why Biodiversity Loss is Not a Disaster calms such fears: we have no reason to believe fewer species will result in cataclysmic disaster. In this book, philosopher Bas Haring argues that nature is not like a machine that falls apart without all its parts. While some environments depend on the survival of specific species, he contends, these unique relationships cannot be generalized to the planet at large. In the long view, Haring writes, biodiversity loss is a pity but not a disaster.
Tropical deforestation. The collapse of fisheries. Unprecedented levels of species extinction. Faced with the plethora of gloom-and-doom headlines about the natural world, we might think that environmental disaster is inevitable. But is there any good news about the environment? Yes, there is, answers Andrew Balmford in Wild Hope, and he offers several powerful stories of successful conservation to prove it. This tragedy is still avoidable, and there are many reasons for hope if we find inspiration in stories of effective environmental recovery.
Wild Hope is organized geographically, with each chapter taking readers to extraordinary places to meet conservation’s heroes and foot soldiers—and to discover the new ideas they are generating about how to make conservation work on our hungry and crowded planet. The journey starts in the floodplains of Assam, where dedicated rangers and exceptionally tolerant villagers have together helped bring Indian rhinos back from the brink of extinction. In the pine forests of the Carolinas, we learn why plantation owners came to resent rare woodpeckers—and what persuaded them to change their minds. In South Africa, Balmford investigates how invading alien plants have been drinking the country dry, and how the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest conservation program is now simultaneously restoring the rivers, saving species, and creating tens of thousands of jobs. The conservation problems Balmford encounters are as diverse as the people and their actions, but together they offer common themes and specific lessons on how to win the battle of conservation—and the one essential ingredient, Balmford shows, is most definitely hope.
Wild Hope, though optimistic, is a clear-eyed view of the difficulties and challenges of conservation. Balmford is fully aware of failed conservation efforts and systematic flaws that make conservation difficult, but he offers here innovative solutions and powerful stories of citizens, governments, and corporations coming together to implement them. A global tour of people and programs working for the planet, Wild Hope is an emboldening green journey.
In recent years, some policymakers and conservationists have argued that natural resources will be protected only if economic benefits accrue to those who are responsible for caring for the resources. Such commercial consumptive use of wild species (CCU) provides an economically viable alternative to more ecologically destructive land uses, and could help accomplish the overall goals of biodiversity conservation.
Yet many questions remain: Will the harvest of wild species be sustainable? Will habitats be protected? What tradeoffs are implied for the populations and ecosystems under management? While this debate goes on, researchers and managers are confronting an array of real-world problems in managing harvested populations of wild species. Wild Species as Commodities presents a balanced, scientifically rigorous consideration of the link between CCU and biodiversity conservation. The outgrowth of a four-year World Wildlife Fund study, the book is both a synthesis of findings and a practical guide. Topics examined include:
forestry, fisheries, sport hunting, and nontimber forest products the economics of wild species use social and institutional frameworks required for sustainability ecological impacts biodiversity consequences of ecosystem specialization conservation benefits of wild species use management principles and guideline.
Wild Species as Commodities provides a primer on the CCU-biodiversity link, and an interdisciplinary analysis of the major economic, social, and ecological factors involved, along with guidelines for incorporating biodiversity conservation into commercial harvesting programs. It is a highly accessible source of information, concepts, and management approaches for professionals in resource management and wildlife conservation, and academics in conservation biology, environmental and ecological economics, and environmental studies.