Whether we live in cities, in the suburbs, or in the country, birds are ubiquitous features of daily life, so much so that we often take them for granted. But even the casual observer is aware that birds don’t fill our skies in the number they once did. That awareness has spawned conservation action that has led to notable successes, including the recovery of some of the nation’s most emblematic species, such as the Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon. Despite this, a third of all American bird species are in trouble—in many cases, they’re in imminent danger of extinction. The most authoritative account ever published of the threats these species face, The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation will be the definitive book on the subject.
The Guide presents for the first time anywhere a classification system and threat analysis for bird habitats in the United States, the most thorough and scientifically credible assessment of threats to birds published to date, as well as a new list of birds of conservation concern. Filled with beautiful color illustrations and original range maps, the Guide is a timely, important, and inspiring reference for birders and anyone else interested in conserving North America’s avian fauna. But this book is far more than another shout of crisis. The Guide also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. Ultimately, it is an argument for hope. Whether you spend your early weekend mornings crouched in silence with binoculars in hand, hoping to check another species off your list, or you’ve never given much thought to bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.
Environmentalists who believe that hunters and anglers are interested only in the kill and the catch may be surprised to learn that sportsmen were originally in the vanguard of the conservation movement. John Reiger's work has been hailed as an authoritative look at these early conservationists; now his landmark book is available in an expanded edition that broadens its historic sweep.
Beginning in the 1870s, sportsmen across America formed hundreds of organizations that not only fostered responsibility for game habitats but also spearheaded the creation of national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. Reiger tells how these "gentlemen" hunters and anglers, outdoor journals like Forest and Stream, and organizations such as the Boone and Crockett Club—founded by Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, and other prominent sportsmen—lobbied for laws regulating the taking of wildlife, and helped to arouse public interest in wilderness preservation.
In this new edition, Reiger traces the antecedents of the sportsmen's conservation movement to the years before the Civil War. He extends his coverage into the present by demonstrating how the nineteenth-century sportsman's code—with its demand for taking responsibility for the total environment—continues to be the cornerstone of the sporting ethic. A new Epilogue depicts leading environmental thinker Aldo Leopold as the best-known exponent of this hunter-conservationist ideal.
Praised as "one of the seminal works in conservation history" by historian Hal Rothman, Reiger's book continues to be essential reading for all concerned with how earlier Americans regarded the land, demonstrating even to those who oppose hunting that they share with sportsmen and sportswomen an awareness and appreciation of our fragile environment.
“Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.”-Norman Maclean
Though Maclean writes of an age-old focus of all anglers—the day’s catch—he may as well be speaking to another, deeper accomplishment of the best fishermen and fisherwomen: the preservation of natural resources.
Backcasts celebrates this centuries-old confluence of fly fishing and conservation. However religious, however patiently spiritual the tying and casting of the fly may be, no angler wishes to wade into rivers of industrial runoff or cast into waters devoid of fish or full of invasive species like the Asian carp. So it comes as no surprise that those who fish have long played an active, foundational role in the preservation, management, and restoration of the world’s coldwater fisheries. With sections covering the history of fly fishing; the sport’s global evolution, from the rivers of South Africa to Japan; the journeys of both native and nonnative trout; and the work of conservation organizations such as the Federation of Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited, Backcasts casts wide.
Highlighting the historical significance of outdoor recreation and sports to conservation in a collection important for fly anglers and scholars of fisheries ecology, conservation history, and environmental ethics, Backcasts explores both the problems anglers and their organizations face and how they might serve as models of conservation—in the individual trout streams, watersheds, and landscapes through which these waters flow.
Since antiquity, bats have been misunderstood and shrouded in mystery. Given misnomers such as fledermaus ("flying mouse") and murciegalo ("blind mouse"), these nocturnal flying mammals were even classified as primates by the great Carl Linnaeus, based on his knowledge of the anatomy of large Old World fruit bats. In this beautifully illustrated volume, bat specialist Rick A. Adams delves into bats' true nature and the roles these fascinating ledurblaka ("leather flutterers") play in the natural history and ecology of the Rocky Mountain West.
Bats of the Rocky Mountain West begins with a general discussion of bat biology and evolution as well as regional physiography and zoogeography. In addition, Adams describes - based on the results of extensive research - the behavior and ecology of the 31 species of bats found in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Naturalists and biologists alike will benefit from the detailed species descriptions, color photographs and illustrations, distribution maps, and echolocation sonograms. Bats of the Rocky Mountain West is a unique and valuable reference for professional bat biologists, naturalists, and wildlife enthusiasts interested in the conservation and ecology of bats in the region.
Among the few organizations with substantial experience in conserving and managing large ecosystems is The Nature Conservancy (TNC) -- the largest private, nonprofit conservation organization in the world dedicated to preserving natural areas, whose efforts have led to the protection of more than nine million acres of land across the United States and Canada.For more than fourteen years, W. William Weeks has worked in various capacities for The Nature Conservancy -- as state director, chief operating officer, and, currently, as vice president and director of The Center for Compatible Economic Development. During that time he has developed a deeply personal understanding of TNC's underlying philosophy and guiding methodology, and has come to appreciate the complex interaction between landscapes and people that characterize all conservation efforts. In Beyond the Ark, Weeks weaves together anecdotes, personal reflection, and fascinating detail from past and current Nature Conservancy projects to present a lively and inspiring introduction to issues of land conservation and management, and to The Nature Conservancy's approach to conservation.The author begins with a general introduction to conservation, to conservation planning, to the history and philosophy of The Nature Conservancy, and to the popular but often vaguely defined notion of ecosystem management. He then presents a detailed account of the conservation planning discipline that is at the heart of The Nature Conservancy's approach. Weeks offers in-depth description and analysis of the planning process that TNC goes through for each project -- a process designed to lead to a comprehensive understanding of the ecological system under consideration, threats to it and their causes, strategies for addressing those threats, and a means of measuring success. He ends with a consideration of the implications of the approach described, and presents his own thoughts on various aspects of the larger context in which conservation efforts must function.Beyond the Ark is an insightful and illuminating overview of conservation and management issues. Featuring a wealth of practical information gleaned from a wide range of real-life projects, it provides invaluable guidance to all those working to protect our endangered natural resources.
From the tufted puffin in the Pacific Northwest to the hook-billed hermit in the Brazilian rainforest, birds suffer from the effects of climate change in every corner of the globe. Scientists have found declines of up to 90 percent in some troubled bird populations and unprecedented reproductive failure in others. The most recent studies suggest dire prospects: 1,227 avian species are threatened with extinction and an additional 838 near-threatened species are urgent priorities for conservation action.
As much an indispensable guide as a timely call to action, Bird Watch is an illustrated tour of these endangered birds and their habitats. Encyclopedic in scope, this book features all 1,227 species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, thoroughly detailing the environmental pressures and conservation prescriptions that hold their futures in the balance. After introducing readers to the main threats to birds and regions at high risk, Bird Watch presents a visually stunning and scientifically accurate flight over the major bird habitats, including tropical forests; temperate and northern forests; deserts; mountains; grasslands; and Mediterranean, marine, freshwater, and oceanic islands. The volume concludes with an overview of bird species by region—categorized by family within each region, and a guide to the world’s best birding sites. Produced in cooperation with BirdLife International, Bird Watch is a celebration of the beauty and diversity of birds and their habitats—and a warning of the dangers they face around the world.
When viewed from space, the Korean Peninsula is crossed by a thin green ribbon. On the ground, its mix of dense vegetation and cleared borderlands serves as home to dozens of species that are extinct or endangered elsewhere on the peninsula. This is Korea’s demilitarized zone—one of the most dangerous places on earth for humans, and paradoxically one of the safest for wildlife. Although this zone was not intentionally created for conservation, across the globe hundreds of millions of acres of former military zones and bases are being converted to restoration areas, refuges, and conservation lands. David G. Havlick has traveled the world visiting these spaces of military-to-wildlife transition, and in Bombs Away he explores both the challenges—physical, historical, and cultural—and fascinating ecological possibilities of military site conversions.
Looking at particular international sites of transition—from Indiana’s Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge to Cold War remnants along the former Iron Curtain—Havlick argues that these new frontiers of conservation must accomplish seemingly antithetical aims: rebuilding and protecting ecosystems, or restoring life, while also commemorating the historical and cultural legacies of warfare and militarization. Developing these ideas further, he shows that despite the ecological devastation often wrought by military testing and training, these activities need not be inconsistent with environmental goals, and in some cases can even complement them—a concept he calls ecological militarization. A profound, clear explication of landscapes both fraught and fecund, marked by death but also reservoirs of life, Bombs Away shows us how “military activities, conservation goals, and ecological restoration efforts are made to work together to create new kinds of places and new conceptions of place.”
The weird and wonderful world of insects boasts some of the strangest creatures found in nature, and caterpillars are perhaps the most bizarre of all. While most of us picture caterpillars as cute fuzzballs munching on leaves, there is much more to them than we imagine. A caterpillar’s survival hinges on finding enough food and defending itself from the array of natural enemies lined up to pounce and consume. And the astounding adaptations and strategies they have developed to maximize their chances of becoming a butterfly or moth are only just beginning to be understood, from the Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar that resembles a small snake to the Eastern Carpenter Bee Hawkmoth caterpillar that attempts to dissuade potential predators by looking like a diseased leaf.
The Book of Caterpillars unveils the mysteries of six hundred species from around the world, introducing readers to the complexity and beauty of these underappreciated insects. With the advent of high-quality digital macrophotography, the world of caterpillars is finally opening up. The book presents a wealth of stunning imagery that showcases the astonishing diversity of caterpillar design, structure, coloration, and patterning. Each entry also features a two-tone engraving of the adult specimen, emphasizing the wing patterns and shades, as well as a population distribution map and table of essential information that includes their habitat, typical host plants, and conservation status. Throughout the book are fascinating facts that will enthrall expert entomologists and curious collectors alike.
A visually rich and scientifically accurate guide to six hundred of the world’s most peculiar caterpillars, this volume presents readers with a rare, detailed look at these intriguing forms of insect life.
“The re-creation of a viable population of condors in the Northwest would constitute an achievement of substantial importance…This book goes a long way toward justifying such an effort.” —Noel Snyder, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in charge of condor research in the 1980s and lead author of The California Condor: A Saga of Natural History and Conservation
Despite frequent depiction as a bird of California and the desert southwest, North America’s largest avian scavenger once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to British Columbia. This important volume documents the condor’s history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early twentieth century, and explores the challenges of reintroduction.
Jesse D’Elia and Susan Haig investigate the paleontological and observational record as well as the cultural relationships between Native American tribes and condors, providing the most complete assessment to date of the condor’s occurrence in the Pacific Northwest. They evaluate the probable causes of regional extinction and the likelihood that condors once bred in the region, and they assess factors that must be considered in determining whether they could once again thrive in Northwest skies.
Incorporating the newest research and findings and more than eighty detailed historical accounts of human encounters with these birds of prey, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest sets a new standard for examining the historical record of a species prior to undertaking a reintroduction effort. It is a vital reference for academics, agency decision makers, conservation biologists, and readers interested in Northwest natural history. The volume is beautifully illustrated by Ram Papish and includes a number of previously unpublished photographs.
What would it be like to live in a world with no predators roaming our landscapes? Would their elimination, which humans have sought with ever greater urgency in recent times, bring about a pastoral, peaceful human civilization? Or in fact is their existence critical to our own, and do we need to be doing more to assure their health and the health of the landscapes they need to thrive?
In The Carnivore Way, Cristina Eisenberg argues compellingly for the necessity of top predators in large, undisturbed landscapes, and how a continental-long corridor—carnivore way—provides the room they need to roam and connected landscapes that allow them to disperse. Eisenberg follows the footsteps of six large carnivores—wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, jaguars, wolverines, and cougars—on a 7,500-mile wildlife corridor from Alaska to Mexico along the Rocky Mountains. Backed by robust science, she shows how their well-being is a critical factor in sustaining healthy landscapes and how it is possible for humans and large carnivores to coexist peacefully and even to thrive.
University students in natural resource science programs, resource managers, conservation organizations, and anyone curious about carnivore ecology and management in a changing world will find a thoughtful guide to large carnivore conservation that dispels long-held myths about their ecology and contributions to healthy, resilient landscapes.
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.
“Just as the humans involved in the wolf debate deserve to be seen as individuals, not stereotypes, so do the wolves. They are not the boogeyman, or storybook monsters aiming to prey upon the young and old. They aren’t cuddly pets or religious icons. They are Canis lupus. Wolves.” —from the Introduction
Teeming with the tension and passion that accompany one of North America’s most controversial apex predators, Collared tracks the events that unfolded when wolves from the reintroduced population of the northern Rocky Mountains dispersed west across state lines into Oregon.
In a forthright and personal style, Aimee Lyn Eaton takes readers from meeting rooms in the state capitol to ranching communities in the rural northeast corner of the state. Using on-the-ground inquiry, field interviews, and in-depth research, she shares the story of how wolves returned to Oregon and the repercussions of their presence in the state.
Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country introduces readers to the biologists, ranchers, conservationists, state employees, and lawyers on the front lines, encouraging a deeper, multifaceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.
The relevance and importance of Samuel P. Hay's book, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency, has only increased over time. Written almost half a century ago, it offers an invaluable history of the conservation movement's origins, and provides an excellent context for understanding contemporary enviromental problems and possible solutions. Against a background of rivers, forests, ranges, and public lands, this book defines two conflicting political processes: the demand for an integrated, controlled development guided by an elite group of scientists and technicians and the demand for a looser system allowing grassroots impulses to have a voice through elected government representatives.
Since the earliest days of our nation, new communications and transportation networks have enabled vast changes in how and where Americans live and work. Transcontinental railroads and telegraphs helped to open the West; mass media and interstate highways paved the way for suburban migration. In our own day, the internet and advanced logistics networks are enabling new changes on the landscape, with both positive and negative impacts on our efforts to conserve land and biodiversity. Emerging technologies have led to tremendous innovations in conservation science and resource management as well as education and advocacy efforts. At the same time, new networks have been powerful enablers of decentralization, facilitating sprawling development into previously undesirable or inaccessible areas.Conservation in the Internet Age offers an innovative, cross-disciplinary perspective on critical changes on the land and in the field of conservation. The book:provides a general overview of the impact of new technologies and networksexplores the potentially disruptive impacts of the new networks on open space and biodiversitypresents case studies of innovative ways that conservation organizations are using the new networks to pursue their missionsconsiders how rapid change in the Internet Age offers the potential for landmark conservation initiativesConservation in the Internet Age is the first book to examine the links among land use, technology, and conservation from multiple perspectives, and to suggest areas and initiatives that merit further investigation. It offers unique and valuable insight into the challenges facing the land and biodiversity conservation community in the early twenty-first century, and represents an important new work for policymakers, conservation professionals, and academics in planning, design, conservation and resource management, policy, and related fields.
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.
Prairie dogs and the grassland habitat in which they play a key ecological role have declined precipitously over the past two centuries. The current number of prairie dogs is believed to be less than 2 percent of the number encountered by Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s, and only a fraction of grassland ecosystem remains.
Conservation of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog offers specific information to help scientists and managers develop rigorous plans for ensuring the long-term survival of the prairie dog and its habitat. With contributions from thirty leading biologists who are actively working to save prairie dogs, the book addresses a range of pivotal issues including: the ecology and social behavior of prairie dogs; the prairie dog's role as a keystone species; factors that have led to drastic population declines; practical solutions for protecting the prairie dog and its grassland ecosystem; and concerns of farmers and ranchers who view prairie dogs as a nuisance and a threat to their livelihoods
Extensively illustrated with tables, figures, photos, and charts, and thoroughly referenced with more than 700 citations, the book is a unique and vital contribution for anyone concerned with prairie dogs, prairie dog conservation, or the conservation and management of grassland ecosystems.
When migrating birds and other creatures move along a path of plant communities in bloom, they follow what has come to be known as a nectar trail. Should any of these plants be eliminated from the sequence—whether through habitat destruction, pests, or even aberrant weather—the movement of these pollinators may be interrupted and their very survival threatened. In recent efforts by ecologists and activists to envision a continental-scale network of protected areas connected by wildlife corridors, the peculiar roles of migratory pollinators which travel the entire length of this network cannot be underestimated in shaping the ultimate conservation design.
This book, a unique work of comparative zoogeography and conservation biology, is the first to bring together studies of these important migratory pollinators and of what we must do to conserve them. It considers the similarities and differences among the behavior and habitat requirements of several species of migratory pollinators and seed dispersers in the West—primarily rufous hummingbirds, white-winged doves, lesser long-nosed bats, and monarch butterflies. It examines the population dynamics of these four species in flyways that extend from the Pacific Ocean to the continental backbone of the Sierra Madre Oriental and Rocky Mountains, and it investigates their foraging and roosting behaviors as they journey from the Tropic of Cancer in western Mexico into the deserts, grasslands, and thornscrub of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The four pollinators whose journeys are traced here differ dramatically from one another in foraging strategies and stopover fidelities, but all challenge many of the truisms that have emerged regarding the status of migratory species in general. The rufous hummingbird makes the longest known avian migration in relation to body size and is a key to identifying nectar corridors running through northwestern Mexico to the United States. And there is new evidence to challenge the long-supposed separation of eastern and western monarch butterfly populations by the Rocky Mountains as these insects migrate.
Conserving Migratory Pollinators and Nectar Corridors in Western North America demonstrates new efforts to understand migratory species and to determine whether their densities, survival rates, and health are changing in response to changes in the distribution and abundance of nectar plants found within their ranges. Representing collaborative efforts that bridge field ecology and conservation biology in both theory and practice, it is dedicated to safeguarding dynamic interactions among plants and pollinators that are only now being identified.
In 1999, off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, the first gray whale in seven decades was killed by Makah whalers. The hunt marked the return of a centuries-old tradition and, predictably, set off a fierce political and environmental debate. Whalers from the Makah Indian Tribe and antiwhaling activists have clashed for over twenty years, with no end to this conflict in sight.
In Contesting Leviathan, anthropologist Les Beldo describes the complex judicial and political climate for whale conservation in the United States, and the limits of the current framework in which whales are treated as “large fish” managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Emphasizing the moral dimension of the conflict between the Makah, the US government, and antiwhaling activists, Beldo brings to light the lived ethics of human-animal interaction, as well as how different groups claim to speak for the whale—the only silent party in this conflict. A timely and sensitive study of a complicated issue, this book calls into question anthropological expectations regarding who benefits from the exercise of state power in environmental conflicts, especially where indigenous groups are involved. Vividly told and rigorously argued, Contesting Leviathan will appeal to anthropologists, scholars of indigenous culture, animal activists, and any reader interested in the place of animals in contemporary life.
The last fifteen years have been a period of dramatic change, both in the world at large and within the fields of ecology and conservation. The end of the Cold War, the dot-com boom and bust, the globalizing economy, and the attacks of September 11, among other events and trends, have reshaped our worldview and the political environment in which we find ourselves. At the same time, emerging knowledge, needs, and opportunities have led to a rapid evolution in our understanding of the scientific foundations and social context of conservation.
Correction Lines is a new collection of essays from one of our most thoughtful and eloquent writers on conservation, putting these recent changes into perspective and exploring the questions they raise about the past, present, and future of the conservation movement. The essays explore interrelated themes: the relationship between biological and social dimensions; the historic tension between utilitarian and preservationist approaches; the integration of varied cultural perspectives; the enduring legacy of Aldo Leopold; the contrasts and continuities between conservation and environmentalism; the importance of political reform; and the need to "retool" conservation to address twentyfirst-century realities.
Collectively the essays assert that we have reached a critical juncture in conservation-a "correction line" of sorts. Correction Lines argues that we need a more coherent and comprehensive account of the past if we are to understand our present circumstances and move forward under unprecedented conditions.
Meine brings together a deep sense of history with powerful language and compelling imagery, yielding new insights into the origins and development of contemporary conservation. Correction Lines will help us think more clearly about the forces that have changed, and are changing, conservation, and inspire us to address current realities and future needs.
Cougar: Ecology and Conservation
Edited by Maurice Hornocker and Sharon Negri University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress QL737.C23C6775 2010 | Dewey Decimal 599.7524
The cougar is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic, and majestic animals in the Americas. Eliciting reverence for its grace and independent nature, it also triggers fear when it comes into contact with people, pets, and livestock or competes for hunters’ game. Mystery, myth, and misunderstanding surround this remarkable creature.
The cougar’s range once extended from northern Canada to the tip of South America, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, making it the most widespread animal in the western hemisphere. But overhunting and loss of habitat vastly reduced cougar numbers by the early twentieth century across much of its historical range, and today the cougar faces numerous threats as burgeoning human development encroaches on its remaining habitat.
When Maurice Hornocker began the first long-term study of cougars in the Idaho wilderness in 1964, little was known about this large cat. Its secretive nature and rarity in the landscape made it difficult to study. But his groundbreaking research yielded major insights and was the prelude to further research on this controversial species.
The capstone to Hornocker’s long career studying big cats, Cougar is a powerful and practical resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone with an interest in large carnivores. He and conservationist Sharon Negri bring together the diverse perspectives of twenty-two distinguished scientists to provide the fullest account of the cougar’s ecology, behavior, and genetics, its role as a top predator, and its conservation needs. This compilation of recent findings, stunning photographs, and firsthand accounts of field research unravels the mysteries of this magnificent animal and emphasizes its importance in healthy ecosystem processes and in our lives.
The Brown-headed Cowbird is known to use the nests of more than 200 other bird species, and cowbirds in general are believed to play a role in the decline of some migratory songbird populations. These brood parasites—birds that lay their eggs in the nests of others—have long flourished in North America.
In this timely book, Catherine Ortega summarizes and synthesizes a wealth of information on cowbirds from around the world that has appeared since the publication of Herbert Friedmann's classic 1929 monograph on these birds. Most of this information has appeared in the last quarter-century and reflects advances in our understanding of how brood parasitism influences, and is influenced by, host species. Ortega shows that in order to manage cowbirds without further damaging delicate balances in host-parasite relationships, it is necessary to understand such factors as behavior, reproduction, population dynamics, and response to landscape patterns. She examines and explains the origin, evolution, and costs of brood parasitism, and she discusses the philosophical and ecological considerations regarding the management of cowbirds—a controversial issue because of their perceived influence on threatened and endangered birds.
Because brood parasitism has evolved independently in various bird families, information on this adaptive strategy is of great ecological interest and considerable value to wildlife management. Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites is an important reference on these creatures that enhances our understanding of both their behavior and their part in the natural world.
Long before people were “going green” and toting reusable bags, the Progressive generation of the early 1900s was calling for the conservation of resources, sustainable foresting practices, and restrictions on hunting. Industrial commodities such as wood, water, soil, coal, and oil, as well as improvements in human health and the protection of “nature” in an aesthetic sense, were collectively seen for the first time as central to the country’s economic well-being, moral integrity, and international power. One of the key drivers in the rise of the conservation movement was Theodore Roosevelt, who, even as he slaughtered animals as a hunter, fought to protect the country’s natural resources.
In Crisisof the Wasteful Nation, Ian Tyrrell gives us a cohesive picture of Roosevelt’s engagement with the natural world along with a compelling portrait of how Americans used, wasted, and worried about natural resources in a time of burgeoning empire. Countering traditional narratives that cast conservation as a purely domestic issue, Tyrrell shows that the movement had global significance, playing a key role in domestic security and in defining American interests around the world. Tyrrell goes beyond Roosevelt to encompass other conservation advocates and policy makers, particularly those engaged with shaping the nation’s economic and social policies—policies built on an understanding of the importance of crucial natural resources. Crisis of the Wasteful Nation is a sweeping transnational work that blends environmental, economic, and imperial history into a cohesive tale of America’s fraught relationships with raw materials, other countries, and the animal kingdom.
"Makes you feel as if you're part of an engaging dinnertime conversation." —Science News
Krill—it’s a familiar word that conjures oceans, whales, and swimming crustaceans. Scientists say they are one of most abundant animals on the planet. But when pressed, few people can accurately describe krill or explain their ecological importance. Antarctic krill have used their extraordinary adaptive skills to survive and thrive for millions of years in a dark, icy world far from human interference. But with climate change melting ice caps at the top and bottom of the world, and increased human activity and pollution, their evolutionary flexibility to withstand these new pressures may not be enough.
Eminent krill scientist Stephen Nicol wants us to know more about this enigmatic creature of the sea. He argues that it’s critical to understand krill’s complex biology in order to protect them as the krill fishing industry expands. This account of Antarctic krill-one of the largest of eighty-five krill species-takes us to the Southern Ocean to learn firsthand the difficulties and rewards of studying krill in its habitat. Nicol lays to rest the notion that krill are simply microscopic, shrimplike whale food but are in fact midway up the food chain, consumers of phytoplankton and themselves consumed by whales, seals, and penguins. From his early education about the sex lives of krill in the Bay of Fundy to a krill tattoo gone awry, Nicol uses humor and personal stories to bring the biology and beauty of krill alive. In the final chapters, he examines the possibility of an increasingly ice-free Southern Ocean and what that means for the fate of krill-and us.
Ocean enthusiasts will come away with a newfound appreciation for the complex ecology of a species we have much to learn from, and many reasons to protect.
Scholars have labeled Madison Grant everything from the “nation’s most influential racist” to the “greatest conservationist that ever lived.” His life illuminates early twentieth-century America as it was heading toward the American Century, and his legacy is still very much with us today, from the speeches of immigrant-bashing politicians to the international efforts to arrest climate change. This insightful biography shows how Grant worked side-by-side with figures such as Theodore Roosevelt to found the Bronx Zoo, preserve the California redwoods, and save the American bison from extinction. But Grant was also the leader of the eugenics movement in the United States. He popularized the infamous notions that the blond-haired, blue-eyed Nordics were the “master race” and that the state should eliminate members of inferior races who were of no value to the community. Grant’s behind-the-scenes machinations convinced Congress to enact the immigration restriction legislation of the 1920s, and his influence led many states to ban interracial marriage and sterilize thousands of “unworthy” citizens. Although most of the relevant archival materials on Madison Grant have mysteriously disappeared over the decades, Jonathan Spiro has devoted many years to reconstructing the hitherto concealed events of Grant’s life. His astonishing feat of detective work reveals how the founder of the Bronx Zoo wound up writing the book that Adolf Hitler declared was his “bible.”
Scientists and conservationists are beginning to understand the importance of top carnivores to the health and integrity of fully functioning ecosystems. As burgeoning human populations continue to impinge on natural landscapes, the need for understanding carnivore populations and how we affect them is becoming increasingly acute.Desert Puma represents one of the most detailed assessments ever produced of the biology and ecology of a top carnivore. The husband-and-wife team of Kenneth Logan and Linda Sweanor set forth extensive data gathered from their ten-year field study of pumas in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, also drawing on other reliable scientific data gathered throughout the puma's geographic range. Chapters examine: the evolutionary and modern history of pumas, their taxonomy, and physical description a detailed description and history of the study area in the Chihuahua Desert field techniques that were used in the research puma population dynamics and life history strategies the implications of puma behavior and social organization the relationships of pumas and their preyThe authors provide important new information about both the biology of pumas and their evolutionary ecology -- not only what pumas do, but why they do it. Logan and Sweanor explain how an understanding of puma evolutionary ecology can, and must, inform long-term conservation strategies. They end the book with their ideas regarding strategies for puma management and conservation, along with a consideration of the future of pumas and humans. Desert Puma makes a significant and original contribution to the science not only of pumas in desert ecosystems but of the role of top predators in all environments. It is an essential contribution to the bookshelf of any wildlife biologist or conservationist involved in large-scale land management or wildlife management.
Social commentator and preeminent Western historian Bernard DeVoto vigorously defended public lands in the West against commercial interests. At his death in 1955, DeVoto had won both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. But he was most famous for his eloquent writing that advocated conservation of America's prairies, rangeland, forests, mountains, canyons, and deserts.DeVoto's West: Essays on History, Conservation, and the Public Good showcases the complexity, depth, and breadth of DeVoto's thinking. Editor Edward K. Muller introduces these twenty-two essays (many of which originally appeared in Harper's renowned column The Easy Chair) that passionately and coherently advocate federal control for vast tracts of public land. DeVoto addressed many issues, including the plundering of resources by absentee eastern corporations, Westerners' conflicted relationship to exploitation, and the degradation of the national parks. He believed that conservation of natural resources in the West required government control of public lands against livestock associations, timber interests, and their congressional allies who plotted the privatization of the national forests and the extraction of resources in the national parks.DeVoto's West collects the best of DeVoto's conservation pieces for the first time. It will introduce a new generation to prose that has retained its relevance and remains a remarkably current and timely argument for protecting public lands. Bernard DeVoto was born in Ogden, Utah, in 1897. He spent his adult life in the East, first teaching English at Northwestern University, Chicago, then living in New York, and finally settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the subject of an acclaimed biography, The Uneasy Chair, by Wallace Stegner.
This unique book celebrates and documents the incredible and colorful biodiversity of the mountain landscapes of eastern North America, covering all of the major alpine ecosystems in New England, New York, Québec, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Twenty scientists, explorers, naturalists, and land managers from the United States and Canada have collaborated to create this definitive and beautiful account of the flora and fauna of the eastern alpine tundra.
Global Integrity Project has brought together leading scientists and thinkers from around the world to examine the combined problems of threatened and unequal human well-being, degradation of the ecosphere, and unsustainable economies. Based on the proposition that healthy, functioning ecosystems are a necessary prerequisite for both economic security and social justice, the project is built around the concept of ecological integrity and its practical implications for policy and management.Ecological Integrity presents a synthesis and findings of the project. Contributors -- including Robert Goodland, James Karr, Orie Loucks, Jack Manno, William Rees, Mark Sagoff, Robert Ulanowicz, Philippe Crabbe, Laura Westra, David Pimentel, Reed Noss, and others -- examine the key elements of ecological integrity and consider what happens when integrity is lost or compromised. The book: examines historical and philosophical foundations of the concept of ecological integrity explores how integrity can be measured examines the relationships among ecological integrity, human health, and food production looks at economic and ethical issues that need to be considered in protecting ecological integrity offers concrete recommendations for reversing ecological degradation while promoting social and economic justice and welfare .Contributors argue that there is an urgent need for rapid and fundamental change in the ecologically destructive patterns of collective human behavior if society is to survive and thrive in coming decades.Ecological Integrity is a groundbreaking book that integrates environmental science, economics, law, and ethics in problem analysis, synthesis, and solution, and is a vital contribution for anyone concerned with interactions between human and planetary health.
Hornbills are among the world’s most distinct birds. Easily recognized by their oversized beaks adorned with large casques, they range from Africa to India and throughout Asia. One of the oldest bird orders, they have been known to mankind for millennia and loom large in the mythology of indigenous cultures of tropical Asia. In the past thirty years, ecologists have uncovered many fascinating aspects of hornbill biology, from their unique nest-sealing behavior to their roles as farmers of the forest.
Building on fourteen years of research, Margaret F. Kinnaird and Timothy G. O’Brien offer in Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills the most up-to-date information on the evolution, reproduction, feeding ecology, and movement patterns of thirty-one species of Asian hornbills. The authors address questions of ecological functionality, ecosystem services, and keystone relationships, as well as the disturbing influence of forest loss and fragmentation on hornbills. Complemented by superb full-color images by renowned photographer Tim Laman that provide rare glimpses of hornbills in their native habitat and black-and-white illustrations by Jonathan Kingdon that highlight the intriguing aspects of hornbill behavior, Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills will stand tall in the pantheon of natural history studies for years to come.
One of the last undammed perennial rivers in the desert Southwest, the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona illustrates important processes common to many desert riparian ecosystems. Although historic land uses and climatic extremes have led to aquifer depletion, river entrenchment, and other changes, the river still sustains a rich and varied selection of life. Resilient to many factors, portions of the San Pedro have become increasingly threatened by groundwater pumping and other impacts of population growth.
This book provides an extensive knowledge base on all aspects of the San Pedro, from flora and fauna to hydrology and human use to preservation. It describes the ecological patterns and processes of this aridland river and explores both the ongoing science-driven efforts by nonprofit groups and government agencies to sustain and restore its riparian ecosystems and the science that supports these management decisions.
An interdisciplinary team of fifty-seven contributors—biologists, ecologists, geomorphologists, historians, hydrologists, lawyers, political scientists—weave together threads from their diverse perspectives to reveal the processes that shape the past, present, and future of the San Pedro’s riparian and aquatic ecosystems. They review the biological communities of the San Pedro and the stream hydrology and geomorphology that affect its riparian biota. They then look at conservation and management challenges along three sections of the San Pedro, from its headwaters in Mexico to its confluence with the Gila River, describing legal and policy issues and their interface with science; activities related to mitigation, conservation, and restoration; and a prognosis of the potential for sustaining the basin’s riparian system.
These chapters demonstrate the complexity of the San Pedro’s ecological and hydrological conditions, showing that there are no easy answers to the problems—and that existing laws are inadequate to fully address them. Collectively, they offer students, professionals, and environmental advocates a better grasp of the San Pedro’s status as well as important lessons for restoring physical processes and biotic communities to rivers in arid and semiarid regions.
How can we manage a so-called "renewable" natural resource such as a fishery when we don't know how renewable it really is? James A. Crutchfield and Arnold Zellner developed a dynamic and highly successful economic approach to this problem, drawing on extensive data from the Pacific halibut industry. Although the U.S. Department of the Interior published a report about their findings in 1962, it had very limited distribution and is now long out of print.
This book presents a complete reprint of Crutchfield and Zellner's pioneering study, together with a new introduction by the authors and four new papers by other scholars. These new studies cover the history of the Pacific halibut industry as well as the general and specific contributions of the original work—such as price-oriented conservation policy—to the fields of resource economics and management. The resulting volume integrates theory and practice in a clear, well-contextualized case study that will be important not just for environmental and resource economists, but also for leaders of industries dependent on any natural resource.
Over the next several decades, as human populations grow and developing countries become more affluent, the demand for energy will soar. Parts of the energy sector are preparing to meet this demand by increasing renewable energy production, which is necessary to combat climate change. But many renewable energy sources have a large energy sprawl—the amount of land needed to produce energy—which can threaten biodiversity and conservation. Is it possible to meet this rise in energy demand, while still conserving natural places and species?
In Energy Sprawl Solutions, scientists Joseph M. Kiesecker and David Naugle provide a roadmap for preserving biodiversity despite the threats of energy sprawl. Their strategy—development by design—brings together companies, communities, and governments to craft blueprints for sustainable land development. This commonsense approach identifies and preemptively sets aside land where biodiversity can thrive while consolidating development in areas with lower biodiversity value. This approach makes sense for energy industries and governments, which can confidently build sustainability into their energy futures.
This contributed volume brings together experts in diverse fields such as biodiversity conservation, ecology, ecosystem services, wildlife, fisheries, planning, energy, economics, and finance. Early chapters set the context for global patterns of biodiversity risk from energy extraction and the challenges of achieving a green future while maintaining energy security. Middle chapters are devoted to case studies from countries around the world, each describing a different energy sector and the collaborative process involved in planning complex energy projects in a way that maximizes biodiversity protection. Detailed maps and charts help orient readers to countries and energy sectors, providing proof for what is possible.
With biodiversity declining rapidly because of an energy-hungry world, this book provides a needed guide for elected officials, industry representatives, NGOs and community groups who have a stake in sustainable energy-development planning.
Protected areas around the globe national parks, wildlife reserves, biosphere reserves will prosper only if they are supported by the public, the private sector, and the full range of government agencies. Yet such support is unlikely unless society appreciates the importance of protected areas to its own interest, and the protected areas are well-managed and contribute to the national welfare in a cost-effective way.A crucial foundation for success is full cooperation between individuals and institutions. Based on papers presented at the IVth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, Expanding Partnerships in Conservation explores how new and stronger partnerships can be formed between managers of protected areas and other sectors of society. It describes a range of activities currently underway in many parts of the world that are intended to improve conservation efforts at the international, national, and local levels.
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.
One in five people in the United States is a birdwatcher, yet the popular understanding of birders reduces them to comical stereotypes, obsessives who only have eyes for their favorite rare species. In real life, however, birders are paying equally close attention to the world around them, observing the devastating effects of climate change and mass extinction, while discovering small pockets of biodiversity in unexpected places.
For the Birds offers readers a glimpse behind the binoculars and reveals birders to be important allies in the larger environmental conservation movement. With a wealth of data from in-depth interviews and over three years of observing birders in the field, environmental sociologist Elizabeth Cherry argues that birders learn to watch wildlife in ways that make an invaluable contribution to contemporary conservation efforts. She investigates how birders develop a “naturalist gaze” that enables them to understand the shared ecosystem that intertwines humans and wild animals, an appreciation that motivates them to participate in citizen science projects and wildlife conservation.
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.
Forgotten Grasslands of the South is a literary and scientific case study of some of the biologically richest and most endangered ecosystems in North America. Eminent ecologist Reed Noss tells the story of how southern grasslands arose and persisted over time and addresses questions that are fundamental for conserving these vital yet poorly understood ecosystems.
The author examines:
the natural history of southern grasslands their origin and history (geologic, vegetation, and human) biological hotspots and endangered ecosystems physical determinants of grassland distribution, including ecology, soils, landform, and hydrology fire, herbivores, and ecological interactions.
The final chapter presents a general conservation strategy for southern grasslands, including prioritization, protection, restoration, and management. Also included are examples of ongoing restoration projects, along with a prognosis for the future.
In addition to offering fascinating new information about these little-studied ecosystems, Noss demonstrates how natural history is central to the practice of conservation. Natural history has been on a declining trajectory for decades, as theory and experimentation have dominated the field of ecology. Ecologists are coming to realize that these divergent approaches are in fact complementary, and that pursuing them together can bring greater knowledge and understanding of how the natural world works and how we can best conserve it.
Forgotten Grasslands of the South explores the overarching importance of ecological processes in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and is the first book of its kind to apply natural history, in a modern, comprehensive sense, to the conservation of biodiversity across a broad region. It sets a new standard for scientific literature and is essential reading not only for those who study and work to conserve the grasslands of the South but also for everyone who is fascinated by the natural world.
Learn how Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom worked to save the greater prairie chicken from extinction in the Wisconsin Historical Society Press’s new book for young readers, "Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom: Wildlife Conservation Pioneers." Fran and Frederick grew up in New England, and married in 1935. They both loved nature and wanted to dedicate their lives to understanding and preserving wildlife. As students of the famous naturalist, Aldo Leopold, they learned about new ways for humans to think about saving land for animals. Fran was a brave, outgoing woman who cared more about interacting with animals than wearing pretty dresses. Frederick was a calm, thoughtful man who loved to study and conduct research. Together, they spent over thirty years mentoring many future scientists, and working to save the greater prairie chicken, and other animals, from extinction. "Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom: Wildlife Conservation Pioneers" is the newest addition to the Society Press’s Badger Biographies Series.
From Conquest to Conservation is a visionary new work from three of the nation’s most knowledgeable experts on public lands. As chief of the Forest Service, Mike Dombeck became a lightning rod for public debate over issues such as the management of old-growth forests and protecting roadless areas. Dombeck also directed the Bureau of Land Management from 1994 to 1997 and is the only person ever to have led the two largest land management agencies in the United States. Chris Wood and Jack Williams have similarly spent their careers working to steward public resources, and the authors bring unparalleled insight into the challenges facing public lands and how those challenges can be met.
Here, they examine the history of public lands in the United States and consider the most pressing environmental and social problems facing public lands. Drawing heavily on fellow Forest Service employee Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, they offer specific suggestions for new directions in policy and management that can help maintain and restore the health, diversity, and productivity of public land and water resources, both now and into the future.
Also featured are lyrical and heartfelt essays from leading writers, thinkers, and scientists— including Bruce Babbitt, Rick Bass, Patricia Nelson Limerick, and Gaylord Nelson—about the importance of public lands and the threats to them, along with original drawings by William Millonig.
This is a turbulent time for the conservation of America’s natural and cultural heritage. From the current assaults on environmental protection to the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, and disparity of environmental justice, the challenges facing the conservation movement are both immediate and long term. In this time of uncertainty, we need a clear and compelling guide for the future of conservation in America, a declaration to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders. This is that guide—what the authors describe as “a chart for rough water.”
Written by the first scientist appointed as science advisor to the director of the National Park Service and the eighteenth director of the National Park Service, this is a candid, passionate, and ultimately hopeful book. The authors describe a unified vision of conservation that binds nature protection, historical preservation, sustainability, public health, civil rights and social justice, and science into common cause—and offer real-world strategies for progress. To be read, pondered, debated, and often revisited, The Future of Conservation in America is destined to be a touchstone for the conservation movement in the decades ahead.
The Game of Conservation is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable examination of nature protection around the world.
Twentieth-century nature conservation treaties often originated as attempts to regulate the pace of killing rather than as attempts to protect animal habitat. Some were prompted by major breakthroughs in firearm techniques, such as the invention of the elephant gun and grenade harpoons, but agricultural development was at least as important as hunting regulations in determining the fate of migratory species. The treaties had many defects, yet they also served the goal of conservation to good effect, often saving key species from complete extermination and sometimes keeping the population numbers at viable levels. It is because of these treaties that Africa is dotted with large national parks, that North America has an extensive network of bird refuges, and that there are any whales left in the oceans. All of these treaties are still in effect today, and all continue to influence nature-protection efforts around the globe.
Drawing on a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, Mark Cioc shows that a handful of treaties—all designed to protect the world’s most commercially important migratory species—have largely shaped the contours of global nature conservation over the past century. The scope of the book ranges from the African savannahs and the skies of North America to the frigid waters of the Antarctic.
Examining the geographical dimensions of environmental management and conservation activities implemented on landscapes worldwide, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation creates a new framework and collects original case studies to explore recent developments in the interaction of humans and their environment.
Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation makes four important arguments about the recent coupling of conservation and globalization that is reshaping the place of nature in human-environmental change. First, it has led to an unprecedented number of spatial arrangements whose environmental management goals and prescribed activities vary along a spectrum from strict biodiversity protection to sustainable utilization involving agriculture, food production, and extractive activities. Conservation and globalization are also leading, by necessity, to new scales of management in these activities that rely on environmental science, thus shifting the spatial patterning of humans and the environment. This interaction results, as well, in the unprecedented importance of boundaries and borders; transnational border issues pose both opportunities and threats to global conservation proposed by organizations and institutions that are themselves international. Lastly, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation argues that the local level has been integral to globalization, while the regional level is often eclipsed at the peril of the successful implementation of conservation and management programs.
Bridging the gap between geography and life science, Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation will appeal to a broad range of students of the environment, conservation planning; biodiversity management, and development and globalization studies.
Few places in the world can claim such a diversity of species as the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), with its 6,000 recorded animal species estimated to be half the number actually living in its waters. So rich are the Gulf's water that over a half-million tons of seafood are taken from them annually—and this figure does not count the wasted by-catch, which would triple or quadruple that tonnage. This timely book provides a benchmark for understanding the Gulf's extraordinary diversity, how it is threatened, and in what ways it is—or should be—protected.
In spite of its dazzling richness, most of the Gulf's coastline now harbors but a pale shadow of the diversity that existed just a half-century ago. Recommendations based on sound, careful science must guide Mexico in moving forward to protect the Gulf of California.
This edited volume contains contributions by twenty-four Gulf of California experts, from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. From the origins of the Gulf to its physical and chemical characteristics, from urgently needed conservation alternatives for fisheries and the entire Gulf ecosystem to information about its invertebrates, fishes, cetaceans, and sea turtles, this thought-provoking book provides new insights and clear paths to achieve sustainable use solidly based on robust science. The interdisciplinary, international cooperation involved in creating this much-needed collection provides a model for achieving success in answering critically important questions about a precious but rapidly disappearing ecological treasure.
Farmers and gardeners have long appreciated a wide variety of plants and have nurtured them for meals, healing, and exchange. But diversity too often has been surrendered to monocultures of fields and spirits, predisposing much of modern agriculture to uniformity and, consequently, vulnerability. Today it is primarily at the individual level—such as growing and saving a strange old bean variety or a curious-looking gourd—that any lasting conservation actually takes place.
As scientists grapple with the erosion of genetic diversity of crops and their wild relatives, old-timey farmers and gardeners continue to save, propagate, and pass on folk varieties and heirloom seeds. Virginia Nazarea focuses on the role of these seedsavers in the perpetuation of diversity. She thoughtfully examines the framework of scientific conservation and argues for the merits of everyday conservation—one that is beyond programmatic design. Whether considering small-scale rice and sweet potato farmers in the Philippines or participants in the Southern Seed Legacy and Introduced Germplasm from Vietnam in the American South, she explores roads not necessarily less traveled but certainly less recognized in the conservation of biodiversity.
Through characters and stories that offer a wealth of insights about human nature and society, Heirloom Seeds and Their Keepers helps readers more fully understand why biodiversity persists when there are so many pressures for it not to. The key, Nazarea explains, is in the sovereign spaces seedsavers inhabit and create, where memories counter a culture of forgetting and abandonment engendered by modernity. A book about theory as much as practice, it profiles these individuals, who march to their own beat in a world where diversity is increasingly devalued as the predictability of mass production becomes the norm.
Heirloom Seeds and Their Keepers offers a much-needed, scientifically researched perspective on the contribution of seedsaving that illustrates its critical significance to the preservation of both cultural knowledge and crop diversity around the world. It opens new conversations between anthropology and biology, and between researchers and practitioners, as it honors conservation as a way of life.
This volume is the first comprehensive collection of texts on the conservation of art and architecture to be published in the English language. Designed for students of art history as well as conservation, the book consists of forty-six texts, some never before translated into English and many originally published only in obscure or foreign journals.
The thirty major art historians and scholars represented raise questions such as when to restore, what to preserve, and how to maintain aesthetic character. Excerpts have been selected from the following books and essays: John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture; Bernard Berenson, Aesthetics and History in the Visual Arts; Clive Bell, The Aesthetic Hypothesis; Cesare Brandi, Theory of Restoration; Kenneth Clark, Looking at Pictures; Erwin Panofsky, The History of Art as a Humanistic Discipline; E. H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion; Marie Cl. Berducou, The Conservation of Archaeology; and Paul Philippot, Restoration from the Perspective of the Social Sciences. The fully illustrated book also contains an annotated bibliography and an index.
Once the grain basket for South Africa, much of Lesotho has become a scarred and treeless wasteland. The nation's spectacular gullying has concerned environmentalists and conservationists for more than half a century, In Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho, Kate B. Showers documents the truth behind this devastation. Showers reconstructs the history of the landscape, beginning with a history of the soil. She concludes that Lesotho's distinctive erosion chasms, called dongas, often cited as an example of destructive land-use practices by African farmers, actually were caused by colonial and postcolonial practices. The residents of Lesotho emerge as victims of a failed technology. Their efforts to mitigate or resist implementation of destructive soil conservation engineering works were thwarted, and they were blamed for the consequences of policies promoted by international soil conservationists since the 1930s. Imperial Gullies calls for an observational, experimental and, most importantly, a fully consultative and participatory approach to address Lesotho's serious contemporary problems of soil erosion. The first book to bring to center stage the historical practice of colonial soil science and a cautionary tale of western science in unfamiliar terrain it will interest a broad, interdisciplinary audience in African and environmental studies, social sciences, and history. "Showers shows how local people understood that colonial contour conservation methods and road building actually stimulated gully erosion, something colonial scientists failed to realize. Overall it is undoubtedly one of the most important books written to date on any part of the environmental history of Africa. Moreover it stands out in the discipline of environmental history in general as an unusually sophisticated work of great insight and explanatory power."---Richard H. Grove, author of Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 Kate B. Showers is a visiting research fellow and senior research associate at the Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex, England. She has lived in rural Lesotho and has served as head of research, Institute of Southern African Studies, National University of Lesotho.
For millennia the great fish—marlin, bluefin tuna, and swordfish—have reigned over the world’s oceans and awed human beings. Naturalists, photographers, sportfishermen, and writers from Zane Grey to Ernest Hemingway have been inspired by their beauty, power, and sheer size. But like much other marine life today, these fish face perilous reductions in their populations due to destructive and illegal fishing, inept fisheries management practices, and dramatic changes in ocean ecology, including those wrought by climate change. In Pursuit of Giants is a moving elegy and a call to arms for the protection of these creatures, as well as a five-year, 75,000-mile global adventure story that takes author Matt Rigney on a quest to discover how once-thriving species are now threatened. Rigney’s pilgrimage to encounter these giants takes him from the sportfishing mecca of Cabo San Lucas, to the Great Barrier Reef, from New Zealand to Nova Scotia, Japan and the Mediterranean, as he joins commercial and sport fishermen, marine biologists, fish-farming pioneers, and ocean activists to investigate the dangers these species face, and the various efforts being made—or not—to protect them.
The jaguar is one of the most mysterious and least-known big cats of the world. The largest cat in the Americas, it has survived an onslaught of environmental and human threats partly because of an evolutionary history unique among wild felines, but also because of a power and indomitable spirit so strong, the jaguar has shaped indigenous cultures and the beliefs of early civilizations on two continents.
In An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar, big-cat expert Alan Rabinowitz shares his own personal journey to conserve a species that, despite its past resilience, is now on a slide toward extinction if something is not done to preserve the pathways it prowls through an ever-changing, ever-shifting landscape dominated by humans. Rabinowitz reveals how he learned from newly available genetic data that the jaguar was a single species connected genetically throughout its entire range from Mexico to Argentina, making it unique among all other large carnivores in the world. In a mix of personal discovery and scientific inquiry, he sweeps his readers deep into the realm of the jaguar, offering fascinating accounts from the field. Enhanced with maps, tables, and color plates, An Indomitable Beast brings important new research to life for scientists, anthropologists, and animal lovers alike.
This book is not only about jaguars, but also about tenacity and survival. From the jaguar we can learn better strategies for saving other species and also how to save ourselves when faced with immediate and long-term catastrophic changes to our environment.
The second largest order of mammals, Chiroptera comprises more than one thousand species of bats. Because of their mobility, bats are often the only native mammals on isolated oceanic islands, where more than half of all bat species live. These island bats represent an evolutionarily distinctive and ecologically significant part of the earth’s biological diversity.
Island Bats is the first book to focus solely on the evolution, ecology, and conservation of bats living in the world’s island ecosystems. Among other topics, the contributors to this volume examine how the earth’s history has affected the evolution of island bats, investigate how bat populations are affected by volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, and explore the threat of extinction from human disturbance. Geographically diverse, the volume includes studies of the islands of the Caribbean, the Western Indian Ocean, Micronesia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.
With its wealth of information from long-term studies, Island Bats provides timely and valuable information about how this fauna has evolved and how it can be conserved.
Drawing on six case studies of wolf, grizzly bear, and mountain lion conservation in habitats stretching from the Yukon to Arizona, Large Carnivore Conservation argues that conserving and coexisting with large carnivores is as much a problem of people and governance—of reconciling diverse and sometimes conflicting values, perspectives, and organizations, and of effective decision making in the public sphere—as it is a problem of animal ecology and behavior. By adopting an integrative approach, editors Susan G. Clark and Murray B. Rutherford seek to examine and understand the interrelated development of conservation science, law, and policy, as well as how these forces play out in courts, other public institutions, and the field.
In combining real-world examples with discussions of conservation and policy theory, Large Carnivore Conservation not only explains how traditional management approaches have failed to meet the needs of all parties, but also highlights examples of innovative, successful strategies and provides practical recommendations for improving future conservation efforts.
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, AndrFs 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 Delaware Bay is the second largest and most diverse bay on the East Coast. It has a rich cultural history, has played an important role in the region’s commerce and tourism, and has spectacular and vital natural resources. Birdwatchers gather along its shores to watch the spectacle of thousands of spawning horseshoe crabs, the dense flocks of migrant shorebirds, the fall hawk migration, and the huge migration of monarch butterflies.
Life Along the Delaware Bay focuses on the area as an ecosystem, the horseshoe crab as a keystone species within that system, and the crucial role that the bay plays in the migratory ecology of shorebirds. An abundance of horseshoe crabs spawning on the Delaware Bay beaches results in an abundance of eggs brought to the surface, providing a source of high-quality food and bringing hundreds of thousands of shorebirds to the bay to forage in late May and early June. A dramatic decline in horseshoe crabs has resulted in a rapid and dramatic decline in birds, particularly the red knot. This decline has sounded an alarm throughout the world, prompting a host of biologists to converge on the bay each spring, to understand the biology and conservation of red knots and other shorebirds.
Lawrence Niles, Joanna Burger, and Amanda Dey examine current efforts to protect the bay and identify new efforts that must take place to ensure it remains an intact ecological system. Over three hundred stunning color photographs and maps capture the beauty and majesty of this unique treasure—one that must be protected today and for generations to come.
Dubbed the Indiana Jones of wildlife science by The New York Times, Alan Rabinowitz has devoted—and risked—his life to protect nature’s great endangered mammals. He has journeyed to the remote corners of the earth in search of wild things, weathering treacherous terrain, plane crashes, and hostile governments. Life in the Valley of Death recounts his most ambitious and dangerous adventure yet: the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve.
The tale is set in the lush Hukaung Valley of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. An escape route for refugees fleeing the Japanese army during World War II, this rugged stretch of land claimed the lives of thousands of children, women, and soldiers. Today it is home to one of the largest tiger populations outside of India—a population threatened by rampant poaching and the recent encroachment of gold prospectors.
To save the remaining tigers, Rabinowitz must navigate not only an unforgiving landscape, but the tangled web of politics in Myanmar. Faced with a military dictatorship, an insurgent army, tribes once infamous for taking the heads of their enemies, and villagers living on less than one U.S. dollar per day, the scientist and adventurer most comfortable with animals is thrust into a diplomatic minefield. As he works to balance the interests of disparate factions and endangered wildlife, his own life is threatened by an incurable disease.
The resulting story is one of destruction and loss, but also renewal. In forests reviled as the valley of death, Rabinowitz finds new life for himself, for communities haunted by poverty and violence, and for the tigers he vowed to protect.
If you are a morani (warrior), you have your spear at the ready—you could be the hero, but you will have to wait until the morning light before you can go out and prove yourself. If it is a lion, you want to be the first to spear it—and if the lion turns on you, make sure it mauls you on your chest or stomach, on your face, shins, or throat. Any place where you can show your scars with pride, show the incontrovertible evidence of courage. A scar on your back would be a permanent reminder of cowardice, an ineradicable trace of shame.
Monsters take many forms: from man-eating lions to the people who hunt them, from armed robbers to that midnight knock at the door of a cheap hotel room in Dar es Salaam. And celebrated biologist Craig Packer has faced them all. Head on.
With Lions in the Balance, Packer takes us back into the complex, tooth-and-claw world of the African lion, offering revealing insights into both the lives of one of the most iconic and dangerous animals on earth and the very real risks of protecting them. A sequel to his prize-winning Into Africa—which gave many readers their first experience of fieldwork in Africa, of cooperative lions on dusty savannas, and political kidnappings on the shores of Lake Tanganyika—this new diary-based chronicle of cutting-edge research and heartbreaking corruption will both alarm and entertain. Packer’s story offers a look into the future of the lion, one in which the politics of conservation will require survival strategies far more creative and powerful than those practiced anywhere in the world today.
Packer is sure to infuriate millionaires, politicians, aid agencies, and conservationists alike as he minces no words about the problems he encounters. But with a narrative stretching from far flung parts of Africa to the corridors of power in Washington, DC, and marked by Packer’s signature humor and incredible candor, Lions in the Balance is a tale of courage against impossible odds, a masterly blend of science, adventure, and storytelling, and an urgent call to action that will captivate a new generation of readers.
This is an innovative and collaborative life history of one of Alaska’s pioneering wildlife biologists. David R. Klein has been a leader in promoting habitat studies across wildlife research in Alaska, and this is his first-hand account of how science and biological fieldwork has been carried out in Alaska in the last sixty years. This book tells the stories of how Klein did his science and the inspiration behind the research, while exposing the thinking that underlies particular scientific theories. In addition, this book shows the evolution of Alaska’s wildlife management regimes from territorial days to statehood to the era of big oil.
The first portion of the book is comprised of stories from Klein’s life collected during oral history interviews, while the latter section contains essays written by Klein about philosophical topics of importance to him, such as eco-philosophy, the definition of wilderness, and the morality of hunting.
Many of Klein’s graduate students have gone on to become successful wildlife managers themselves, in Alaska and around the globe. Through The Making of an Ecologist, Klein’s outlook, philosophy, and approach toward sustainability, wildlife management, and conservation can now inspire even more readers to ensure the survival of our fragile planet in an ever-changing global society.
Understanding the chimpanzee mind is akin to opening a window onto human consciousness. Many of our complex cognitive processes have origins that can be seen in the way that chimpanzees think, learn, and behave. The Mind of the Chimpanzee brings together scores of prominent scientists from around the world to share the most recent research into what goes on inside the mind of our closest living relative.
Intertwining a range of topics—including imitation, tool use, face recognition, culture, cooperation, and reconciliation—with critical commentaries on conservation and welfare, the collection aims to understand how chimpanzees learn, think, and feel, so that researchers can not only gain insight into the origins of human cognition, but also crystallize collective efforts to protect wild chimpanzee populations and ensure appropriate care in captive settings. With a breadth of material on cognition and culture from the lab and the field, The Mind of the Chimpanzee is a first-rate synthesis of contemporary studies of these fascinating mammals that will appeal to all those interested in animal minds and what we can learn from them.
Models of Nature studies the early and turbulent years of the Soviet conservation movement from the October Revolution to the mid-1930s—Lenin’s rule to the rise of Stalin. This new edition includes an afterword by the author that reflects upon the study's impact and discusses advances in the field since the book was first published.
The Moral Economy of the State examines state formation in Zimbabwe from the colonial period through the first decade of independence. Drawing on the works of Gramsci, E. P. Thompson, and James Scott, William Munro develops a theory of “moral economy” that explores negotiations between rural citizens and state agents over legitimate state incursions in social life. This analysis demonstrates how states try to shape the meanings of citizenship for agrarian populations by redefining conceptions of the public good, property rights, and community membership.
The book's focus on the moral economy of the state offers a refreshing perspective on the difficulties experienced by postcolonial African states in building stronger state and rural institutions.
At the center of Stefan Bargheer’s account of bird watching, field ornithology, and nature conservation in Britain and Germany stands the question of how values change over time and how individuals develop moral commitments. Using life history data derived from written narratives and oral histories, Moral Entanglements follows the development of conservation from the point in time at which the greatest declines in bird life took place to the current efforts in large-scale biodiversity conservation and environmental policy within the European Union. While often depicted as the outcome of an environmental revolution that has taken place since the 1960s, Bargheer demonstrates to the contrary that the relevant practices and institutions that shape contemporary conservation have evolved gradually since the early nineteenth century. Moral Entanglements further shows that the practices and institutions in which bird conservation is entangled differ between the two countries. In Britain, birds derived their meaning in the context of the game of bird watching as a leisure activity. Here birds are now, as then, the most popular and best protected taxonomic group of wildlife due to their particularly suitable status as toys in a collecting game, turning nature into a playground. In Germany, by contrast, birds were initially part of the world of work. They were protected as useful economic tools, rendering services of ecological pest control in a system of agricultural production modeled after the factory shop floor. Based on this extensive analysis, Bargheer formulates a sociology of morality informed by a pragmatist theory of value.
Mountain goats have been among the least studied of North American ungulates, leaving wildlife managers with little information on which to base harvest strategies or conservation plans.
This book offers the first comprehensive assessment of the ecology and behavior of mountain goats, setting forth the results of a remarkable 16-year longitudinal study of more than 300 marked individuals in a population in Alberta, Canada. The authors’ thorough, long-term study allowed them to draw important conclusions about mountain goat ecology—including individual reproductive strategies, population dynamics, and sensitivity to human disturbance—and to use those conclusions in offering guidance for developing effective conservation strategies.
-habitat use, vegetation quality, and seasonal movements
-sexual segregation and social organization
-individual variability in yearly and lifetime reproductive success of females
-age- and sex-specific survival and dispersal
-reproductive strategies and population dynamics
-management and conservation of mountain goats
The book also draws on the rich literature on long-term monitoring of marked ungulates to explore similarities and differences between mountain goats and other species, particularly bighorn sheep and ibex.
By monitoring a marked population over a long period of time, researchers were able to document changes in sex-age structure and identify factors driving population dynamics. Because it explores the links between individual life-history strategy and population dynamics in a natural setting, Mountain Goats will be an invaluable resource for wildlife managers, researchers in ecology and animal behavior, conservationists, population biologists, and anyone concerned with the ecology and management of natural populations, especially in alpine environments.
Nature’s Burdens is a political and intellectual history of American natural resource conservation from the 1980s into the twenty-first century—a period of intense political turmoil, shifting priorities among federal policymakers, and changing ideas about the goals of conservation. Telling a story of persistent activism, conflict, and frustration but also of striking achievement, it is an account of how new ideas and policies regarding human relationships to plants, animals, and their surroundings have become vital features of modern environmentalism.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Congress embraced the largely dormant movement to preserve distinctive landscapes and the growing demand for outdoor recreation, establishing an unprecedented number of parks, monuments, and recreation areas. The election of Ronald Reagan and a shift to a Republican-controlled Senate brought this activity to an abrupt halt and introduced a period of intense partisanship and legislative gridlock that extends to the present. In this political climate, three developments largely defined the role of conservation in contemporary society: environmental organizations have struggled to defend the legal status quo, private land conservation has become increasingly important, and the emergence of potent scientific voices has promoted the protection of animals and plants and injected a new sense of urgency into the larger cause.
These developments mark this period as a distinctive and important chapter in the history of American conservation. Scrupulously researched, scientifically and politically well informed, concise, and accessibly written, Nature’s Burdens is the most comprehensive examination of recent efforts to protect and enhance the natural world. It will be of interest to environmental historians, environmental activists, and any general reader interested in conservation.
Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation
Douglas F. Stotz, John W. Fitzpatrick, Theodore A. Parker III, and Debra K. Moskovits University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress QL685.7.N46 1996 | Dewey Decimal 598.298
Four of the world's leading ornithologists and ardent conservationists have produced this unique synthesis of the ecological information on all 4,037 species of birds found from Mexico south to Tierra del Fuego. In tables that cover more than 300 pages and include much of their own unpublished data, the authors summarize details on 40 key ecological parameters for each bird species. Additional data and further analyses are provided for migratory species.
Because bird communities are good indicators of habitat type and condition, and because extensive bird surveys can be done quickly, bird communities are critical to rapid evaluations of an ecosystem's biological value and integrity. The authors analyze the bird species of major habitats from a conservation perspective, and develop specific guidelines to illustrate how governments, conservation organizations, and wildlife managers can use this ecological information to anchor conservation strategies on sound biological reality.
"Students of ecology and wildlife management, as well as conservationists, will benefit from this book . . . . Governmental and conservation agencies should use this book when making critical decisions about where to focus their efforts as they work to preserve the environment in fragile regions of the world." —Edward I. Saiff, Science Books & Films
This book brings together for the first time biological and social scientists with the expertise necessary to document the ways in which the economic value of neotropical wildlife can affect conservation. The contributors, who have done extensive research in Latin America, explore the importance of wildlife to people, the impact of the use of wildlife on animal populations, and whether the present pattern of human use is—or could be made—sustainable.
The average kilometer of tropical rainforest is teeming with life; it contains thousands of species of plants and animals. As The Ornaments of Life reveals, many of the most colorful and eye-catching rainforest inhabitants—toucans, monkeys, leaf-nosed bats, and hummingbirds to name a few—are an important component of the infrastructure that supports life in the forest. These fruit-and-nectar eating birds and mammals pollinate the flowers and disperse the seeds of hundreds of tropical plants, and unlike temperate communities, much of this greenery relies exclusively on animals for reproduction.
Synthesizing recent research by ecologists and evolutionary biologists, Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress demonstrate the tremendous functional and evolutionary importance of these tropical pollinators and frugivores. They shed light on how these mutually symbiotic relationships evolved and lay out the current conservation status of these essential species. In order to illustrate the striking beauty of these “ornaments” of the rainforest, the authors have included a series of breathtaking color plates and full-color graphs and diagrams.
Daniel Allen Reaktion Books, 2010 Library of Congress QL737.C25A45 2010 | Dewey Decimal 599.769
Although rarely seen in the wild, the otter is admired for its playful character and graceful aquatic agility, which were established in the popular imagination through books like Tarka the Otter and Ring of Bright Water. This, however, is just a very small part of their story—throughout history the otter has also been widely hunted for its fur and flesh. In Otter, human geographer Daniel Allen reveals how the animal’s identity has been shaped by this variety of human interactions.
As Allen explains, otters, while feared by some communities, were hunted to near extinction by others—killed for their valuable pelts in the north Pacific and chased with hounds for sport in Britain. In contrast, Allen describes how Native Americans revered the otter and how indigenous fishermen in parts of Asia trained otters to assist them. Sadly, now all thirteen species of otter are considered threatened, and their survival is by no means certain.
In this wide-ranging look at the otter, Allen incorporates anecdotes from folklore, sports, popular literature, media, and conservation studies in order to unravel this complicated cultural history. Otter isa lively book that offers a new way of thinking about this admired and endangered animal.
There’s no more breathtaking signal of summer’s onset than the blooming of peonies. Stunningly beautiful and relatively easy to grow, peonies are a favorite flower everywhere they can be cultivated and for good reason: the heady fragrances and enchanting colors of a peony-rich display create an immersive experience that has enamored generations of garden lovers across the world. This passion is on full display each June at the historic Peony Garden of the University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum.
Originally planted in 1922, the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden now boasts North America’s largest public collection of heirloom herbaceous peonies. The Peony Garden has become a sacred space for the Ann Arbor community, a not-to-be-missed sensation when it erupts each season, as the Ann Arbor Observer once wrote, in “a riot of color, of crimson, rose and shell pink intermingled with fluffy pompoms of creamy white.” The rather short period of peak bloom—about two fleeting weeks each year—only seems to intensify the garden’s appeal, drawing thousands of visitors annually to this spectacular “living museum” on campus that showcases upwards of 10,000 blossoms.
Richly illustrated with hundreds of striking color photos, Passion for Peonies collects twenty short essays that celebrate the story of the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden as well as the rich social history of peony gardening that it is an integral part of. Together these pieces comprise a love letter both to a magical public space at the University of Michigan and to the broader history and culture of peony gardening. The book will appeal to readers interested in the University of Michigan, the history of public gardens, and of course peonies!
People of the Sturgeon tells the poignant story of an ancient fish. Wanton harvest and habitat loss took a heavy toll on these prehistoric creatures until they teetered on the brink of extinction. But, in Wisconsin, lake sturgeon have flourished because of the dedicated work of Department of Natural Resources staff, university researchers and a determined group of spearers known as Sturgeon For Tomorrow. Thanks to these efforts, spearers can still flock by the thousands to frozen Lake Winnebago each winter to take part in a ritual rooted in the traditions of the Menominee and other Wisconsin Indians. A century of sturgeon management on Lake Winnebago has produced the world's largest and healthiest lake sturgeon population.
Through a fascinating collection of images, stories and interviews, People of the Sturgeon chronicles the history of this remarkable fish and the cultural traditions it has spawned. The authors introduce a colorful cast of characters with a good fish tale to tell. Color photos by the late Bob Rashid and images from the Wisconsin Historical Society evoke both the magical and the mortal. Weaving together myriad voices and examining the sturgeon's profound cultural impact, the authors reveal how a diverse group of people are now joined together as "people of the sturgeon."
Following the 1917 Mexican Revolution inhabitants of the states of Chihuahua and Michoacán received vast tracts of prime timberland as part of Mexico's land redistribution program. Although locals gained possession of the forests, the federal government retained management rights, which created conflict over subsequent decades among rural, often indigenous villages; government; and private timber companies about how best to manage the forests. Christopher R. Boyer examines this history in Political Landscapes, where he argues that the forests in Chihuahua and Michoacán became what he calls "political landscapes"—that is, geographies that become politicized by the interactions between opposing actors—through the effects of backroom deals, nepotism, and political negotiations. Understanding the historical dynamic of community forestry in Mexico is particularly critical for those interested in promoting community involvement in the use and conservation of forestlands around the world. Considering how rural and indigenous people have confronted, accepted, and modified the rationalizing projects of forest management foisted on them by a developmentalist state is crucial before community management is implemented elsewhere.
The Roosevelt elk populate the parks along California’s north coast and comprise the largest land mammals in the parks, some weighing up to 1,200 pounds. They are a stable terrestrial land mammal population, a fixture in the parks, but still require ongoing stewardship and management.
In a study spanning more than twenty years, Weckerly made key observations and conducted various investigations under a multitude of ecological conditions. Few authors have dedicated this much time and effort into a single research area. It is a testament to perseverance that his groundbreaking study of the Roosevelt elk was so successful. He was able to document the independent dynamics of several herds of female elk, experience the extinction of one of their subpopulations, and record scientific conclusions in the context of resiliency and redundancy of the elk population.
This book will be of considerable interest to those who investigate the ecology of big game animals, including naturalists, hunters, and individuals with particular interest in Redwood State and National Parks. It is an important book that contributes substantially to the persistence and viability of Roosevelt elk in the parks and the surrounding area.
In the last 30 years the bushmeat trade has led to the slaughter of nearly 90 percent of West Africa’s bonobos, perhaps our closest relatives, and has recently driven Miss Waldron’s red colobus monkey to extinction. Earth was once rich with primates, but every species—except one—is now extinct or endangered because of one primate—Homo sapiens. How have our economic and cultural practices pushed our cousins toward destruction? Would we care more about their fate if we knew something of their individual lives and sufferings? Would we help them if we understood how our choices threaten their existence? This anthology helps to answer these questions.
The first section of Primate People introduces forces that threaten nonhuman primates, such as the entertainment and “pet” industries, the bushmeat trade, habitat destruction, and logging. The second section exposes the exploitation of primates in research facilities, including the painful memories of an undercover agent, and suggests models of more enlightened scientific methods. The final section tells the stories of those who lobby for change, educate communities, and tenderly care for our displaced cousins in sanctuaries.
Sometimes shocking and disturbing, sometimes poignant and encouraging, Primate People always draws the reader into the lives of nonhuman primates. Activists around the world reveal the antics and pleasures of monkeys, the tendencies and idiosyncrasies of chimpanzees, and the sufferings and fears of macaques. Charming, difficult, sensitive—these testimonies demonstrate that nonhuman primates and human beings are, indeed, closely related. Woven into the anthology’s lucid narratives are the stories of how we harm and create the conditions that endanger primates, and what we can and must do to prevent their ongoing suffering and fast-approaching extinction.
We should thank a pollinator at every meal. These diminutive creatures fertilize a third of the crops we eat. Yet half of the 200,000 species of pollinators are threatened. Birds, bats, insects, and many other pollinators are disappearing, putting our entire food supply in jeopardy. In North America and Europe, bee populations have already plummeted by more than a third and the population of butterflies has declined 31 percent.
Protecting Pollinators explores why the statistics have become so dire and how they can be reversed. Jodi Helmer breaks down the latest science on environmental threats and takes readers inside the most promising conservation initiatives. Efforts include famers reducing pesticides, cities creating butterfly highways, volunteers ripping up invasive plants, gardeners planting native flowers, and citizen scientists monitoring migration.
Along with inspiring stories of revival and lessons from failed projects, readers will find practical tips to get involved. They will also be reminded of the magic of pollinators—not only the iconic monarch and dainty hummingbird, but the drab hawk moth and homely bats that are just as essential. Without pollinators, the world would be a duller, blander place. Helmer shows how we can make sure they are always fluttering, soaring, and buzzing around us.
Flexible Polyurethane (PUR) foams have been used since the 1950s in textiles and furniture upholsteries, and in art and design objects that can now be found in museum collections. Composed from “short-life” consumer materials, these objects present severe conservation problems as they age. This book presents an in-depth examination of the challenges presented by PUR foams; the case studies of preservation of two works by the artist Piero Gilardi; and a manual on preparing and applying a light stabilizing system that can protect new PUR foams from degrading and restore the flexibility of old foams.
Evidence is mounting that redwood forests, like many other ecosystems, cannot survive as small, isolated fragments in human-altered landscapes. Such fragments lose their diversity over time and, in the case of redwoods, may even lose the ability to grow new, giant trees.The Redwood Forest, written in support of Save-the-Redwood League's master plan, provides scientific guidance for saving the redwood forest by bringing together in a single volume the latest insights from conservation biology along with new information from data-gathering techniques such as GIS and remote sensing. It presents the most current findings on the geologic and cultural history, natural history, ecology, management, and conservation of the flora and fauna of the redwood ecosystem. Leading experts -- including Todd Dawson, Bill Libby, John Sawyer, Steve Sillett, Dale Thornburgh, Hartwell Welch, and many others -- offer a comprehensive account of the redwoods ecosystem, with specific chapters examining: the history of the redwood lineage, from the Triassic Period to the present, along with the recent history of redwoods conservation life history, architecture, genetics, environmental relations, and disturbance regimes of redwoods terrestrial flora and fauna, communities, and ecosystems aquatic ecosystems landscape-scale conservation planning management alternatives relating to forestry, restoration, and recreation.The Redwood Forest offers a case study for ecosystem-level conservation and gives conservation organizations the information, technical tools, and broad perspective they need to evaluate redwood sites and landscapes for conservation. It contains the latest information from ground-breaking research on such topics as redwood canopy communities, the role of fog in sustaining redwood forests, and the function of redwood burls. It also presents sobering lessons from current research on the effects of forestry activities on the sensitive faunas of redwood forests and streams.The key to perpetuating the redwood forest is understanding how it functions; this book represents an important step in establishing such an understanding. It presents a significant body of knowledge in a single volume, and will be a vital resource for conservation scientists, land use planners, policymakers, and anyone involved with conservation of redwoods and other forests.
Winner of the Alfred B. Thomas Award (Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies)
Revolutionary Parks tells the surprising story of how forty national parks were created in Mexico during the latter stages of the first social revolution of the twentieth century. By 1940 Mexico had more national parks than any other country. Together they protected more than two million acres of land in fourteen states. Even more remarkable, Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico in the 1930s, began to promote concepts akin to sustainable development and ecotourism.
Conventional wisdom indicates that tropical and post-colonial countries, especially in the early twentieth century, have seldom had the ability or the ambition to protect nature on a national scale. It is also unusual for any country to make conservation a political priority in the middle of major reforms after a revolution. What emerges in Emily Wakild’s deft inquiry is the story of a nature protection program that takes into account the history, society, and culture of the times. Wakild employs case studies of four parks to show how the revolutionary momentum coalesced to create early environmentalism in Mexico.
According to Wakild, Mexico’s national parks were the outgrowth of revolutionary affinities for both rational science and social justice. Yet, rather than reserves set aside solely for ecology or politics, rural people continued to inhabit these landscapes and use them for a range of activities, from growing crops to producing charcoal. Sympathy for rural people tempered the radicalism of scientific conservationists. This fine balance between recognizing the morally valuable, if not always economically profitable, work of rural people and designing a revolutionary state that respected ecological limits proved to be a radical episode of government foresight.
Each year wild Pacific salmon leave their oceanic feeding grounds and swim hundreds of miles back to their home rivers. The salmon’s annual return is a place-defining event in the Pacific Northwest, with immense ecological, economic, and social significance. However, despite massive spending, efforts to significantly alter the endangered status of salmon have failed.
In Salmon, People, and Place, acclaimed fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich eloquently exposes the misconceptions underlying salmon management and recovery programs that have fueled the catastrophic decline in Northwest salmon populations for more than a century. These programs will continue to fail, he suggests, so long as they regard salmon as products and ignore their essential relationship with their habitat.
But Lichatowich offers hope. In Salmon, People, and Place he presents a concrete plan for salmon recovery, one based on the myriad lessons learned from past mistakes. What is needed to successfully restore salmon, Lichatowich states, is an acute commitment to healing the relationships among salmon, people, and place.
A significant contribution to the literature on Pacific salmon, Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist’s Search for Salmon Recovery is an essential read for anyone concerned about the fate of this Pacific Northwest icon.
Once hunted by whalers and now the darling of ecotourists, the gray whale has become part of the culture, history, politics, and geography of Mexico's most isolated region. After the harvesting of gray whales was banned by international law in 1946, their populations rebounded; but while they are no longer hunted for their oil, these creatures are now chased up and down the lagoons of southern Baja California by whalewatchers. This book uses the biology and politics associated with gray whales in Mexican waters to present an unusual case study in conservation and politics. It provides an inside look at how gray whale conservation decisions are made in Mexico City and examines how those policies and programs are carried out in the calving grounds of San Ignacio Lagoon and Magdalena Bay, where catering to ecotourists is now an integral part of the local economy.
More than a study of conservation politics, Dedina's book puts a human face on wildlife conservation. The author lived for two years with residents of Baja communities to understand their attitudes about wildlife conservation and Mexican politics, and he accompanied many in daily activities to show the extent to which the local economy depends on whalewatching. "It is ironic," observes Dedina, "that residents of some of the most isolated fishing villages in North America are helping to redefine our relationship with wild animals. Americans and Europeans brought the gray whale population to the brink of extinction. The inhabitants of San Ignacio Lagoon and Magdalena Bay are helping us to celebrate the whales' survival." By showing us how these animals have helped shape the lifeways of the people with whom they share the lagoons, Saving the Gray Whale demonstrates that gray whales represent both a destructive past and a future with hope.
Science, Conservation, and National Parks
Edited by Steven R. Beissinger, David D. Ackerly, Holly Doremus, and Gary E. Machlis University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress SB482.A4S36 2016 | Dewey Decimal 363.68
As the US National Park Service marks its centennial in 2016, parks and protected areas worldwide are under increasing threat from a variety of factors, including storms and fires of greater severity, plant and animal extinctions, the changing attitudes of a public that has become more urbanized, and the political pressures of narrow special interest groups. In the face of such rapid environmental and cultural changes, Science, Conservation, and National Parks gathers a group of renowned scholars—including Edward O. Wilson, Jane Lubchenco, Thomas Dietz, and Monica Turner, among many others—who seek to address these problems and, in so doing, to secure a future for protected areas that will push forward the frontiers of biological, physical, and social science in and for parks.
Examining the major challenges of parks and protected areas throughout the world, contributors provide answers to a number of key conservation questions, such as: How should stewardship address climate change, urban encroachment and pollution, and invasive species? How can society, especially youth, become more engaged with nature and parks, and are there models to guide interactions between parks and their neighbors? What are appropriate conservation objectives for parks in the Anthropocene? Charting a course for the parks of the next century, Science, Conservation, and National Parks is certain not only to catalyze the continued evolution of US park conservation policy, but also to be an inspiration for parks, conservation, and management worldwide.
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.
Sea turtles are flagship species for the world's oceans. They traverse international boundaries during their migrations, serve as vehicles for marine nutrients to terrestrial habitats, and embody the often tenuous relationship between human action and ecosystem health. The East Pacific Ocean is home to some of the most dynamic marine ecosystems, and the most unique sea turtles. Marine biodiversity within this massive ocean region abounds in mangrove estuaries, seagrass pastures, coral reefs, the open ocean, and many other habitats, with sea turtles often the most conspicuous species present. The distinctive traits of the Eastern Pacific have resulted in the smallest leatherbacks, a singular morph of the green turtle, dark and steeply domed olive ridleys, and the most cryptic hawksbills on the planet. Only now are we beginning to understand how these varieties have evolved.
However, the oceanographic conditions that make this an epicenter of sea turtle activity also promote massive artisanal and industrial fishing efforts that, coupled with illegal harvesting of eggs and turtles, have led to declines of several turtle populations in the region. The essays and stories in Sea Turtles of the Eastern Pacific describe for the first time the history of this exploitation, as well as recent sea turtle conservation initiatives and scientific research in the region. The first third of the book considers the biology of the turtles, focusing on general overviews of current ecological management challenges facing the turtles' survival. The second third treats issues of marine policy related to turtle conservation. In conclusion, the book offers six compelling stories of conservation success. By the end, readers will have gained a in-depth view not only of these magnificent creatures, but also the people involved in research and conservation efforts in one of the most remarkable regions of our planet.
Though seasonally dry tropical forests are equally as important to global biodiversity as tropical rainforests, and are one of the most representative and highly endangered ecosystems in Latin America, knowledge about them remains limited because of the relative paucity of attention paid to them by scientists and researchers and a lack of published information on the subject.
Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests seeks to address this shortcoming by bringing together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of seasonally dry tropical forests.
The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use.
Seasonally dry tropical forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are seriously threatened. They represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding of the system's basic ecology. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem and disseminating it to the scientific and conservation communities.
Will the 'Alala ever return to the wild? A bird sacred to Hawaiians and a member of the raven family, the 'Alala today survives only in captivity. How the species once flourished, how it has been driven to near-extinction, and how people struggled to save it, is the gripping story of Seeking the Sacred Raven.
For years, author Mark Jerome Walters has tracked the sacred bird's role in Hawaiian culture and the indomitable 'Alala's sad decline. Trekking through Hawaii's rain forests high on Mauna Loa, talking with biologists, landowners, and government officials, he has woven an epic tale of missed opportunities and the best intentions gone awry. A species that once numbered in the thousands is now limited to about 50 captive birds.
Seeking the Sacred Raven is as much about people and culture as it is about failed policies. From the ancient Polynesians who first settled the island, to Captain Cook in the 18th century, to would-be saviors of the 'Alala in the 1990s, individuals with conflicting passions and priorities have shaped Hawaii and the fate of this dwindling cloud-forest species.
Walters captures brilliantly the internecine politics among private landowners, scientists, environmental groups, individuals and government agencies battling over the bird's habitat and protection. It's only one species, only one bird, but Seeking the Sacred Raven illustrates vividly the many dimensions of species loss, for the human as well as non-human world.
Serengeti II: Dynamics, Management, and Conservation of an Ecosystem brings together twenty years of research by leading scientists to provide the most most thorough understanding to date of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa, home to one of the largest and most diverse populations of animals in the world.
Building on the groundwork laid by the classic Serengeti: Dynamics of an Ecosystem, published in 1979 by the University of Chicago Press, this new book integrates studies of the ecosystem at every level—from the plants at the bottom of the visible food chain, to the many species of herbivores and predators, to the system as a whole. Drawing on new data from many long-term studies and from more recent research initiatives, and applying new theory and computer technology, the contributors examine the large-scale processes that have produced the Serengeti's extraordinary biological diversity, as well as the interactions among species and between plants and animals and their environment. They also introduce computer modeling as a tool for exploring these interactions, employing this new technology to test and anticipate the effects of social, political, and economic changes on the entire ecosystem and on particular species, and so to shape future conservation and management strategies.
The Silent Deep tells the story of the exploration and discovery of the deep sea, the ecology of its diverse environments, and the impact of humans, highlighting the importance of global stewardship in keeping this delicate ecosystem alive and well. Written by world renowned deep-sea ecologist Tony Koslow, this book is a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the state of the deep sea today, accessible to anyone interested in ocean science, the story of scientific discovery, and conservation of the earth’s most threatened ecosystems.
“Koslow deals a decisive blow to the notion that the deep sea can ever be immune from unregulated human activities. . . . The historical review of deep-sea biology is the most comprehensive I have ever read.”—Adrian Glover, Times Literary Supplement
“Deeply informed by history and rendered in straightforward, careful prose.”—Anthony Doerr, Boston Globe
“This beautifully produced book tells an urgent story with clarity and grace.”—Choice
“Stands apart from other books about life in the abyss due to Tony Koslow’s thoughtful accounts. . . . [He] succeeds in painting a picture of the deep sea as an environment with inherent and threatened value.”—Science
“Textbook depth on all aspects of deep-sea science and conservation. . . . [An] exhaustively researched and referenced volume with a historical review stretching back to Socrates.”—Mark Schrope, Nature
“An important textbook and viewpoint that is highly recommended for anyone with a professional or personal interest in deep-sea ecosystems.”—Quarterly Review of Biology
One of the most recognizable animals of the Southwest, the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) makes its home in both the Sonoran and Mohave Deserts, as well as in tropical areas to the south in Mexico. Called by Tohono O'odham people "komik'c-ed," or "shell with living thing inside," it is one of the few desert creatures kept as a domestic pet—as well as one of the most studied reptiles in the world. Most of our knowledge of desert tortoises comes from studies of Mohave Desert populations in California and Nevada. However, the ecology, physiology, and behavior of these northern populations are quite different from those of their southern, Sonoran Desert, and tropical cousins, which have been studied much less. Differences in climate and habitat have shaped the evolution of three races of desert tortoises as they have adapted to changes in heat, rainfall, and sources of food and shelter as the deserts developed in the last ten million years.
This book presents the first comprehensive summary of the natural history, biology, and conservation of the Sonoran and Sinaloan desert tortoises, reviewing the current state of knowledge of these creatures with appropriate comparisons to Mohave tortoises. It condenses a vast amount of information on population ecology, activity, and behavior based on decades of studying tortoise populations in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, and also includes important material on the care and protection of tortoises. Thirty-two contributors address such topics as tortoise fossil records, DNA analysis, and the mystery of secretive hatchlings and juveniles. Tortoise health is discussed in chapters on the care of captives, and original data are presented on the diets of wild and captive tortoises, the nutrient content of plant foods, and blood parameters of healthy tortoises. Coverage of conservation issues includes husbandry methods for captive tortoises, an overview of protective measures, and an evaluation of threats to tortoises from introduced grass and wildfires. A final chapter on cultural knowledge presents stories and songs from indigenous peoples and explores their understanding of tortoises.
As the only comprehensive book on the desert tortoise, this volume gathers a vast amount of information for scientists, veterinarians, and resource managers while also remaining useful to general readers who keep desert tortoises as backyard pets. It will stand as an enduring reference on this endearing creature for years to come.
In 1990 an international group of biologists, meeting to discuss rumors of declines in the number of amphibians, discovered that amphibian disappearances once thought to be a local problem were not—the problem was global. And, even more disturbing, amphibians were disappearing not just from areas settled by humans but from regions of the world once believed to be pristine. Under the mantle of the Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force, this timely book addresses three fundamental questions for the midwestern United States: are amphibians declining; if so, why; and, if so, what can be done to halt these losses?
In the Midwest—defined here as Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan—there can be no doubt that the number of salamanders and frogs has declined with Euro-American settlement and the conversion to an agriculturally dominated landscape. Habitat loss and landscape fragmentation have been major factors in this decline, as have aquacultural uses of natural wetlands. Bullfrog introductions have eliminated populations of native amphibians, and collecting for the biological supply trade has reduced the number of individuals within many populations. The goal of the forty-two essays in this well-documented, well-illustrated book is to put between two covers all we know now about the status of midwestern amphibians. By doing this, the editor has created a readily accessible historical record for future studies.
Organized into sections covering landscape patterns and biogeography, species status, regional and state status, diseases and toxins, conservation, and monitoring and applications, this landmark volume will serve as the foundation for amphibian conservation in the Midwest.
Winner, Best Social Sciences Book (Latin American Studies Association, Mexico Section)
What happens to indigenous people when their homelands are declared by well-intentioned outsiders to be precious environmental habitats? In this revelatory book, Molly Doane describes how a rain forest in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca was appropriated and redefined by environmentalists who initially wanted to conserve its biodiversity. Her case study approach shows that good intentions are not always enough to produce results that benefit both a habitat and its many different types of inhabitants.
Doane begins by showing how Chimalapas—translated as “shining rivers”—has been “produced” in various ways over time, from a worthless wasteland to a priceless asset. Focusing on a series of environmental projects that operated between 1990 and 2008, she reveals that environmentalists attempted to recast agrarian disputes—which actually stemmed from government-supported corporate incursions into community lands and from unequal land redistribution—as environmental problems.
Doane focuses in particular on the attempt throughout the 1990s to establish a “Campesino Ecological Reserve” in Chimalapas. Supported by major grants from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), this effort to foster and merge agrarian and environmental interests was ultimately unsuccessful because it was seen as politically threatening by the state. By 2000, the Mexican government had convinced the WWF to redirect its conservation monies to the state government and its agencies.
The WWF eventually abandoned attempts to establish an “enclosure” nature reserve in the region or to gain community acceptance for conservation. Instead, working from a new market-based model of conservation, the WWF began paying cash to individuals for “environmental services” such as reforestation and environmental monitoring.
News headlines would often have us believe that conservationists are inevitably locked in conflict with the people who live and work on the lands they seek to protect. Not so. Across the western expanses of the United States, conservationists, ranchers, and forest workers are bucking preconceptions to establish common ground. As they join together to protect the wide open spaces, diverse habitats, and working landscapes upon which people, plants, and animals depend, a new vision of management is emerging in which the conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem integrity, and sustainable resource use are seen not as antithetical, but as compatible, even symbiotic goals.
Featuring contributions from an impressive array of scientists, conservationists, scholars, ranchers, and foresters, Stitching the West Back Together explores that expanded, inclusive vision of environmentalism as it delves into the history and evolution of Western land use policy and of the working landscapes themselves. Chapters include detailed case studies of efforts to promote both environmental and economic sustainability, with lessons learned; descriptions of emerging institutional frameworks for conserving Western working landscapes; and implications for best practices and policies crucial to the future of the West’s working forests and rangelands. As economic and demographic forces threaten these lands with fragmentation and destruction, this book encourages a hopeful balance between production and conservation on the large, interconnected landscapes required for maintaining cultural and biological diversity over the longterm.
An edited volume based on the proceedings of the eighteenth Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora of Tropical Africa Congress held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Systematics and Conservation of African Plants includes one hundred research papers in separate sections on taxonomy, phytogeography, ethnobotany, and the conservation and sustainable use of African plants. Topics covered include recent advances in reproductive biology, vegetation, and Podostometaceae in Africa. A separate section on African floras reflects the present state of knowledge and progress towards our understanding and documentation of the plants of Africa.
Stretching across southern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize, the Maya Forest, or Selva Maya, constitutes one of the last large blocks of tropical forest remaining in North and Central America. Home to Mayan-speaking people for more than 5,000 years, the region is also uncommonly rich in cultural and archaeological resources.Timber, Tourists, and Temples brings together the leading biologists, social scientists, and conservationists working in the region to present in a single volume information on the intricate social and political issues, and the complex scientifc and management problems to be resolved there. Following an introductory chapter that presents GIS and remote sensing data, the book: considers perspectives on managing forest resources and the forestry and conservation policies of each nation examines efforts by communities to manage their forest resources explains the connections between resource conservation and use by local people highlights research projects that integrate baseline biological research with impact assessments explains the need to involve local people in conservation effortTimber, Tourists, and Temples explores methods of supporting the biological foundation of the Maya Forest and keeping alive that unique and diverse ecosystem. While many areas face similar development pressures, few have been studied as much or for as long as the Maya Forest. The wealth of information included in this pathbreaking work will be valuable not only for researchers involved with the Maya Forest but for anyone concerned with the protection, use, and management of tropical forest ecosystems throughout the world.
We live in an increasingly fragmented world, with islands of natural habitat cast adrift in a sea of cleared, burned, logged, polluted, and otherwise altered lands. Nowhere are fragmentation and its devastating effects more evident than in the tropical forests. By the year 2000, more than half of these forests will have been cut, causing increased soil erosion, watershed destabilization, climate degradation, and extinction of as many as 600,000 species.
Tropical Forest Remnants provides the best information available to help us
understand, manage, and conserve the remaining fragments. Covering geographic areas from Southeast Asia and Australia to Madagascar and the New World, this volume summarizes what is known about the ecology, management, restoration, socioeconomics, and conservation of fragmented forests. Thirty-three papers present results of recent research as
well as updates from decades-long projects in progress. Two final chapters synthesize the state of research on tropical forest fragmentation and identify key priorities for future work.
Raptors are an unusual success story of wildness thriving in the heart of our cities—they have developed substantial populations around the world in recent decades. But there are deeper issues around how these birds make their urban homes. New research provides insight into the role of raptors as vital members of the urban ecosystem and future opportunities for protection, management, and environmental education.
A cutting-edge synthesis of over two decades of scientific research, Urban Raptors is the first book to offer a complete overview of urban ecosystems in the context of bird-of-prey ecology and conservation. This comprehensive volume examines urban environments, explains why some species adapt to urban areas but others do not, and introduces modern research tools to help in the study of urban raptors. It also delves into climate change adaptation, human-wildlife conflict, and the unique risks birds of prey face in urban areas before concluding with real-world wildlife management case studies and suggestions for future research and conservation efforts.
Boal and Dykstra have compiled the go-to single source of information on urban birds of prey. Among researchers, urban green space planners, wildlife management agencies, birders, and informed citizens alike, Urban Raptors will foster a greater understanding of birds of prey and an increased willingness to accommodate them as important members, not intruders, of our cities.
"A lucid, informed, and gripping account...a must-read." —Science
"Passionate...a heartfelt and alarming tale." —Publishers Weekly
"Gripping...a well-told and moving tale of environmentalism and conservation." —Kirkus
"Compelling." —Library Journal
In 2006, vaquita, a diminutive porpoise making its home in the Upper Gulf of California, inherited the dubious title of world’s most endangered marine mammal. Nicknamed “panda of the sea” for their small size and beguiling facial markings, vaquitas have been in decline for decades, dying by the hundreds in gillnets intended for commercially valuable fish, as well as for an endangered fish called totoaba. When international crime cartels discovered a lucrative trade in the swim bladders of totoaba, illegal gillnetting went rampant, and now the lives of the few remaining vaquitas hang in the balance.
Author Brooke Bessesen takes us on a journey to Mexico’s Upper Gulf region to uncover the story. She interviewed townspeople, fishermen, scientists, and activists, teasing apart a complex story filled with villains and heroes, a story whose outcome is unclear. When diplomatic and political efforts to save the little porpoise failed, Bessesen followed a team of veterinary experts in a binational effort to capture the last remaining vaquitas and breed them in captivity—the best hope for their survival. In this fast-paced, soul-searing tale, she learned that there are no easy answers when extinction is profitable.
Whether the rescue attempt succeeds or fails, the world must ask itself hard questions. When vaquita and the totoaba are gone, the black market will turn to the next vulnerable species. What will we do then?
Turkey vultures, the most widely distributed and abundant scavenging birds of prey on the planet, are found from central Canada to the southern tip of Argentina, and nearly everywhere in between. In the United States we sometimes call them buzzards; in parts of Mexico the name is aura cabecirroja, in Uruguay jote cabeza colorada, and in Ecuador gallinazo aura. A huge bird, the turkey vulture is a familiar sight from culture to culture, in both hemispheres. But despite being ubiquitous and recognizable, the turkey vulture has never had a book of literary nonfiction devoted to it—until Vulture. Floating on six-foot wings, turkey vultures use their keen senses of smell and sight to locate carrion. Unlike their cousin the black vulture, turkey vultures do not kill weak or dying animals; instead, they cleanse, purify, and renew the environment by clearing it of decaying carcasses, thus slowing the spread of such dangerous pathogens as anthrax, rabies, and botulism. The beauty, grace, and important role of these birds in the ecosystem notwithstanding, turkey vultures are maligned and underappreciated; they have been accused of spreading disease and killing livestock, neither of which has ever been substantiated. Although turkey vultures are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes harming them a federal offense, the birds still face persecution. They’ve been killed because of their looks, their odor, and their presence in proximity to humans. Even the federal government occasionally sanctions “roost dispersals,” which involve the harassment and sometimes the murder of communally roosting vultures during the cold winter months. Vulture follows a year in the life of a typical North American turkey vulture. By incorporating information from scientific papers and articles, as well as interviews with world-renowned raptor and vulture experts, author Katie Fallon examines all aspects of the bird’s natural history: breeding, incubating eggs, raising chicks, migrating, and roosting. After reading this book you will never look at a vulture in the same way again.
In 1950 Velma Johnston, a shy Nevada ranch wife, came upon a horse trailer leaking blood. When she discovered the destination of the trailer and its occupants—a trio of terrified and badly injured wild horses—she launched a crusade that eventually reached the halls of Congress and changed the way westerners regard and treat the bands of mustangs and burros that roam their region.
Wild horses have been a subject of bitter controversy in the West for decades. To some, they are symbols of the West’s wild, free heritage. To others, they are rapacious grazers that destroy habitat and compete with domestic livestock and indigenous wildlife for scanty food and water. For years, free-ranging horses and burros were rounded up and shipped to slaughterhouses to be killed and turned into pet food. This practice provided an income for the “mustangers” who trapped and sold them, but it also involved horrendous cruelty and abuse of the animals.
Velma Johnston, who became known as “Wild Horse Annie,” undertook to stop the removal of wild horses and burros from US public lands and protect them from the worst aspects of mustanging. Her campaign attracted nationwide attention, as it led her from her rural Nevada County to state offices and finally to Washington, DC. Author Alan J. Kania worked closely with Johnston for seven years, and his biography provides unique insight into Wild Horse Annie’s life and her efforts to save the West’s wild horse herds through the passage of protective legislation.
Wolves are some of the world's most charismatic and controversial animals, capturing the imaginations of their friends and foes alike. Highly intelligent and adaptable, they hunt and play together in close-knit packs, sometimes roaming over hundreds of square miles in search of food. Once teetering on the brink of extinction across much of the United States and Europe, wolves have made a tremendous comeback in recent years, thanks to legal protection, changing human attitudes, and efforts to reintroduce them to suitable habitats in North America.
As wolf populations have rebounded, scientific studies of them have also flourished. But there hasn't been a systematic, comprehensive overview of wolf biology since 1970. In Wolves, many of the world's leading wolf experts provide state-of-the-art coverage of just about everything you could want to know about these fascinating creatures. Individual chapters cover wolf social ecology, behavior, communication, feeding habits and hunting techniques, population dynamics, physiology and pathology, molecular genetics, evolution and taxonomy, interactions with nonhuman animals such as bears and coyotes, reintroduction, interactions with humans, and conservation and recovery efforts. The book discusses both gray and red wolves in detail and includes information about wolves around the world, from the United States and Canada to Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, and Mongolia. Wolves is also extensively illustrated with black and white photos, line drawings, maps, and fifty color plates.
Unrivalled in scope and comprehensiveness, Wolves will become the definitive resource on these extraordinary animals for scientists and amateurs alike.
“An excellent compilation of current knowledge, with contributions from all the main players in wolf research. . . . It is designed for a wide readership, and certainly the language and style will appeal to both scientists and lucophiles alike. . . . This is an excellent summary of current knowledge and will remain the standard reference work for a long time to come.”—Stephen Harris, New Scientist
“This is the place to find almost any fact you want about wolves.”—Stephen Mills, BBC Wildlife Magazine