The Wildlands Project is a far-reaching effort by scientists and activists to develop better ways of protecting nature, wilderness, and biodiversity. Its ultimate goal is to establish an effective network of nature reserves throughout North America -- core conservation areas linked by corridors, and buffered, where appropriate, by lands that may also serve economic objectives.Continental Conservation represents the work of thirty leading experts-including Michael Soule, John Terborgh, Reed Noss, Paul Paquet, Dan Simberloff, Rodolfo Dirzo, J. Michael Scott, Andrew Dobson, and others -- brought together by The Wildlands Project to examine the science underlying the design and management of these regional-scale networks. It provides conservationists and biologists with the latest scientific principles for protecting living nature at spatial scales that encompass entire regions and continents.Following an opening chapter that sets the stage by introducing major themes and the scientific and policy background, the contributors: consider scale in the identification, selection, and design of biological reserves examine the role of top carnivores in regulating terrestrial ecosystems suggest the need for a paradigm shift in the field of ecological restoration consider the scientific details of implementing regional conservation in core areas, corridors, and in buffer zones discuss the need for megareserves and how to design themThe book ends by challenging the reader, whether scientist or advocate, to commit more time to the effort of saving nature. The authors argue that the very survival of nature is at stake, and scientists can no longer afford to stand behind a wall of austere objectivity.Continental Conservation is an important guidebook that can serve a vital role in helping fashion a radically honest, scientifically rigorous land-use agenda. It will be required reading for scientists and professionals at all levels involved with ecosystem and land management.
The environmental movement today is at a critical crossroads. Crossroads: Environmental Priorities for the Future is an in-depth assessment of the movement's successes and failures, and also offers prescriptions for the future. It includes contributions from some of the country's top environmental leaders and activists, including Barry Commoner, Stewart Udall, William K. Reilly, Gus Speth, Jay Hair, Lois Gibbs, Michael Frome, Chuck Little, and William Futrell.
Most scientists and researchers working in tropical areas are convinced that parks and protected areas are the only real hope for saving land and biodiversity in those regions. Rather than giving up on parks that are foundering, ways must be found to strengthen them, and Making Parks Work offers a vital contribution to that effort. Focusing on the "good news" -- success stories from the front lines and what lessons can be taken from those stories -- the book gathers experiences and information from thirty leading conservationists into a guidebook of principles for effective management of protected areas. The book: offers a general overview of the status of protected areas worldwide presents case studies from Africa, Latin America, and Asia written by field researchers with long experience working in those areas analyzes a variety of problems that parks face and suggests policies and practices for coping with those problems explores the broad philosophical questions of conservation and how protected areas can -- and must -- resist the mounting pressures of an overcrowded worldContributors include Mario Boza, Katrina Brandon, K. Ullas Karanth, Randall Kramer, Jeff Langholz, John F. Oates, Carlos A. Peres, Herman Rijksen, Nick Salafsky, Thomas T. Struhsaker, Patricia C. Wright, and others.
Requiem for Nature
John Terborgh Island Press, 1999 Library of Congress QH77.T78T47 1999 | Dewey Decimal 333.720913
For ecologist John Terborgh, Manu National Park in the rainforest of Peru is a second home; he has spent half of each of the past twenty-five years there conducting research. Like all parks, Manu is assumed to provide inviolate protection to nature. Yet even there, in one of the most remote corners of the planet, Terborgh has been witness to the relentless onslaught of civilization.Seeing the steady destruction of irreplaceable habitat has been a startling and disturbing experience for Terborgh, one that has raised urgent questions: Is enough being done to protect nature? Are current conservation efforts succeeding? What could be done differently? What should be done differently? In Requiem for Nature, he offers brutally honest answers to those difficult questions, and appraises the prospects for the future of tropical conservation. His book is a clarion call for anyone who cares about the quality of the natural world we will leave our children.Terborgh examines current conservation strategies and considers the shortcomings of parks and protected areas both from ecological and institutional perspectives. He explains how seemingly pristine environments can gradually degrade, and describes the difficult social context –a debilitating combination of poverty, corruption, abuses of power, political instability, and a frenzied scramble for quick riches –in which tropical conservation must take place. He considers the significant challenges facing existing parks and examines problems inherent in alternative approaches, such as ecotourism, the exploitation of nontimber forest products, "sustainable use," and "sustainable development."Throughout, Terborgh argues that the greatest challenges of conservation are not scientific, but are social, economic, and political, and that success will require simultaneous progress on all fronts. He makes a compelling case that nature can be saved, but only if good science and strong institutions can be thoughtfully combined.
Trophic cascades—the top-down regulation of ecosystems by predators—are an essential aspect of ecosystem function and well-being. Trophic cascades are often drastically disrupted by human interventions—for example, when wolves and cougars are removed, allowing deer and beaver to become destructive—yet have only recently begun to be considered in the development of conservation and management strategies.
Trophic Cascades is the first comprehensive presentation of the science on this subject. It brings together some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers to explain the importance of large animals in regulating ecosystems, and to relate that scientific knowledge to practical conservation.
Chapters examine trophic cascades across the world’s major biomes, including intertidal habitats, coastal oceans, lakes, nearshore ecosystems, open oceans, tropical forests, boreal and temperate ecosystems, low arctic scrubland, savannas, and islands. Additional chapters consider aboveground/belowground linkages, predation and ecosystem processes, consumer control by megafauna and fire, and alternative states in ecosystems. An introductory chapter offers a concise overview of trophic cascades, while concluding chapters consider theoretical perspectives and comparative issues.
Trophic Cascades provides a scientific basis and justification for the idea that large predators and top-down forcing must be considered in conservation strategies, alongside factors such as habitat preservation and invasive species. It is a groundbreaking work for scientists and managers involved with biodiversity conservation and protection.