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Life Sciences - Ecology | Saving Biological Diversity - Balancing Protection of Endangered Species and Ecosystems

Saving Biological Diversity

Balancing Protection of Endangered Species and Ecosystems

Askins, R.A., Dreyer, G.D., Visgilio, G.R., Whitelaw, D.M. (Eds.)

2008, XVIII, 228 p.

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  • 1. Truly multidisciplinary approach โ€“ Each of the three sections of the book (on endangered species, ecosystems and global environmental problems) includes chapters by people with very different backgrounds and perspectives in fields such as ecology, conservation, philosophy, law, economics and policy. Both researchers and managers/conservationists have contributed their points of view.
  • 2. Accessible to general readers โ€“ The contributors were asked to write chapters that are accessible to a non-specialist, and the chapters were carefully edited to remove (when possible) or define (when necessary) specialist jargon, regardless of whether it came from economics, biology, law or political science. The distinctive styles and analytical approaches of different disciplines still come through, but a general reader should be able to understand the concepts in any chapter.
  • 3. Facilitates comparison and synthesis by the reader โ€“ Although Robert Askins attempts to summarize the major conclusions of this book in a final chapter, readers will discover their own connections and conclusions as they read about the same basic issue from many perspectives.
  • 4. Use as a textbook - Because this book is accessible and will trigger interesting ideas and discussions, it would be an excellent text to use for supplemental reading in a conservation biology or ecology course, or as one of the main readings in a seminar course.

The distinctive contribution of this book is that it presents a pragmatic approach for preserving biological diversity. Experts in a wide variety of fields, including philosophy, environmental policy, law, economics and biology, present different perspectives on how to prevent widespread extinction around the world. Several chapters deal with basic questions such as how we should define biodiversity and how we should determine what is most important to save. Two chapters focus on how we can place an economic value on biological diversity, a step that is often critical for gaining acceptance for conservation efforts. One of the major conclusions is that people are often willing to pay to preserve natural systems that have no immediate value in terms of generating income or commodities. Other chapters are case studies of efforts to protect particular species or ecosystems; these provide practical guidelines for how to protect biodiversity more effectively.

The book is divided into three sections: we start with discussions of efforts to protect endangered species; move to approaches for protecting intact, functioning natural ecosystems; and finish with proposals to protect the global natural system (the biosphere). It becomes clear as one progresses through these sections that these three approaches do not constitute distinctly different, much less competing, strategies for protecting biological diversity. Instead they are interdependent. Efforts to protect a particular endangered species typically lead to efforts to protect its ecosystem. Similarly, efforts to protect an ecosystem lead naturally to concerns about the atmosphere, climate and water supplies. The interdependence may also work in the other direction: loss of species potentially can undermine the stability and resilience of ecosystems, which can have a large negative impact on the biosphere. The main conclusion is that a wide range of approaches to conservation is needed to maintain diverse and ecologically functioning natural systems.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Biodiversity - biology - conservation - currentlindy - economics - ecosystem - ecosystems - emissions - environment - environmental law - environmental policy - environmental sciences - philosophy

Related subjects » Ecology - Environmental / Development / Agricultural Economics - Nature Conservation & Biodiversity

Table of contents 

Saving Biological Diversity: An Overview.-What Are We Trying to Save? And Why? Toward a Policy-Relevant Definition of Biodiversity.-Part I Protecting Populations of Particular Species.-Navigating for Noah, Setting New Directions for Endangered Species Protection in the 21st Century.-Economics of Protecting Endangered Species.-Center for Plant Conservation: Twenty Years of Recovering America's Vanishing Flora.-The Piping Plover as an Umbrella Species for the Barrier Beach Ecosystem.-Restoring Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) to New England.-Part II Saving an Ecosystem Through Endangered Species Recovery: Conservation of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.-Sea Change: Changing Management to Protect Ocean Ecosystems.-Valuation of Natural Resource Improvements in the Adirondacks.-Minimum Dynamic Areas for Matrix Forest Ecosystems.-Restoring America's Everglades: A National Imperative.-Part III The Need for Global Efforts to Save Biological Diversity.-Implications of Local Conservation and Land Protection for the Global Environment.-Creative Approaches to Preserving Biodiversity in Brazil and the Amazon.-International Treaties and Laws on Biodiversity Protection.-Advancing Conservation in a Globalized Worls.-New Perspectives.

Distribution rights 

Distribution rights for India: CBS Publishers, New Delhi, India

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