Increasingly visible to even casual observers, invading species such as the smothering kudzu in the South or the scabrous zebra mussel in the Great Lakes are not only annoying but also costly. Baskin quotes a study that estimates that controlling nonnative species costs the U.S. $137 billion per year, but other standards, of aesthetics and values, also animate her advocacy of controlling the global movement of plants, animals, and microbes. Control seems rather a faint prospect in the age of jet travel, international commerce, and rampant smuggling of exotic pets, but Baskin reports informatively on the state of the effort. She describes her visits to several environments where alien species have run amok, such as Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, and New Zealand, skillfully revealing her zoological and botanical knowledge. There has been a certain amount of success in containing invaders, which Baskin takes as an encouraging sign. Her survey--with historical perspective on biological interchange since the time of Columbus--of an extinction threat second only to habitat destruction will appeal to ecologically minded readers. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"A must read for any concerned citizen—you will not be able to put this book down!"
(Peter H. Raven Director, Missouri Botanical Garden)