From Publishers Weekly
Though the poisons of pollution and the encroachment of climate change are continuing environmental threats, it's the acceleration of biodiversity loss that most alarms Fraser (God's Perfect Child
) in this well-sourced study of worldwide attempts to knit together enough ecosystems to keep life alive. The problem: the disappearance of nature itself—the mass extinction of species, from lumbering polar bears to fragile flowers—that could see half of all nonhuman life extinct by the end of this century. The solution: rewilding—a nascent resurrection ecology that designs wildlife refuges (cores) and, more importantly, creates corridors connecting one refuge to another so that species such as elephants, tigers and wolves can range more wildly, a key to survival. Successful rewilding in North America, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, has led to a rebound in mountain lion and bear populations; more unexpectedly, the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, a narrow 155-mile-long corridor uninhabited by humans for 55 years, has seen an ecological rebirth and is now home to 67 endangered species. Though Fraser's fact-heavy prose is slow reading, her story of grassroots activism paired with the scientific is environmentally inspirational. (Dec.)
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"With this book, Fraser does for rewilding what David Quammen did for island biogeography in his seminal The Song of the Dodo. Fraser uses lucid prose, engaging stories and personal experience to make the ideas accessible and vital to a wide audience. This is no dreary rehearsal of past eco-errors and present concerns. Fraser takes us far beyond San Diego, straight into the lives of African elephants, Australian lizards and a Russian bear that intruded upon the Olympic Games, sitting on the sidewalk while languidly consuming a young girl's pet rabbit. 'We are so close,' Fraser says, and we require just a strong nudge in imagination and social engagement to make the rewilding dream real. With this lovely, necessary book, we step closer to that ideal."
"A call to retrofit more than a century of nature conservation in the United States and around the world . . . Fraser plows straight furrows through the ideological minefields of conservation politics."
—The New York Review of Books
"A thoughtful examination of rewilding and its discontents. . . an important book."
"This is a serious book, about a serious subject. . . a crisis more threatening than climate change."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"Methodical, lyrical. . . If ever there was a conservation idea ready to take hold and change awareness, it's rewilding."
—Sacramento News & Review
"A clarion call to save wildlife and the wilderness by 'rewilding.'"
"Readers will come away better informed about the complexity of the ecosystems around us and with an increased awareness of the many factors involved in maintaining natural order and balance. . . This truly is an essential read for conservationists, biologists, and anyone interested in the natural world."
—Library Journal, starred review
"A fascinating, little-known story. . ."
"Makes a convincing case that [rewilding] represents the only realistic strategy for conserving our rapidly diminishing wildlife."
"Her story of grassroots activism paired with the scientific is environmentally inspirational."
“Since I spend much of my time trying to head off environmental calamity, this fascinating and lyrical book came as a particularly welcome gift. It shows how scientists and activists are using imagination and research to build a realistic strategy for securing our green and noble heritage for the future. It will help you think big, which is the only way to think about these questions.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and The End of Nature
“A riveting journal of the astonishing bio-impoverishment of our planet.”
—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance and author of Crimes Against Nature
“Caroline Fraser’s Rewilding the World is an exciting and wise exploration of a revolution that’s reshaping the conservation movement. She’s gone all over the world to bring us news from the front lines, and her account is one of essential hope: though it’s no guarantee that we can save nature from collapse, she shows that we have a fighting chance. Fraser’s account stirred me.”
—Richard Preston, author of The Wild Trees and The Hot Zone
"Give them room to roam! Caroline Fraser’s smart, passionate manifesto offers hope to the wild world. In an age of overwhelming loss, she shows us how to gain: more bears, more wolves, more biodiversity, more thriving ecosystems, more life. This is an important book about the cutting edge of conservation and how it might save our continent and our selves."
—Bruce Barcott, author of The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw
“Rewilding is less a conservationist's utopian vision than a roadmap for the way we must learn to live on earth. As Caroline Fraser carefully explains, humans will survive only in a world as wild as the one that created us. If you want to live, read this book.”
—Doug Peacock, author of The Essential Grizzly and Walking It Off