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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: First Edition/First Printing Hardcover (with full number line). All pages clean, bright and unmarked. Binding is tight. Dust jacket in very good condition, and protected in mylar. Not an ex library or remainder. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping! Quick Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy means your satisfaction is guaranteed! Free delivery confirmation number is provided for your peace of mind!
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Watching, from the Edge of Extinction Hardcover – March 11, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Beautifully written and lovingly illustrated, this powerful report on endangered speciesAand on the efforts of conservationists, scientists and activists to save themApersonalizes the ongoing saga of mass extinctions of animals and plants around the globe. Stephen Stearns, a zoology professor in Switzerland, and his wife, Beverly, a freelance journalist, relate stories that are inspiring, heartbreaking, touching, infuriating. Their dispatches from the environmental frontlines are peopled with unsung heroes, like marine biologist Aliki Panou, fiercely protective in her efforts to save Mediterranean monk seals that hide in remote caves in Greek islands in order to avoid tourists, fishermen's nets and developers' dynamite; biologist Jeremy Thomas, who since 1983 has led a project to reintroduce the spectacular large blue butterfly into Britain; and environmentalist Wendy Strahm, working to save hundreds of rare plants and animal species overrun by an exploding human population on the island of Mauritius. The authors detail inadvertent man-made disasters, like the introduction of the Nile perch into Lake Victoria, which led to the extinction of hundreds of species of fish, jeopardizing traditional livelihoods. Yet much more often, the destruction is deliberate or due to indifference, caused by wanton habitat destruction, poaching, indiscriminate hunting and fishing, the greed of private interests, and governmental and public disinterest. By focusing on people whose work and lives have been linked with disappearing species, these survival tales summon readers to respect the uniqueness of earth's other inhabitants. This important, often shocking report shows that loss of the planet's biodiversityAexemplified by the collapse of entire ecosystemsAultimately affects everyone. Drawings and photos.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Extinction and the loss of biodiversity are topics of ongoing discussion, and a number of books have focused on the biological and conservation aspects. Beverly and Stephen Stearns, a journalist and a professor of zoology (Univ. of Basel), respectively, attempt to provide a more personal perspective through interviews with individuals who have worked with endangered or extinct species around the globe. Though admittedly biased in favor of conservation, the authors allow their subjects to speak for themselves. The results are mixed, both in the quality of writing and in the depth and complexity of the coverage. Those who can make it past the dull and plodding prose of the first chapter will find more engaging material throughout the rest of the book. For readers at the high school level and beyond, Watching can serve as an introduction to the individuals who work with endangered species.ABrian Westra, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (March 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300076061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300076066
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,175,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A book not to miss--if one loves the environment and fears for its future.
Watching from the Edge of Extinction is a rare read for many reasons; not the least of which it is written by a husband and wife, who bring different voices and expertise to the project they undertake. Their book offers solid science, culture, and a disciplined attention to factual detail as well as the great shadings of human personalities as this couple sets out to document ten cases of creatures nearing the end of their species' existences on the earth.
What makes the book so fascinating and ultimately such a challenge is that the authors do away with any tinge of moralism and show us that the effort of trying to save a creature is a complex, costly combination of acts and interactions that often absorbs people and groups for periods as long as a lifetime. The passions, victories and defeats inside each story make the book one that should be read one chapter at a time. The political, scientific and practical realities slowly sink in. These are stories that are existential in every sense. The end is not written and even the meaning or consequences of one's actions are not simple to describe or predict. In environmental actions undertaken to protect a species, there are protagonists on all sides. Even the very best of the "good" guys still finds him or herself sometimes disarmed because of the nearly invisible way animals, birds and insects have developed their niches and patterns. These patterns must be understood in order to consider saving a species. Often the very acts of study--such as nearing nests to take population counts--are events that eventually stress the remaining members of the creature.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charlynn Fuller on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I'm a reader who pretty much reads anything and gives a book a real chance(aka: I typically will read the whole book even though I may not care for it), I just couldn't get into this book and therefore put it down after 20 pages. Not too upset over it b/c I got a great deal on it though.
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