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Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 22, 2009
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Makes a convincing case that [rewilding] represents the only realistic strategy for conserving our rapidly diminishing wildlife."
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth and The End of Nature
—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance and author of Crimes Against Nature
—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
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Top customer reviews
This new book by Caroline Fraser, Rewilding the World, tells of groups of scientists and conservationists who asked why our efforts were not working and how they could be improved. Trying new methods of research, they reached the conclusion that many of our efforts to set aside preserves were not effective. Preserves were often too small and too isolated. Many species, especially the important keystone predators were being forced into spaces too small to sustain them.
Fraser takes us around the world, looking at efforts to rebuild wild ecosystems and give species the habitats they need to survive. Fraser uses leading scientists and environmentalists to explain the cutting-edge science and political action that has begun to rewild important parts of the earth and help to rebuild the environmental services that sustain us.
A journalistic overview, this book probably tries to do too much and a more focused account would probably have been better. Fraser's discussion of at least 3 topics is insufficient. One is ecosystem restoration in Europe. Due to declining population in some European nations, restoration efforts in Europe may be more successful than efforts in developing nations. I don't think Fraser adequately portrays one of the most salient features of modern restoration; that its targets are often impoverished ecosystems. Most ecosystems were characterized well in 19th and 20th century, well after many had already suffered considerable impacts from human activities, a fact increasingly appreciated by biologists and historians. Finally, Fraser doesn't really deal with the salience of climate change. All the ecosystems we know arose in the context of the relatively benign Holocence climate. Without successful efforts to curb climate change, all these restoration efforts are likely to be pointless.