The leading natural historian and author of the award-winning books Buzz, Feathers, and The Triumph of Seeds examines how plants and animals are responding to climate change by adjusting, evolving and sometimes dying out.
A vibrant history of the modern conservation movement-told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement's history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today's global effort to defend life on a larger scale. She describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson as well as lesser-known figures in conservation history; she reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund; she explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros; and she confronts the darker side of conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism. As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change escalate, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species-including our own.
Alaskans have deeply personal relationships with their salmon. These remarkable fish provide a fundamental source of food, livelihood, and identity, and connect generations and communities throughout the state. Yet while salmon are integral to the lives of many Alaskans, the habitat they need to thrive is increasingly at risk as communities and decision makers evaluate large-scale development proposals. The Salmon Way celebrates and explores the relationships between people and salmon in Alaska. Through story and images, author Amy Gulick shows us that people from wildly different backgrounds all value a salmon way of life.
On the Tibetan Plateau, there are wild yaks with blood cells thinner than those of horses' by half, enabling the endangered yaks to survive at 40 below zero and in the lowest oxygen levels of the mountaintops. But climate change is causing the snow patterns here to shift, and with the snows, the entire ecosystem. Food and water are vaporizing in this warming environment, and these beasts of ice and thin air are extraordinarily ill-equipped for the change. A journey into some of the most forbidding landscapes on earth, [this book] is an eye-opening, steely look at what it takes for animals like these to live at the edges of existence. But more than this, it is a revealing exploration of how climate change and people are affecting even the most far-flung niches of our planet.
An environmental journalist discusses why beavers are so important to the ecosystem and follows a growing number of passionate "Beaver Believers," including scientists, ranchers and regular citizens, who are working to help restore the helpful rodent to its habitat.
Beavers, those icons of industriousness, have been gnawing down trees, building dams, shaping the land, and creating critical habitat in North America for at least a million years. Once one of the continent's most ubiquitous mammals, they ranged from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Rio Grande to the edge of the northern tundra. Wherever there was wood and water, there were beavers - 60 million (or more) - and wherever there were beavers, there were intricate natural communities that depended on their activities. Then the European fur traders arrived. In Once They Were Hats, Frances Backhouse examines humanity's 15,000-year relationship with Castor canadensis, and the beaver's even older relationship with North American landscapes and ecosystems. From the waterlogged environs of the Beaver Capital of Canada to the wilderness cabin that controversial conservationist Grey Owl shared with pet beavers, Backhouse goes on a journey of discovery to find out what happened after we nearly wiped this essential animal off the map, and how we can learn to live with beavers now that they're returning.
A provocative assessment of how the endangered statuses of predatory animals reflect the planet's ecological health is a cautionary account that draws direct links between dwindling numbers of great cats, flying raptors, and giant fish and threatening increases in wild herd populations, insects, and disease.