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Ecological Challenges and Conservation Conundrums

344 pages

Short, compelling, but mostly thought-provoking essys that encompass many of the central issues shaping ecology and conservation in the changing world

  • Collected essays from one of the best known ecologists and conservationists in the world
  • Includes all issues at the cutting edge of the interface between ecology and conservation
  • Attractive to a broad audience of ecologists, conservationists, natural resource managers, policy makers, and naturalists 
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This book is a compendium of the authors’ writing over the last 30-plus years. Although the individual essays address a variety of issues in ecology and conservation, collectively they share a common theme which describes the challenges confronting ecology and conservation in a changing world, one in which extinctions are occurring, land use and climate are changing, ecological thresholds are being passed, and uncertainty abounds. This book will prompt readers to think about these issues, perhaps in ways they have not before. Since 2007 the author has been a regular contributor to the Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
. His essays are intended to be easy to read —short, compelling, and thought-provoking. This book is needed now for several reasons. First, the issues addressed, most of which lie at the intersection of ecology and conservation, are still applicable. The blending of ecology and conservation mirrors the author’s professional trajectory from academia to conservation organizations. Secondly, reading the essays together fosters a broader perspective on the issues. Readers will be able find out how the ecological systems they strive to conserve are affected by various forces of change, and how this affects the way they should approach the issues. Collectively, the essays encompass many of the central issues that are shaping ecology and conservation as the world changes. The essays are arranged by topic and each includes a short introduction that updates the context and explains why the essay was written. Six brand new essays have been written specifically for this volume to fill the in the area. In all, this book may help to prompt a shift in how scientists, managers, and the public think about these key issues. Brief TOC: Concluding comments: are bird communities real?; On skepticism and criticism in ornithology; Word processing versus writing; The place of long-term studies in ornithology; Ecology 2000: An essay on future directions in ecology; Fat times, lean times and competition among predators; Scientific responsibility and responsible ecology; Landscape ecology:  the science and the action; Found! The survivor in the swamps; What’s so new about ecosystem services?; Will land-use change erode our conservation gains?; The dangers of black-and-white conservation; The demise of wildness?; Uncertainty and the relevance of ecology; Polar bears, golden toads, and conservation futures; The eclipse of history?;  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”; Is ‘monitoring’ a dirty word?; Moving outside the box; Tipping points in the balance of nature; Stewart Udall and the future of conservation; Oil, oil, everywhere; Being green isn’t easy; From our southern correspondent(s); Shooting at a moving target; Black swans and outliers; Taking risks with the environment; Wildlife, people, and water: Who wins?