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Watching, From The Edge Of Extinction

Stearns, Beverly

18 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300076061 / ISBN 13: 9780300076066
Published by Yale University Press, 1999
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Dust Jacket in Very Good condition. ; 8.5" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 35541

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Watching, From The Edge Of Extinction

Publisher: Yale University Press

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title


In this mesmerizing series of interviews with dedicated people who work to save endangered species throughout the world, an alarming truth emerges: the obstacles of human politics, greed, corruption, folly, and hypocrisy can present as much danger to a species' survival as biological causes. The dramatic lessons of this book shed new light on the problems of declining species and offer hope that we may yet change their fate.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Intelligently affecting stories of animals reduced to rarity, what leads to their predicament, and the people and ideas working to ward off extinction. Considering the current wave of extinctionroughly estimated at two species per dayjournalist Beverly Stearns and her husband Stephen (Zoology/Univ. of Basel, Switzerland) ask how much of it is natural, how much attributable to poaching, indiscriminate harvesting, disease, predators, habitat loss, and competition with exotics. What is the significance of a creatures disappearance? The Stearnses have taken a small but diverse sample to elucidate the many roads to extinction; in their ten cautionary tales, with protagonists ranging from snails to dodos to wild dogs, the deleterious role of humans is always in evidence. Some episodes show punctuated equilibrium meeting a dead end, but for the most part we see people with principles, who think about evolutionary potential and the effect of species loss on our values, battling the greedy, corrupt, and hypocritical, who think about personal power, money, and ego display. The more pungent stories include the tale of a landowner fighting to protect the Hawaiian crow (`alala) after incompetent researchers from the National Audubon Society bungle their fieldworkthough the details of how the clever crow got into such a fix remain unclear. Other intriguing tales show the English large blue butterfly losing its improbable adoptive parents (red ants) through human ignorance and then being reintroduced, trailing in its wake pale dog-violets and pearl-bordered fritillaries. The saga of the Barton Springs salamander proves to be a Texas tale of ordinary folk, town meetings, and a Boy Scout turned environmental lawyer going to bat against a multinational corporation with politicians in its pocket and billions to throw about, to protect a unique pale pink salamander. This survey of representative extinction dramas makes one thing clear: The fate of endangered species is not sealed. Though they try hard for journalistic objectivity, its clear where the authors sympathies lie as they chart different courses that can reduce the human contribution to extinction. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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