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In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
See the world. Then make it better.
I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day -- the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake -- and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.
We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited. All we need is the will do so.
Elephants are as unique as people. They can be clever and curious or
headstrong and impulsive, shy or sociable. Learn to know them as
individuals as well as a species in this evocative account of years
spent studying elephant behaviour in the wild.
Origins of Biodiversity is a unique introduction to the fields of macroevolution and macroecology, which explores the evolution and distribution of biodiversity across time, space and lineages. Using an enquiry-led framework to encourage active learning and critical thinking, each chapter is based around a case-study to explore concepts and research methods from contemporary macroevolution and macroecology. The book focuses on the process of science as much as the biology itself, to help students acquire the research skills and intellectual tools they need to understand and investigate the biological world around them. In particular, the emphasis on hypothesis testing encourages students to develop and test their own ideas. This text builds upon the foundations offered in most general introductory evolutionary biology courses to introduce an exciting range of ideas and research tools for investigating patterns of biodiversity.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of grassland ecosystems based on publications by Chinese scholars. It offers an up-to-date review of the recent advances in grassland research in China, discusses the climatic and physical conditions governing the grasslands, describes their types and distribution, and introduces a new classification scheme for grassland ecosystems. Further, it details the plant, animal, and microbial compositions of each grassland ecosystem type, examining the above and below ground relationships between phytomass, vegetation succession, and past/current management practices with a particular focus on the steppes in China. It also includes references that are only available in the Chinese language. This scientifically rigorous book offers insights into knowledge gaps for the scientific community and identifies pressing issues facing practitioners of grassland ecology and management. It can be used as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate students in ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, agriculture, and other relevant fields, and is also a valuable reference resource for researchers studying drylands in China or around the globe.
A dark past. An impossible journey. The will to survive.
How far would you go for love? Franny Stone is determined to go to the end of the earth, following the last of the Arctic terns on what may be their final migration to Antarctica.
As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.
The Last Migration is a wild, gripping and deeply moving novel from a brilliant young writer. From the west coast of Ireland to Australia and remote Greenland, through crashing Atlantic swells to the bottom of the world, this is an ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened, and an epic story of the possibility of hope against all odds.
WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR WRITING ON GLOBAL CONSERVATION Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize 'splendid' -The Guardian 'visionary' -New Statesman Britain has all the space it needs for an epic return of its wildlife. Only six percent of our country is built upon. Contrary to popular myth, large areas of our countryside are not productively farmed but remain deserts of opportunity for both wildlife and jobs. It is time to turn things around. Praised as 'visionary' by conservationists and landowners alike, Rebirding sets out a compelling manifesto for restoring Britain's wildlife, rewilding its species and restoring rural jobs - to the benefit of all.
This book takes a new approach to understanding primate conservation research, adding a personal perspective to allow readers to learn what motivates those doing conservation work. When entering the field over a decade ago, many young primatologists were driven by evolutionary questions centered in behavioural ecology. However, given the current environment of cascading extinctions and increasing threats to primates we now need to ensure that primates remain in viable populations in the wild before we can simply engage in research in the context of pure behavioural ecology. This has changed the primary research aims of many primatologists and shifted our focus to conservation priorities, such as understanding the impacts of human activity, habitat conversion or climate change on primates. This book presents personal narratives alongside empirical research results and discussions of strategies used to stem the tide of extinction. It is a must-have for anyone interested in conservation research.
Through a global and interdisciplinary lens, this book discusses, analyzes and summarizes the novel conservation approach of rewilding. The volume introduces key rewilding definitions and initiatives, highlighting their similarities and differences. It reviews matches and mismatches between the current state of ecological knowledge and the stated aims of rewilding projects, and discusses the role of human action in rewilding initiatives. Collating current scholarship, the book also considers the merits and dangers of rewilding approaches, as well as the economic and socio-political realities of using rewilding as a conservation tool. Its interdisciplinary nature will appeal to a broad range of readers, from primary ecologists and conservation biologists to land managers, policy makers and conservation practitioners in NGOs and government departments. Written for a scientifically literate readership of academics, researchers, students, and managers, the book also acts as a key resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.
In Britain and Ireland there are about ten times more species of solitary bee than bumblebee and honeybee combined, yet the solitary bees tend to be ignored and we know much less about them. They are a fascinating, attractive and diverse group that can be found easily in a wide range of habitats, both urban and rural, and they are important as pollinators. Solitary bees provides an introduction to the natural history, ecology and conservation of solitary bees, together with an easy-to-use key to genera. Chapters cover: Diversity and recognition; Bee lives; Cuckoos in the nest; Bees and flowers; The conservation of solitary bees; Approaches to practical work; Keys to the genera of bees of the British Isles - Females and Males; and References and further reading.
This book brings together leading conservation practitioners to reflect on their response to the current global biodiversity crisis, through the lens of island species recovery and management. Initial chapters cover the biological understanding of small population biology and the growing threat of invasive species, while subsequent chapters discuss the management of these threats and the complexity of leading projects within a dynamic and still relatively unknown system. Multiple case studies from islands worldwide illustrate key points, allowing readers to draw on the first-hand practical experience of experienced professionals. This resource will be invaluable to both current and future conservation professionals, helping them to go beyond disciplinary 'comfort zones' and develop, manage and lead projects over extensive timeframes in a way that brings others with them on the journey.
This unique book contains not only a comprehensive up-to-date summary of the achievements made in all areas of Nematology in South Africa over more than half a century, but it also combines this rather technical part with an insiders narrative of how Nematology started and developed. It also demonstrates how the South African community of nematologists gradually adapted to major changes in agriculture. These were due to a major political shift followed by socio-economic changes and this in an often challenging natural environment. At the same time this book is conceived as a useful source for young scientists to provide them with practical knowledge and critical insight in the field of Nematology. The information given is based primarily on research conducted by nematologists in South Africa. Most of this research was aimed at finding workable solutions for nematological problems confronted by both large-scale commercial producers and smallholding farmers. During a period when funding for scientific research is becoming increasingly scarce, the future demand and quest for practical solutions by applied research will only increase.
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including the Asian bile bear market. The IUCN lists six bears as vulnerable or endangered, and even the least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations are prohibited, but still ongoing. Covering all bears species worldwide, this beautifully illustrated volume brings together the contributions of 200 international bear experts on the ecology, conservation status, and management of the Ursidae family. It reveals the fascinating long history of interactions between humans and bears and the threats affecting these charismatic species.
This revised and updated edition of Majerus & Kearns (1989) Ladybirds provides a succinct but comprehensive and accessible overview of the biology of ladybirds and their parasites, focusing on ecology in an evolutionary context. It provides the latest information, coverage of recent additions to the British list including the harlequin ladybird, and makes suggestions for further research, both short and long term, highlighting gaps in knowledge and showing readers how to get involved with recording and studying ladybirds. It includes updated keys for the identification of ladybirds at late-instar larval and adult stages, and techniques for studying ladybirds and their parasites in both laboratory and field. The authors hope that this book will be a valuable resource, not only for students, from school to university and beyond, but also for anyone with an interest in natural history, whether professional or recreational.
Leaf beetles are one of the largest groups of beetles, with tens of thousands of species worldwide and around 280 in Britain. They belong mainly to the family Chrysomelidae, but also to two small closely related families, the Megalopodidae and Orsodacnidae. This book provides a comprehensive overview with detailed and accessible coverage of the natural history, ecology and biology of leaf beetles. Topics cover the life history of leaf beetles, biology, their environment, natural enemies and interactions with humans. There is a thorough discussion about identification of British species, including detail on the juvenile stages (eggs, larvae, pupae) and a concise key to adults. A chapter is dedicated to study techniques and materials. The book is illustrated throughout with colour photographs and line drawings. Leaf beetles is a vital resource for entomology students and educators, naturalists, nature conservationists, those involved in agriculture, horticulture and the management of stored produce.
Wind farms are an essential component of global renewable energy policy and the action to limit the effects of climate change. There is, however, considerable concern over the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, leading to a wide range of research and monitoring studies, a growing body of literature and several international conferences on the topic. This unique multi-volume work provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife. Volume 3 documents the current knowledge of the potential effects upon wildlife during both construction and operation of offshore wind farms. An introductory chapter on the nature of wind farms and the legislation surrounding them is followed by a series of in-depth chapters documenting effects on physical processes, atmosphere and ocean dynamics, seabed communities, fish, marine mammals, migratory birds and bats and seabirds. A synopsis of the known and potential effects of wind farms upon wildlife concludes the volume. The authors have been carefully selected from across the globe from the large number of academics, consultants and practitioners now engaged in wind farm studies, for their influential contribution to the science. Edited by Martin Perrow and with contributions by 30 leading researchers including: Goeran Brostroem, Steven Degraer, Mike Elliot, Andrew Gill, Ommo Huppop, Georg Nehls and Nicolas Vanermen. The authors represent a wide range of organisations and institutions including the Universities of Gothenburg, Hamburg and Hull, Alfred Wegener Institute, Cefas (UK), Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vattenfall and several leading consultancies. Each chapter includes informative figures, tables, colour photographs and detailed case studies, including some from invited authors to showcase exciting new research. Other volumes: Volume 1: Onshore: Potential Effects (978-1-78427-119-0) Volume 2: Onshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-123-7) Volume 4: Offshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-131-2)
Widespread across open lands and cities of Europe, Africa, and Asia, the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is one of the most abundant and studied birds of prey. This book brings together and synthesises the results of research on kestrels for professional ornithologists and scientists that seek to consolidate a vast body of literature. It is also a reference for those readers who may not have the depth of scientific knowledge to navigate new fields of scientific enquiry. It examines many aspects of the species' biology, from the reproductive strategies to the behavioural and demographic adaptations to changes of environmental conditions. It also discusses the roles of physiology and immunology in mediating the adaptability of kestrels to the ongoing environmental changes with a particular focus on contaminants. This volume presents new and exciting avenues of research on the ecology and behaviour of the common kestrel.
Deep inside caves, at the bottoms of oceans and lakes, beneath the ground: these concealed habitats are absent of sunlight. This strange and fascinating world of complete darkness is not a solitary place-it is inhabited by millions of life forms. Yet most humans-creatures of daylight-have never seen any of them. Until now. In this fascinating-sometimes eerie-book, extreme wildlife photographer and scientist Dante Fenolio brings the denizens of these shadowy haunts into focus. Life in the Dark shows us the many ways in which life forms have adapted to lightless environments, including refinements of senses, evolution of unique body parts, and illumination using "biological flashlights." With more than 200 mesmerizing color photographs, Life in the Dark unveils bizarre creatures like the firefly squid, the giant Amazonian catfish, the Chinese cavefish, and even the human bot fly, which lives in the darkness beneath its host's skin. Fenolio's rich and vibrant images shed new light on the world's fascinating creatures of darkness.
Wind farms are an essential component of global renewable energy policy and the action to limit the effects of climate change. There is, however, considerable concern over the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, leading to a wide range of research and monitoring studies, a growing body of literature and several international conferences on the topic. This unique multi-volume work provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife. Volume 2 provides a state-of-the-science guide to monitoring and mitigation to minimise or even eliminate impacts on wildlife from wind farms. The survey and monitoring section includes detailed chapters on birds and bats followed by chapters on modelling of collision risk and populations and the statistical principles of fatality monitoring. The following mitigation section comprises chapters on spatial planning and effective mitigation strategies for bats, birds and raptors including through repowering. A synopsis of international best planning and practice concludes the volume. The authors have been carefully selected from across the globe from the large number of academics, consultants and practitioners now engaged in wind farm studies, for their influential contribution to the science. Edited by Martin Perrow and with contributions by over 30 leading researchers including: Ed Arnett, Cris Hein, Manuela Huso, Johann Koeppel, Roel May, Ian Smales & Shawn Smallwood. The authors represent a wide range of organisations and institutions including Bat Conservation International, Birdwatch Ireland, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Technische Universitat Berlin and US Geological Survey as well as several leading consultancies. Each chapter includes informative figures, tables, photographs and detailed case studies. Several of the latter are produced stand-alone from invited additional authors to ensure geographic spread and to showcase exciting new research. This book is designed for practitioners, researchers, managers and for a range of students in higher education, particularly those involved with environmental, ecological, conservation, impact assessment and climate change studies. Other volumes: Volume 1: Onshore: Potential Effects (978-1-78427-119-0) Volume 3: Offshore: Potential Effects (978-1-78427-127-5) Volume 4: Offshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-131-2)
Wind farms are an essential component of global renewable energy policy and the action to limit the effects of climate change. There is, however, considerable concern over the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, leading to a wide range of research and monitoring studies, a growing body of literature and several international conferences on the topic. This unique multi-volume work provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife. Volume 1 documents the current knowledge of the potential impacts upon wildlife during both construction and operation. An introductory chapter on the nature of wind farms and the impact assessment process is followed by a series of in-depth chapters documenting effects on climatic conditions, vegetation, terrestrial invertebrates, aquatic invertebrates and fish, reptiles and amphibians, birds, bats and terrestrial mammals. A synopsis of the known and potential effects of wind farms upon wildlife in perspective concludes the volume. The authors have been carefully selected from across the globe from the large number of academics, consultants and practitioners now engaged in wind farm studies, for their influential contribution to the science. Edited by Martin Perrow and with contributions by 40 leading researchers including: Robert Barclay, Michael Dillon, Jan Olof Helldin, Hermann Hoetker, Jeffrey Lovich, Manuela de Lucas and Eugene Takle. The authors represent a wide range of organisations and institutions including the Universities of Calgary, Iowa State, Lund & Wyoming, US Geological Survey, Michael-Otto-Institut im NABU, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Renewable Energy Systems and several leading consultancies. Each chapter includes informative figures, tables, colour photographs and detailed case studies. Many of the latter are produced stand-alone from invited additional authors to ensure geographic spread and to showcase exciting new, often previously unpublished research. This book is designed for practitioners, researchers, managers and for a range of students in higher education, particularly those involved with environmental, ecological, conservation, impact assessment and climate change studies. Other volumes: Volume 2: Onshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-123-7) Volume 3: Offshore: Potential Effects (978-1-78427-127-5) Volume 4: Offshore: Monitoring and Mitigation (978-1-78427-131-2)
An indispensable guide to identification, ecology and study of bumblebees. This new edition embraces the wealth of information published on bumblebee life history, ecology, foraging, parasites and conservation in recent years. It includes a new chapter on the very real threats to bumblebees; their crucial role as pollinators of our native flora and crops; ways to promote their survival; advantages and problems posed by their commercial use; as well as updated colour plates, keys and distribution maps of all British species (including Bombus hypnorum). The book introduces techniques and approaches to original work so that anyone with an interest can usefully contribute to furthering our understanding and appreciation of these wonderful and important insects.
This volume provides a modern introduction to the soil fauna and their contributions to ecosystem function, the mechanisms that structure soil fauna assemblages from local to global scales, and the potential impacts of global change on soil fauna assemblages and through this ecosystem function. Wanting to be an accessible primer, this book is a high level overview of current knowledge rather than a detailed tome of all existing information, with emphasis being placed on key findings and general patterns. It focuses on the soil fauna but contextualizes these assemblages in relation to the microbial assemblages belowground and the vegetation aboveground. It is clear that our knowledge of soil fauna assemblages is ever increasing, but there is still a lot to discover. Key areas of research are highlighted, with particular reference to the future of soil fauna assemblages.
Wood ants play an ecologically dominant and conspicuous role in temperate boreal forests, making a keystone contribution to woodland ecosystem functions and processes. Wood ant taxonomy and global distributions set the scene for this text's exploration of wood ants as social insects, examining their flexible social structures, genetics, population ecology, and behaviour, from nest-mate recognition to task allocation. Wood ants' interactions with their environment and with other organisms are essential to their success: competition, predation and mutualism are described and analysed. Bringing together the expertise of ecological researchers and conservation practitioners, this book provides practical and theoretical advice about sampling and monitoring these insects, and outlines the requirements for effective conservation. This is an indispensable resource for wood ant researchers, entomologists, conservationists and ecological consultants, as well as anyone interested in social insects, keystone species and the management and conservation of forest ecosystems.
This is a guide to finding tree-roosts. It is the result of the collaborative efforts of professional surveyors and amateur naturalists across Europe as part of the Bat Tree Habitat Key project, and represents a combination of firsts: It is the first time legislation and planning policy have been reviewed and put to practical use to define an analysis framework with clearly identifiable thresholds for action. Yet, despite its efficacy in a professional context, it is also the first time a guide has been produced that is equally effective in achieving its objective for amateurs. It is the first time such a method has been evidence-supported throughout, with summary reviews of each aspect of the roosting ecology of the individual 14 tree-roosting species, with illustrative photographs and data to which the reader has open access. It is the first time a repeatable analysis framework has been defined against which the surveyor may compare their results at every stage, from the desk-study, through ground-truthing, survey and analysis, thereby ensuring nothing is overlooked and that every result can be objectively compared. The survey and analysis framework itself is ground-breaking in that it may readily be adapted for any taxa; from moths, through amphibians, reptiles, birds and all other mammals. Used diligently, these methods will reward disproportionately and imbue the reader with renewed confidence as they quickly progress from beginner to competency. Thus, this book is for everyone who has ever wanted to find a tree-roost, or to safeguard against inadvertently damaging one.
This book presents new theoretical perspectives on ecological community dynamics and in so doing casts fresh light on the enduring complexity-stability debate. Real ecological communities do not simply comprise diverse species and interactions, which respectively represented the nodes and links of the classic network theory. Rather, they are characterized by different types of complexity, and this book explains how this diversity of complexity is key to understanding the dynamics of ecological communities. It is shown how various properties in natural communities, such as life history, adaptation, density dependence, sex, interaction types, space, functional traits, and microbial processes, can dramatically increase the complexity in ecological communities. Furthermore, innovative methods are introduced that may be applied to cast light on very complex communities. With each chapter presenting the latest advances and approaches, the book sets the direction for future research on ecological community dynamics. It will be a "must read" for researchers and students in the field of ecology.
The synthesis of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference (ABEC) 2015, which was held to assess scientific progress over the past twnety-five years, this book provides a comprehensive and global review of work since the 1992 publication of Plant-Animal Interactions in the Marine Benthos. Taking a regional and, where appropriate, habitat perspective, it considers sites of coastal biodiversity from around the world to incorporate a global approach. The volume analyses abiotic and biotic interactions, and the factors determining distribution patterns, community structure and ecosystem functioning of coastal systems. It explores themes of how phylogeography and biogeographic process influence assemblage composition, and hence drive community structure and the respective roles of environmental factors and biological interactions, with the overall goal to establish how general are the processes in different regions and habitats. For researchers, graduate students and academics studying coastal ecosystems, with interest for conservation practitioners managing areas of high biodiversity.
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