Synopses & Reviews
When you look out your window, why are you so much more likely to see a robin or a sparrow than a Kirtlandand#39;s warbler or a California condor? Why are some animals naturally rare and others so abundant? The quest to find and study seldom-seen jaguars and flamboyant Andean cocks-of-the-rock is as alluring to naturalists as it is vitally important to science. From the Himalayan slopes of Bhutan to the most isolated mountain ranges of New Guinea, The Kingdom of Rarities
takes us to some of the least-traveled places on the planet to catch a glimpse of these unique animals and many others. As he shares stories of these species, Eric Dinerstein gives readers a deep appreciation of their ecological importance and the urgency of protecting all types of life andmdash; the uncommon and abundant alike.
An eye-opening tour of the rare and exotic, The Kingdom of Rarities offers us a new understanding of the natural world, one that places rarity at the center of conservation biology. Looking at real-time threats to biodiversity, from climate change to habitat fragmentation, and drawing on his long and distinguished scientific career, Dinerstein offers readers fresh insights into fascinating questions about the science of rarity and unforgettable experiences from the field.
"'The presence of large, potentially dangerous mammals connects us to something deep and primal and teaches us humility in a way that is unique and precious. We must not lose it.' Dinerstein (Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations), Chief Scientist with the World Wildlife Fund, provides nature lovers with an armchair tour of the world, focusing on rare species from New Guinea to Hawaii. In clear, concise prose he discusses the circumstances responsible for rarity like evolution, habitat loss, and war. Such species possess an undeniable allure and he asks 'how can we make them worth more alive than dead?' Dinerstein has visited many remote locations, from Bhutan to the Amazon, to study wildlife, and shares many personal observations of these places. By some estimates, 75% of life on Earth is comprised of rare species, and Dinerstein's study will give readers a new appreciation for the vast diversity of the planet. 'Perhaps ahead of us is a prominent marker in our own development: the point when we truly value nature's diversity, a metric noted by conserving rare wildlife.' Line drawings accompany the text, though color photos would be more fitting, but otherwise Dinerstein's study is highly recommended for readers with interests in biology, natural history, and ecology. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Kingdom of Rarities
presents a new context for understanding rarity and its implications both for our understanding of how the natural world works, and for what it can teach us about protecting biodiversity during a time of large-scale environmental change. Using cutting-edge science from remote outposts around the world, award-winning author Eric Dinerstein animates the key questions that scientists are asking themselves about why some species are so abundant and others not. What are the rarest species and why are they most likely to be found in certain types of environments? Which species have always been rare, and which have only recently been made rare? Which should we seek to protect most?and#160;
Throughout, Dinerstein explores rarity as a central principle within conservation biology, advancing both our understanding of the natural world and inspiring the creation of new tools and technologies that can help us add to our knowledge and design more effective conservation strategies. He focuses on real-time threats to biodiversity, from climate change to habitat fragmentation, and draws on his long and distinguished scientific career to illuminate the concept of rarity for readers across the spectrum of scientific knowledge.
About the Author
Eric Dinerstein is lead scientist and vice president of conservation science at the World Wildlife Fund. Over the past forty years he has studied bears, rhinos, tigers, bats, and plants and many other creatures around the globe, and he remains active in the conservation of rare species. He has published over one hundred scientific papers and several books, including The Return of the Unicorns:and#160;The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros
and Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations
. In 2007, Tigerland
won the American Association for the Advancement of Science's award for science writing, the AAAS/Subaru SBandF Prize for Excellence in Science Books.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Uncommon Menagerie
Chapter 2: The Gift of Isolation
Chapter 3: A Jaguar on the Beach
Chapter 4: The Firebird Suite
Chapter 5: There, in the Elephant Grass
Chapter 6: Scent of an Anteater
Chapter 7: Invasion and Resistance
Chapter 8: Ghosts of Indochina
Chapter 9: Rarity Made Common
About the Author