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Ecological Challenges and Conservation Conundrums: Essays and Reflections for a Changing World

Ecological Challenges and Conservation Conundrums: Essays and Reflections for a Changing World

John A. Wiens

ISBN: 978-1-118-89507-8

Apr 2016, Wiley-Blackwell

344 pages

Description

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 

Preamble: Why this book?

Acknowledgments xiii

Essay 1 How did I get here? 1

Essay 2 Found! The survivor in the swamps (2005) 4

Essay 3 In defense of footnotes (2014) 7

Part I: Change, the challenge

Chapter 1 Conservation and change 13

Chapter 2 A digression on paradigms 18

Essay 4 The power of paradigms (2014) 23

Essay 5 Patterns, paradigms, and preconceptions (2013) 29

Essay 6 Fat times, lean times, and competition among predators (1993) 33

Chapter 3 Equilibrium, stability, and change 39

Essay 7 From our southern correspondent(s) (2011) 44

Essay 8 Boom and bust: lessons from the outback (2014) 51

Chapter 4 A digression on disturbance 57

Essay 9 Oil, oil, everywhere…(2010) 60

Part II: The forces of change

Chapter 5 Climate change and sea-level rise 71

Essay 10 Polar bears, golden toads, and conservation futures (2008) 76

Chapter 6 Land-use change 79

Essay 11 Will land-use change erode our conservation gains? (2007) 85

Essay 12 Landscape ecology: the science and the action (1999) 88

Chapter 7 Distributional changes: invasive species 91

Chapter 8 Societal, cultural, and political change 96

Essay 13 Wildlife, people, and water: who wins? (2012) 100

Chapter 9 Population growth 105

Chapter 10 Linkages among changes 109

Part III: Conservation conundrums

Chapter 11 Variation and history 117

Essay 14 The eclipse of history? (2008) 122

Essay 15 From our southern correspondent(s): which history? (2013) 125

Chapter 12 A digression on baselines and targets 129

Essay 16 Shooting at a moving target (2011) 133

Chapter 13 Ecological thresholds 138

Essay 17 Tipping points in the balance of nature (2010) 144

Chapter 14 Ecological resilience 149

Chapter 15 Dealing with novelty 154

Essay 18 Black swans and outliers (2012) 160

Essay 19 Moving outside the box (2009) 164

Chapter 16 Uncertainty: a boon or a bane? 167

Essay 20 Taking risks with the environment (2012) 172

Essay 21 Uncertainty and the relevance of ecology (2008) 176

Chapter 17 Prioritization and triage 180

Essay 22 Talking about triage in conservation (2015) 188

Chapter 18 Protected areas: where the wild things are 191

Essay 23 Build it and they will come (2013) 197

Essay 24 The dangers of black-and-white conservation (2007) 203

Chapter 19 Ecosystem services and the value of nature 206

Essay 25 What’s so new about ecosystem services? (2007) 211

Part IV: Doing conservation

Chapter 20 What is it we are trying to conserve? 217

Essay 26 Be careful what you wish for (2014) 222

Essay 27 Concluding comments: Are bird communities real? (1980) 227

Essay 28 A metaphor meets an abstraction: the issue of "Healthy Ecosystems" (2015) 230

Chapter 21 Numbers, numbers, numbers 237

Essay 29 Is "monitoring" a dirty word? (2009) 241

Essay 30 The place of long-term studies in ornithology (1984) 244

Essay 31 What use is small data in a big data world? (2013) 247

Chapter 22 A digression on words 251

Essay 32 Word processing versus writing (1983, 2011) 254

Chapter 23 Debates in ecology and conservation 257

Essay 33 On skepticism and criticism in ornithology (1981) 264

Essay 34 The demise of wildness? (2007) 267

Chapter 24 What lies behind the debates? Philosophy, values, and ethics 270

Chapter 25 A digression on advocacy in conservation 275

Essay 35 Scientific responsibility and responsible ecology (1997) 280

Part V: Concluding comments

Chapter 26 Whither ecology and conservation in a changing world? 287

Essay 36 "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…" (2009) 292

Essay 37 Being green isn’t easy (2010) 295

Essay 38 Stewart Udall and the future of conservation (2010) 298

References 301

Scientific names of species mentioned in the text 319

Index 323