Alien Invasion: America's Battle with Non-Native Plants and Animals

Alien Invasion: America's Battle with Non-Native Plants and Animals

by Robert S. Devine
     
 

Alien Invasion combines state-of-the-art enviromental science with vivid personal stories of the impact of exotics, from a firefighter's gripping tale of a fatal cheatgrass blaze to an eerie boat ride through an Everglades grove where all other life has been choked out by a foreign tree. Devine takes readers into California's Imperial Valley, where whiteflies have…  See more details below

Overview

Alien Invasion combines state-of-the-art enviromental science with vivid personal stories of the impact of exotics, from a firefighter's gripping tale of a fatal cheatgrass blaze to an eerie boat ride through an Everglades grove where all other life has been choked out by a foreign tree. Devine takes readers into California's Imperial Valley, where whiteflies have literally changed a community's life, and he joins a group attempting to restock the Colorado River with endangered fish crowded out by predatory intruders. He explores the politics of environmental management - a world of strange bedfellows, where animal activists and hunters sometimes join forces to thwart efforts to control rampaging wildlife populations. And he looks for strategies for rolling back the advances made by natural invaders, exploring defenses that range from microscopic parasites that attack plant infestations at root level to massive, government-funded projects that seek to restore whole ecosystems on a statewide scale.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beginning in the glossy Kennedy era, Thomas Y. Canby traveled the world, creating texts that could stand up to his magazine's famously arresting images. From Botswana to the Bering Sea: My Thirty Years with National Geographic is a memoir written with a journalist's flair, a trained eye for detail and a determination to get the story right, whether remembering the author's global trackings of rats or his probings of the causes and horrific human toll of African famine. Photos and maps, not seen by PW. (Island/Shearwater, $24.95 288p 1-55963-517-7) "It's the invasive ones we have to watch out for, the ones that proliferate out of control, degrade our ecosystems, make us ill, and devour our crops." Not all imported flora and fauna are dangerous, but in Alien Invasion: America's Battle with Non-Native Animals and Plants, veteran nature writer Robert S. Devine shows us how insidious they can be, from viruses that repeatedly destroy papaya crops to the sea lamprey, which "kills other fish by clamping on with its big, vampire mouth." Devine also explains what's being done to combat these alien menaces. (National Geographic, $24 288p ISBN 0-7922-7372-9)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Serious gardeners, ecologists, and natural history and botany buffs will appreciate this book on nonnative plants and animals that have become invasive pests. Written in typical National Geographic style, it includes personal narratives of scientists battling the invaders. There are also plenty of facts concerning the economic and ecological impacts of the 6000 nonnative species (such as gypsy moths, fireants, lamprey eels, and others) that are driving out native animals and plants. Nontechnical and readable, the book is divided into two parts: Part 1 details eight different invasive pests, while Part 2 describes efforts to fight them by organizations ranging from government agencies to private citizen groups such as the Nature Conservancy. Devine also briefly discusses imported garden flowers and foreign viruses. Highly recommended for public, high school, and college libraries.--Laura E. Lipton, Ctr. for Urban Horticulture, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Booknews
A foreword by US Secretary of the Interior Babbitt commences this nontechnical assessment and call for education before it's too late to counteract the alien invaders from Earth among us. Lists America's most troublesome species of flora and fauna by region, but lacks any photos of nefarious aliens such as hydrilla or rosy wolfsnail. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792273721
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.66(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.06(d)

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