The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference / Edition 1

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Visually rich, up-to-date, and authoritative, The Atlas of Global Conservation is a premier resource for everyone concerned about the natural world. Drawing from the best data available, it is an unprecedented guide to the state of the planet and our most pressing resource and environmental issues. Top scientists at The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and water, have joined forces to create this extraordinary reference. It features 79 richly-detailed, fullcolor maps and other graphics paired with an informative, inviting discussion of major trends across the world’s terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments.
Interspersed throughout, essays by noted international authorities point the way forward in confronting some of our greatest conservation challenges.

• The most comprehensive single volume on global environmental conservation and future sustainability

Includes the latest data on environmental threats, such as climate change, water use, habitat protection, deforestation and overfishing

• Full-color maps and graphics are designed to facilitate sideby-side comparisons, empowering readers to draw their own conclusions

• Brings together information that has been widely dispersed across myriad publications and databases in a format thatinvites evaluation and application

• Supporting data is available on an accompanying website

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Botanic Garden - Marilyn K. Alaimo
VOYA - Kevin Beach
Focusing primarily on biomes and ecosystems, this valuable atlas promotes a deeper understanding of the challenges involved in preserving and maintaining these habitats and resources. Basically an analysis of the current state of the globe, the book highlights conservation challenges through chapters on habitats, species distributions, deforestation, global warming, coastal development, and pollution. While discussing such depressing issues as the world's alarming human population densities, overconsumption of resources, high levels of water stress, and the extinction of species, there are also details of positive efforts being made to mitigate damages and preserve our remaining resources. Many of the facts and statistics available here are not found in most atlases and are presented at a level any student can absorb. The eco-region maps in the appendixes are a fascinating look at the uniqueness of many places across the globe. The book is unique and well done. Reviewer: Kevin Beach
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Assembled from hundreds of authoritative sources, this valuable atlas will promote a deeper understanding of the immense variety of our world's ecosystems and the array of challenges to their continued stability. Following an introductory overview, brightly colored maps and accompanying essays are arranged in broad categories to highlight, in turn, major habitats; species distributions; ominous changes arising from a range of causes from coastal development to pollution; and effective, protective measures such as establishing nature preserves and regulation of commerce. National boundaries are present but almost invisible on the world maps presented on nearly every spread; instead, it's the natural boundaries of mangrove forests and marine reefs, the color-coded indications of species diversity, human population density, levels of water stress, and like information that stand out, conveying the truth that environmental issues belong to all of us. Gorgeous nature photos on nearly every spread further enhance the presentation. The authors of the substantial narratives eloquently promote the same view while keeping the facts and statistics at digestible levels and gathering the extensive technical notes at the end. Closing with a second set of maps that divide the world into "realms" and show the hundreds of land and water "ecoregions" in each, this work can't help but promote a broader worldview in students of ecology, nature, and conservation—John Peters, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520262560
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/22/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.16 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Currently, Jonathan M. Hoekstra directs The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Program and teaches at the University of Washington. Jennifer L. Molnar is a senior scientist on the Conservancy’s Ecosystem Services Team. Michael Jennings is an adjunct professor at the University of Idaho. Carmen Revenga and Mark D. Spalding are senior scientists on the Conservancy’s Marine Team. Timothy M. Boucher is a senior conservation geographer for the Conservancy’s Ecosystem Services Team. James C. Robertson is GIS manager for the Conservancy’s Colorado Program. Thomas J. Heibel is a technical research associate at BCS,
Inc. Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer–Prize winning investigative journalist and author of three books including The Economy of Nature.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x

Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy

Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University, Stanford University

Introduction 1

Taylor Ricketts, World Wildlife Fund

Terrestrial Ecoregions, Realms, and Biomes 8

Freshwater Ecoregions and Basins 10

Marine Ecoregions, Provinces, and Realms 12

Jon Christensen, Stanford University

2. Habitats 19

Forests and Woodlands: Giving Trees 22

Grasslands: Where the Buffalo Roamed 24

Deserts and Aridlands: Hardy Life under Harsh Conditions 26

Rivers and Wetlands: The Planet’s Lifeblood 28

Lakes: Fragile Pools of Life 30

Caves and Karst: Troves of Subterranean Species 32

Steven J. McCormick, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Coasts and Shelves: The Sea’s Sunlit Margins 36

Coral Reefs: Crown Jewels of the Ocean 38

Mangrove Forests: Bridging Land and Sea 40

Seagrass Beds: Marine Meadows 42

Salt Marshes: Living Filters along Our Coasts 44

High Seas and Deep Oceans: Earth’s Uncharted "
Inner Space" 46

3. Species 49

Plants: A Vital Variety 52

Freshwater Fish: A Diverse Cast 54

Amphibians: Fragile Markers of the Planet’s Health 56

Reptiles: Prehistoric Survivors 58

Martin Wikelski, Max Planck
Institute for Ornithology and Konstaz University, and David S. Wilcove, Princeton University

Birds: Everyday, Everywhere Wildlife 64

Mammals: Shared Destiny with Our Closest Kin 66

Endemic Species:
In the Narrowest Niches 68

Evolutionary Distinction: Branches on the Tree of Life 70

Greg Mock, former editor, World Resources Report

4. A World of Change 75

Human Population: Outnumbering Nature 78

Consuming Nature: Running Out of Planet? 80

Climate Change: The Planetary Emergency 82

Joel E. Cohen, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities

Habitat Loss on Land: Going, Going,… 88

Coastal Development: Reshaping the Seashore 90

Bottom Trawling and Dredging: Scouring the Seafloor 92

Landscape Fragmentation: Going to Pieces 94

Thwarted Fish Runs: Up against a Wall 96

John Peterson Myers, Environmental Health Sciences

Freshwater Pollution: Clear but Hazardous 102

Nitrogen Pollution: Too Much of a Good Thing 104

Ruin of the Reefs: Fading Jewels, Lost Wealth 106

Into the Wild: The Cost of Expanding Human Access 108

M. Sanjayan, The Nature Conservancy

Forest Clearing: Uprooting Nature 112

Water Stress: Overused and Undermanaged 114

Overfishing: Emptying the Oceans 116

Wildlife Trade: Sold into Extinction 118

Jackie Alder, United Nations Environment Programme, and Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia

Fire: Healthy Doses of Destruction 122

Dams and Reservoirs: Clogging Earth’s Arteries 124

Sediment Flow: Starving Some Habitats, Smothering Others 126

Melting Ice and Rising Seas: Squeezing the Coasts 128

Disappearing Glaciers: Ice Storage on a Slippery Slope 130

Jonathan M. Hoekstra, The Nature Conservancy

Invaders: Unwelcome Guests 134

Invaders: Good
Intentions with Costly Consequences 136

Invaders: Stowaways Attacking Our Coasts 138

Terrestrial Animals at Risk: More in Jeopardy Each Year 140

Freshwater Animals at Risk: Are Their Futures Drying Up? 142

Marine Animals at Risk: Sea Life Unraveling 144

5. Taking Action 147

Protected Areas on Land: Triumph for Nature 150

Protecting Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands: Thinking beyond Park Boundaries 152

Marine Protected Areas: Oases for Fish and People 154

Protecting Nature’s Services: Dividends from the Wealth of Nature 156

Scott A. Morrison, The Nature Conservancy

International Cooperation: Saving the Whales—and More 160

Greening the Marketplace: Certifiably Profitable 162

Collaborative Solutions: Problem-Solving Partnerships 164

Gretchen C. Daily, Marilyn Cornelius, and Charles J. Katz, Jr., Stanford University, and Brian Shillinglaw, New Forests,

Rule of Law: Protecting the Commons 168

Individual Action: Parting the Waters 170

Restoring Nature: Mending the Web of Life 172

6. Conclusion Our Future, Our Choices 175

Appendix A: Ecoregions
Index Maps 180
Appendix B: Technical Notes and References 200

Index 229
About the authors 234

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