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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Julia K Whittington, DVM (University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine)
Description: This multiauthored book's 29 chapters are divided into five sections covering ecological health and change, monitoring ecological health, ecological health and humans, implementing conservation medicine, conservation medicine and challenges for the future.
Purpose: It is intended to be a primer for those persons interested in promoting ecological health. This book goes far beyond that goal as it addresses issues critical for all persons, not just the practitioners for whom it is intended. The book provides a wonderful overview of the evolving, broad-reaching discipline of conservation medicine.
Audience: It is written for practitioners and students in the fields of health and ecology, but the potential audience that would benefit is much greater. Any person, scientist or otherwise, interested in ecology, human medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, conservation biology, or ecosystem health would gain from and thoroughly enjoy the insight and knowledge imparted in this book. The contributing author list is impressive and the information they set forth is the collective fruit of international scholarly work.
Features: At its heart is the central idea that conservation medicine is the discipline that embraces the intertwined fields of ecosystem, animal, and human health. From there, the authors seek to explore the many different ways that all living organisms interact and to illustrate the cause and effect relationships they develop. No one field or discipline is emphasized more than the others because they are all important and related. Especially insightful are the chapters discussing emerging and infectious diseases. The authors and editors have done an excellent job of using ecological models or studies to illustrate important and relevant topics. The only shortcoming of this book is that it ended too soon.
Assessment: This is an extremely valuable tool for practitioners in ecosystem health and management as well as in medicine. The thought-provoking topics are well organized and informative. This book will be instrumental in training future professionals interested in conservation medicine.