Conservation of Rare or Little-Known Species: Biological, Social, and Economic Considerations / Edition 2

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Some ecosystem management plans established by state and federal agencies have begun to shift their focus away from single-species conservation to a broader goal of protecting a wide range of flora and fauna, including species whose numbers are scarce or about which there is little scientific understanding. To date, these efforts have proved extremely costly and complex to implement. Are there alternative approaches to protecting rare or little-known species that can be more effective and less burdensome than current efforts?


Conservation of Rare or Little-Known Species represents the first comprehensive scientific evaluation of approaches and management options for protecting rare or little-known terrestrial species. The book brings together leading ecologists, biologists, botanists, economists, and sociologists to classify approaches, summarize their theoretical and conceptual foundations, evaluate their efficacy, and review how each has been used.


Contributors consider combinations of species and systems approaches for overall effectiveness in meeting conservation and ecosystem sustainability goals. They discuss the biological, legal, sociological, political, administrative, and economic dimensions by which conservation strategies can be gauged, in an effort to help managers determine which strategy or combination of strategies is most likely to meet their needs. Contributors also discuss practical considerations of implementing various strategies.


Conservation of Rare or Little-Known Species gives land managers access to a diverse literature and provides them with the basic information they need to select approaches that best suit their conservation objectives and ecological context. It is an important new work for anyone involved with developing land management or conservation plans.

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Editorial Reviews

Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State Universit - Barry Noon
"Seldom are rare or poorly known species—often invertebrates and nonvascular plants—the targets of conservation planning. The consequence of such oversight for biodiversity conservation is the topic of this well-edited book, targeted to scientists who work closely with land managers to conserve terrestrial biodiversity and to managers responsible for implementing conservation strategies. The scope is broad, addressing legal, social, economic, and political issues as well as the obvious scientific challenges. This book clearly fills a gap in conservation biology literature by emphasizing the potential importance of species that often constitute the majority in many ecological communities."
Professor of wildlife science, University of Washington - John M. Marzluff
"It is one thing to assemble the biological knowledge and political will to conserve rare species. It is another to do so for species we barely know and appreciate, like microspiders and snow fleas. This volume shows us with exceptional clarity that both rare and little-known species can be conserved. No, they must be conserved. We all will benefit from this book as it motivates, teaches, and enlightens land managers to conserve biological diversity in all its finery."
Caesar Kleberg Chair in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Texas A&M University - Michael L. Morrison
"An insightful look at what constitutes rarity and a much-needed synthesis of how resource professionals can evaluate and ultimately conserve rare species. This book debunks the false dichotomy between management for biodiversity versus management for rare species."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597261661
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin G. Raphael is a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, where he leads research on conservation of biological diversity and population ecology of at-risk wildlife.

Randy Molina recently retired as a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, where he led the forest mycology team on issues of fungal ecology, ecosystem function, conservation, and management. He owns a mycological consulting business and is an adjunct professor for Oregon State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Conservation Goals and Objectives
Chapter 3. Species Rarity: Definition, Causes, and Classification
Chapter 4. Definitions and Attributes of Little-Known Species
Chapter 5. Special Considerations for the Science,Conservation, and Management of Rare or Little-Known Species
Chapter 6. Species-Level Strategies for Conserving Rare or Little-Known Species
Chapter 7. System-Level Strategies for Conserving Rare or Little-Known Species
Chapter 8. Effectiveness of Alternative Management Strategies in Meeting Conservation Objectives
Chapter 9. Social Considerations
Chapter 10. Economic Considerations
Chapter 11. Implementation Considerations
Chapter 12. A Process for Selection and Implementation of Conservation Approaches

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