The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken

The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken

by Mary Ellen Hannibal


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As climate change encroaches, animals and plants around the globe are having their habitats pulled out from under them. At the same time, human development has made islands out of even our largest nature reserves, stranding the biodiversity that lives within them. The Spine of the Continent introduces readers to the most ambitious wildlife conservation effort ever undertaken: to create linked protected areas extending from the Yukon to Mexico, the entire length of North America.

This movement is the brainchild of Michael Soulé, the founder of conservation biology and the peer of E. O. Wilson and Paul Ehrlich, who endorse his effort as necessary to saving nature on our continent. With blue-ribbon scientific foundations, the Spine is as yet a grassroots, cooperative effort among conservation activists—NGOs large and small—and regular citizens.

The Spine of the Continent is not only about making physical connections so that nature will persist; it is about making connections between people and the land we call home. In this fascinating and important book, Mary Ellen Hannibal travels the length of the Spine, sharing stories about the passionate, idiosyncratic people she meets along the way—and the critters they love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762786787
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 845,398
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hannibal’s most recent book is Evidence of Evolution.  She has written for many publications, including The San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, and Elle magazines, and extensively for environmental nonprofits.  She is a 2011 Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.

Table of Contents

Maps vi

Introduction xiii

Part I America's Next Best Idea

Chapter 1 Bear with Me 3

Chapter 2 They Paved Paradise 19

Chapter 3 Reptile Brain 30

Chapter 4 The Disappearance 41

Chapter 5 A Science of Love and Death 52

Chapter 6 The Real Work 61

Chapter 7 Triple Crown 72

Part II Cores, Carnivores, and Corridors on the Spine

Chapter 8 Leave It to Beaver 91

Chapter 9 Holy Cow 118

Chapter 10 Not Hunting 136

Chapter 11 Take It from the Top 149

Chapter 12 Wolf Sign 162

Chapter 13 Borderline 175

Chapter 14 There Ought to Be a Law 195

Part III Congratulations, You've Won Climate Change

Chapter 15 Picka Pika 213

Chapter 16 Eyes in the Sky 232

Chapter 17 Welcome Home 238

Endnotes 249

Bibliography 257

Index 264

Acknowledgments 271

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