An Introduction to Conservation Biology

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-05-03
  • Publisher: Sinauer Associates is an imprint of Oxford University Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


New coauthor Anna Sher joins longtime author Richard Primack in creating a book that combines the readability of Primack's A Primer of Conservation Biology with the depth and coverage of his larger textbook, Essentials of Conservation Biology. The result is a book well suited for a wide range of undergraduate courses, as both a primary text for conservation biology courses and a supplement for ecological and environmental science courses.

Using the chapter framework of the current Primer as a springboard, the authors have added three chapters focused on population biology conservation tools (Chapter 7), restoration ecology (Chapter 10), and the future of conservation (Chapter 12). Sustainable development, ex situ conservation, and other key topics have been expanded and updated with hundreds of new examples, explanations, citations, and figures to enhance learning and excitement for the subject. Mining her experience teaching conservation biology with Dr. Primack's texts for over a decade, Dr. Sher fine-tunes the presentation of difficult concepts, particularly in economics and politics. Coverage of recent conservation biology events in the news--such as the poaching of Cecil the lion, the first papal encyclical on the environment, and the international Paris Accord on climate change--keeps the content fresh and current.

The book's twelve chapters (see Contents) focus successively on biological diversity and its value; threats to biological diversity; conservation at the population and species levels; protecting, managing and restoring ecosystems; and sustainable development. Each chapter begins with general ideas and principles, beautifully illustrated in full color with diverse examples from the current literature. Chapters end with summaries, an annotated list of suggested readings, discussion questions, and extensive summary statements in the text margins, as study aids. Throughout, the authors maintain a focus on the active role that scientists, local people, conservation organizations, government, and the general public play in protecting biodiversity, even while providing for human needs.


For Instructors
Instructor's Resource Library
This resource includes all figures (line-art illustrations and photographs) and tables from the textbook, provided as both high- and low-resolution JPEGs. All have been formatted and optimized for excellent projection quality. Also included are ready-to-use PowerPoint slides of all figures and tables.

Author Biography

Richard B. Primack is a Professor in the Biology Department at Boston University. He received his B.A. at Harvard University in 1972 and his Ph.D. at Duke University in 1976, and then was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury and Harvard University. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong, Tokyo University, and the Northeast Forestry University in China, and has been awarded Bullard and Putnam Fellowships from Harvard University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Humboldt Fellowship from the German government. Dr. Primack was President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Conservation. Thirty-four foreign-language editions of his conservation biology textbooks (the Essentials and the shorter Primer of Conservation Biology) have been produced, with local coauthors. He is an author of rain forest books, most recently Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison (with Richard Corlett). Dr. Primack' s research interests include: climate change biology; the loss of species in protected areas; tropical ecology; and conservation education. He has recently completed a popular book about the impacts of climate change, titled Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods.

Anna Sher is a Professor of Biology at the University of Denver, where she has taught Conservation Biology since 2003. She held a joint position as the Director of Research at Denver Botanic Gardens from 2003-2010. Dr. Sher has published books and articles for academic, trade, and popular audiences on various topics within conservation biology, including restoration ecology, rare plant conservation, and climate change. She is one of the foremost experts on the ecology of invasive Tamarix trees and was the lead editor of the book Tamarix: A Case Study of Ecological Change in the American West (Oxford University Press, 2013). Dr. Sher received her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of New Mexico in 1998, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis and as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel. She has also led scientific study-abroad programs in East Africa, and is a contributing science writer for the Huffington Post blog.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Defining Conservation Biology
The New Science of Conservation Biology
The roots of conservation biology
A new science is born
The interdisciplinary approach: A case study with sea turtles
The Ethical Principles of Conservation Biology
Looking to the Future

Chapter 2. What Is Biodiversity?
Species Diversity
What is a species?
Measuring species diversity
Genetic Diversity
Ecosystem Diversity
What are communities and ecosystems?
Species interactions within ecosystems
Food chains and food webs
Keystone species and resources
Ecosystem dynamics
Biodiversity Worldwide
How many species exist worldwide?
Where is the world's biodiversity found?
The distribution of species

Chapter 3. The Value of Biodiversity
Ecological and Environmental Economics
Cost-benefit analysis
Financing conservation
What are species worth?
Ecosystem services
Economic Use Values
Direct use values
Consumptive use value
Productive use value
Indirect use values
Ecosystem productivity
Water and soil protection
Climate regulation
Species relationships and environmental monitors
Amenity value
Educational and scientific value
Multiple uses of a single resource: A case study
The Long-Term View: Option Value
Existence Value
Environmental Ethics
Ethical values of biodiversity
Deep ecology

Chapter 4. Threats to Biodiversity
Human Population Growth and Its Impact
Habitat Destruction
Tropical rain forests
Other threatened habitats
Habitat Fragmentation
Threats posed by habitat fragmentation
Edge effects
Environmental Degradation and Pollution
Pesticide pollution
Water pollution
Air pollution
Global Climate Change
Ocean acidification, warming, and rising sea level
The overall effect of global warming
International wildlife trade
Commercial harvesting
Invasive Species
Threats posed by invasive species
Invasive species on oceanic islands
Invasive species in aquatic habitats
The ability of species to become invasive
Control of invasive species
GMOs and conservation biology
A Concluding Remark

Chapter 5. Extinction Is Forever
The Meaning of "Extinct"
The current, human-caused mass extinction
Local extinctions
Extinction rates in aquatic environments
Measuring Extinction
Background extinction rates
Extinction rate predictions and the island biogeography model
Extinction rates and habitat loss
Vulnerability to Extinction
Problems of Small Populations
Loss of genetic diversity
Consequences of reduced genetic diversity
Factors that determine effective population size
Other factors that affect the persistence of small populations
Demographic stochasticity
Environmental stochasticity and catastrophes
The extinction vortex

Chapter 6. Conserving Populations and Species
Applied Population Biology
Methods for studying populations
Population viability analysis (PVA)
Long-term monitoring
Conservation Categories
Prioritization: What Should Be Protected?
Legal Protection of Species
National laws
International agreements to protect species

Chapter 7. Bringing Species Back from the Brink
Establishing and Reinforcing Populations
Considerations for animal programs
Behavioral ecology of released animals
Establishing plant populations
The status of new populations
Ex Situ Conservation Strategies
Botanical gardens
Seed banks
Can Technology Bring Back Extinct Species?

Chapter 8. Protected Areas
Establishment and Classification of Protected Areas
Marine protected areas (MPAs)
The effectiveness of protected areas
Measuring effectiveness: Gap analysis
Designing Protected Areas
Protected area size and characteristics
Networks of Protected Areas
Habitat corridors
Landscape Ecology and Park Design
Managing Protected Areas
Managing sites
Monitoring sites
Management and people
Zoning as a solution to conflicting demands
Biosphere reserves
Challenges to Park Management
Trophy hunting
Human-animal conflict
Climate change
Funding and personnel

Chapter 9. Conservation Outside Protected Areas
The Value of Unprotected Habitat
Military land
Unprotected forests
Unprotected grasslands
Unprotected waters
Land that is undesirable to humans
Private land
Conservation in Urban and Other Human-Dominated Areas
Other human-dominated landscapes
Ecosystem Management
Working with Local People
Biosphere reserves
In situ agricultural conservation
Extractive reserves
Community-based initiatives
Payments for ecosystem services
Evaluating conservation initiatives that involve traditional societies
Case Studies: Namibia and Kenya

Chapter 10. Restoration Ecology
Where to Start?
Restoration in Urban Areas
Restoration Using Organisms
Moving Targets of Restoration
Restoration of Some Major Communities
Aquatic systems
Prairies and farmlands
Tropical dry forest in Costa Rica
The Future of Restoration Ecology

Chapter 11. The Challenges of Sustainable Development
Sustainable Development at the Local Level
Local and regional conservation regulations
Land trusts and related strategies
Enforcement and public benefits
Conservation at the National Level
International Approaches to Sustainable Development
International Earth summits
International agreements that protect habitat
Funding for Conservation
The World Bank and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
Environmental trust funds
Debt-for-nature swaps
How effective is conservation funding?

Chapter 12. An Agenda for the Future
Ongoing Problems and Possible Solutions
The Role of Conservation Biologists
Challenges for conservation biologists
Achieving the agenda

Appendix: Selected Environmental Organizations and Sources of Information
Chapter Opening Photograph Credits
About the Author

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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