Nature in Danger: Threatened Habitats and Species
Oxford University Press, 1995 - Endangered species. - 240 pages
Humanity's well being and ultimate survival are inextricably bound up with the health of the natural world. We often take for granted that nature will continue to provide the basics of life--food to eat, water to drink, fuel for warmth, air to breathe. But today the world's natural resources are threatened daily. Forests are leveled, grasslands overgrazed until they turn to desert, oceans and streams polluted. In Nature in Danger, conservation expert Noel Simon offers a detailed picture of the many threats to the natural world, and reveals what we can do to protect the environment from overexploitation. This lavishly illustrated and highly informative volume takes us on a journey to some of the world's most striking climes, from the Okavango Delta to the Tibetan Plateau, and from African savannas to the island of Tristan da Cunha. Simon examines the many varieties of rainforest, from Brazilian Amazonia to the forests of Zaire; wetlands as diverse as the Florida Everglades, the Mekong delta, and the Aral Sea; grasslands from the North American prairies to the Eurasian steppe; mountain ranges from the Rockies and the Andes to the Himalayas and the Alps; reefs and islands such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Archipelago, Madagascar, and Hawaii; the world's great deserts; and Antarctica. he describes the flora and fauna of each place he visits, traces the history of human exploitation right up to the present, and outlines ways in which these threats can be met. Each section boasts superb full-color photographs and informative maps. Also included are many boxed features that offer interesting side-trips to a region's natural wonders (such as the shrimp that live some 800 feet above ground on Ayers Rock, in the Australian desert) or historical curiosities (such as how Samarkand in the eighth century became a paper-making center). In addition, the book offers a special section on endangered species, highlighting the perilous circumstances of orangutans, blue whales, the African elephant, the giant panda, and many other animals and plants. Simon describes each species, tells how many remain extant (for instance, he reveals that the African Black rhino has dwindled from 100,000 in the early 1960s to some 4,000 today), and outlines what we are doing to save them. Finally, the book includes a glossary of terms, a directory of species names, a bibliography, and an index. A superb source of information on threatened habitats and species around the world as well as a beautifully illustrated celebration of nature's most glorious locales, Nature in Danger will delight anyone who loves wildlife and the great outdoors or who is deeply concerned about the ecological future of planet Earth.
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