Unnatural Landscapes: Tracking Invasive Species
Louisiana crawfish, cheatgrass, Russian thistle, Hottentot figs, rats, and sweet fennel. These and dozens of other seemingly benign flora and fauna have become some of the worst culprits in the destruction of ecosystems and native wildlife in the American Southwest and Baja California.
Although widely publicized threats—such as pollution, land development, changes in the atmospheric condition, fire, and drought—are frequently credited with posing the greatest danger to indigenous animals and plants, invasive species are quickly becoming a far more insidious peril to the survival of native wildlife. A result of both accident and human intervention, the frequency with which exotic species are being introduced into nonnative environments is increasing at an alarming rate.
In Unnatural Landscapes, Ceiridwen Terrill combines lucid science writing with first-person tales of adventure to provide a compelling introduction to invasion ecology and restoration management. Traveling aboard her trusty kyak, The Grebe, Terrill brings readers on a firsthand tour of various “islands” in the Southwest and Mexico—both actual islands and self-contained habitat communities. From the islands of Anaho, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa to Isla Tibur n in the Sea of Cortez, Mexicali irrigation canals, and Pyramid Lake, Terrill takes an in-depth look at the damage that invasive species cause.
Drawing on field observations, research, and interviews with scientists, resource managers, and local residents, this book provides readers with the background and knowledge they need to understand and to begin combating what is quickly becoming the most important environmental crisis facing the fragile ecosystems of the Southwest.
For more information on invasive species visit the Author's Web site.
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Foreword by Gary Paul Nabban vii
Poor Mans Galapagos
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American white pelican Anacapa Island Anaho Island Angeles Ash Meadows Bahfa Baja Peninsula beach biologists birds black rat boat Bruce buffelgrass Cabrillo California Channel Islands cheatgrass cheatgrass and red chicks Chumash conservation crawfish crystal iceplant desert Donna East Anacapa ecological ecosystem endemic eradication eucalyptus trees exotic species extinction feet feral pigs Fish Slough golden eagles Grebe gull habitat Highway Hottentot fig human invaders invasive plants invasive species Isla Coronado island gray fox Kate Faulkner kayak live look mainland Mexican Midriff Islands miles National Park Service native plants native species nesting Nevada nonnative numbers Owens pupfish paddle Paiute Phil Pister Phil's plants and animals pools population Pyramid Lake rattlesnake red brome rock Russian thistle salt saltbush Santa Barbara Santa Cruz Island says Scorpion Sea of Cortes seabirds seeds Setnicka snakes soil spread spring Styron tamarisk Tershy there's tion U.S. Fish visitors waves western white pelican wind