Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment

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Island Press, 1999 - Nature - 485 pages
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Lauded in the New York Times science section as "a sweeping analysis of the ecosystems of the United States and Canada," this volume represents an unparalleled source of information and data for scientists and conservationists working in North America. Using a rigorous ecoregion-based approach, rather than the more common state-by-state analysis, a team of scientists from World Wildlife Fund has produced a stunning and comprehensive assessment of the current status of biodiversity in North America north of Mexico.

Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America begins with six chapters that present the rationale for the ecoregion approach, describe the biological distinctiveness of North American ecoregions, assess the level of threats facing each, present a conservation agenda for the next decade, and set forth recommendations for preserving and restoring biodiversity. In addition, nineteen essays by leading scientists address specific topics such as the effect of cattle on riparian areas, and the problem of invasive exotic plant species. Following the main text are substantial appendixes that describe each ecoregion in detail, including information on:

  • unique features of the ecoregion that set it apart from the others
  • its biological distinctiveness, threats to habitats and wildlife, and important sites for conservation
  • activities that enhance biodiversity conservation in the ecoregion
  • conservation partners working in the ecoregion, including addresses and other contact information
  • the relationship of the ecoregion to other classification schemes
  • literature cited for that ecoregion
One of the most useful and unique features of the book is the series of thirty full-color maps that present essential information about the ecoregions and the biodiversity they contain in a compelling and easily understood graphical format.

The ecoregion-based approach has been adopted by many conservation groups as the most effective way to ward off massive losses of biodiversity, and this volume provides a road map to that important new strategy. With a significant number of previously unpublished data sets and new analytic approaches, Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America is both a guidebook for describing the biological wealth of the continent and a handbook for restoring and conserving it. It will be an essential reference for anyone concerned with biodiversity conservation in North America.


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A very useful reference for ecological studies. Read full review

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A very useful reference for ecological studies. Read full review


F Ecoregion Descriptions
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Page 461 - June 30, 1988). Rangeland Management: More Emphasis Needed on Declining and Overstocked Grazing Allotments (GAO/RCED-88-80, June 10, 1988).

About the author (1999)

The authors are all affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund. The World Wildlife Fund is the largest privately supported international conservation organization in the world with more than one million members in the U.S. alone.

Taylor H. Ricketts
Eric Dinerstein
David M. Olson
Colby J. Loucks
William Eichbaum
Dominick DellaSala
Kevin Kavanagh
Prashant Hedao
Patrick T. Hurley
Karen M. Carney
Robin Abell
Steven Walters

Jonathan Adams
Will Allen
Sandy Andelman
Alan G. Appleby
James F. Bergan
John Broadhead
Dirk Bryant
Steve Buttrick
Steve Chaplin
Roberta Clowater
Terry Cook
Jim Cooperman
Robin Cox
Lance Craighead
David Culver
Mary Davis
Dennis Demarchi
Jim Eidson
Amy Farstad
Thomas Fleischner
R. Glenn Ford
Dave Foreman
Steve Gatewood
Jim Goltz
Sam Gon
Louise Gratton
Tim Gray
Anne Gunn
Arlin Hackman
Randy Hagenstein
Ron Heyer
Bob Holland
Tony Iacobelli
Laura Jackson
John Kartesz
James MacMahon
Kate MacQuarrie
Geoff Mann
Bill Meades
Rod Mondt
Janet Moore
David Neaves
Jim Nelson
Reed Noss
Chris O'Brien
Sebastian Oosenbrug
Gordon Orians
Juri Peepre
Ajith Perera
Robert Peters
Steve Primm
Scott Robinson
Jon-Paul Rodriquez
John Sawyer
Rick Schneider
Jennifer Shay
Marni Sims
Phillip Sims
Fred E. Smeins
George Smith
Scott Smith
Randy Snodgrass
Colin Stewart
Jim Strittholt
Emma Underwood
Robyn Usher
Alasdair Veitch
Alan Weakley
Wesley W. Wettengel
Gaile Whelan-Enns
Chris Williams
Don Wilson
Kim Wolfe
Nathalie Zinger

This volume is the first in a series. This series also includes Freshwater Ecoregions of North America, 2000, and Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific, 2001, and The Ecoregions Series which includes all 3 volumes at the discounted price of $185.00.

Taylor H. Ricketts is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Eric Dinerstein is Chief Scientist and Vice-President for Science at the World Wildlife Fund-US. He has participated in or overseen conservation research around the world, he is one of the editors of WWF's Ecosystem Assessment series, and he is the author of a monograph on rhinos: Return of the Unicorns: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater-One Horned Rhinoceros (Columbia University Press).