Texans on the Brink: Threatened and Endangered Animals

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Brian R. Chapman, William I. Lutterschmidt
Texas A&M University Press, Mar 26, 2019 - Nature - 236 pages
What good is a rattlesnake? What purpose do animals serve? All species play a vital role in their biological communities, and the removal of just one can have a noticeable and catastrophic ripple effect.

Yet social and political pressures frequently pit species conservation against economic progress and prosperity, and scientists fear that we may be in the midst of a mass extinction event. Brian R. Chapman and William I. Lutterschmidt make the case that the effort to preserve animals is the responsibility of every Texan and that biodiversity contributes enormous economic value to the citizens of Texas.  

Texans on the Brink brings together experts on eighty-eight endangered and threatened animal species of Texas and includes brief descriptions of the processes that state and federal agencies employ to list and protect designated species. Species accounts include a description of the species accompanied by a photograph, an easy-to-read account of the biology and ecology of the species, and a description of efforts underway to preserve the species and its required habitat. Sobering examples of species that were once part of the Texas fauna but are now extinct or extirpated are also given to further demonstrate just how vulnerable biodiversity can be.

All species require healthy habitats, and every species—even a rattlesnake—provides important services for the biotic communities in which they live. It is imperative to learn as much as we can about these animals if we are to preserve biodiversity successfully in Texas. 

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Chapter 1 Why Save Biodiversity
Chapter 2 Characteristics of a Vulnerable Species
A Brief History
Chapter 4 The Natural Regions of Texas
Part 2 Species Accounts
Chapter 5 River and Stream Fauna
Chapter 6 Central Texas Cave Fauna
Chapter 7 Freshwater Spring Fauna
Chapter 9 Resident and Migratory Birds
Chapter 10 Gulf of Mexico Fauna
Part 3 A Glance at the Past
The States Lost Fauna
Scientific Names of Species Mentioned in the Text
Selected References

Chapter 8 Terrestrial Fauna

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About the author (2019)

BRIAN R. CHAPMAN retired as a senior research scientist at the Texas Research Institute for Environmental Sciences at Sam Houston State University. He is the coauthor of The Natural History of Texas. He resides in Corpus Christi, Texas. WILLIAM I. LUTTERSCHMIDT, from Huntsville, Texas, is executive director and research scientist at the Texas Research Institute for Environmental Sciences at Sam Houston State University.

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