Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States
The United States harbours an array of ecosystems which in turn sustain a variety of plant and animal life. This illustrated volume considers how species and ecosystems are faring, what is threatening them, and what is needed to protect the United States' remaining natural herita... read full description below.
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Full details for this title
|Library of Congress
||Biological diversity, United States
||Geography & Earth Science: Textbooks & Study Guides
||Professional and scholarly
Description of this Book
From the lush forests of Appalachia to the frozen tundra of Alaska, and from the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest to the subtropical rainforests of Hawaii, the United States harbors a remarkable array of ecosystems. These ecosystems in turn sustain an exceptional variety of plant and animal life. For species such as salamanders and freshwater turtles, the United States ranks as the global center of diversity. Among the nation's other unique biological features are California's coast redwoods, the world's tallest trees, and Nevada's Devils Hole pupfish, which survives in a single ten-by-seventy-foot desert pool, the smallest range of any vertebrate animal. Precious Heritage draws together for the first time a quarter century of information on U.S. biodiversity developed by natural heritage programs from across the country. This richly illustrated volume not only documents those aspects of U.S. biodiversity that are particularly noteworthy, but also considers how our species and ecosystems are faring, what is threatening them, and what is needed to protect the nation's remaining natural inheritance. Above all, Precious Heritage is a celebration of the extraordinary biological diversity of the United States.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||[This] is a skillfully written and visually appealing book that calls on the American people to fully appreciate the rich, but threatened, biodiversity of the United States. Under the joint direction of The Nature Conservancy and the Association for Biodiversity Information, the twenty-six contributors to Precious Heritage survey and describe America's biodiversity and discuss the serious stresses this rich heritage is undergoing. After many chapters dedicated to this thorough exposition, Precious Heritage culminates its American journey by offering concrete suggestions for safeguarding the natural heritage that is described and beautifully photographed throughout this valuable book. . . . In its totality, Precious Heritage offers readers an invaluable education in U.S. biodiversity. . . .Such a shining example is Precious Heritage, and this book will encourage efforts to protect America's natural endowment. -- Environmental Law<br> Precious Heritage is worth owning and is satisfying to read. The writing is interesting, the layout is attractive, the photographs are excellent (although I wish that some had been larger), and the paper is of high quality. . . . [It's themes place] the emphasis on geographic patterns and connections, on conserving ecosystems in order to conserve species and ecological processes, and on the conflict between agriculture and biodiversity. I highly recommend this book for general reading, for college courses, and for persuading legislators of the opportunities for protecting unique, wonderful, and vulnerable species and ecosystems in the United States. -- Wild Earth<br> Overall, the book is engagingly written, lavishly illustrated both with photos andmaps that display the results of the analyses, and peppered with detailed examples of the species and communities that are the focus of our conservation concern. It is also extremely well edited. Although it has over 25 authors, the book reads with a common voice and consistent style. I can think of no other data-rich reference book that also provides anecdotes about Louis Agassiz, J.J. Audubon, the Bartrams, Lewis and Clark, and Phil Pister[I]t will make a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in any aspect of conservation in the United States, including those who are responsible for managing natural areas. The book's ability to provide detailed information on species and communities in specific regions of the United Statesas well as describe conditions in the United States as a whole makes it an entertaining read and a valuable reference. --Natural Areas Journal<br> [M]ay be the most comprehensive survey of biological diversity in America. ... until now, the information ... had never been pulled together to produce a portrait of the status of wild America. --The New York Times<br> [A] welcome resource for everybody who wants to do the right thing for future generations while still living well today. ... In a very accessible format -- clearly written text accompanied by numerous figures, maps, charts and tables -- Precious Heritage explains how the data has been collected and analyzed, indicates what it can tell us, and provides avenues for preservation. ... all planners -- governmental, corporate, not-for-profit -- should have a copy of Precious Heritage on their desks ... --Corporate Environmental Strategy<br> [T]he most comprehensive look yet at the United States'creatures, plants, and biomes in a richly illustrated, 400-page tome ... --Science<br>
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