February 15, 2008

Book Review - The Endangered Species Act at Thirty

The Endangered Species Act at Thirty
v. 1 Renewing the Conservation Promise
v.2 Conserving Biodiversity in Human-Dominated Landscapes
ed. by Dale D. Goble, J. Michael Scott, Frank W. Davis
KF 5640 .E482 2006

This two-volume set published at the thirty year anniversary of the Endangered Species Act surveys what has been accomplished during this period.

The first volume overviews much of this fact-gathering. The first part details what has been protected over these last thirty years, primarily utilizing listings and statistics. The second part continues this overview, discussing in greater depth what conservation efforts have been accomplished. This section includes programs that have been established, ecosystems that are now regulated, and organizations whose sole work it is to protect the environment. The third part discusses where these efforts are leading. Some chapters focus on lessons that have been learned, keys to more effective collaborations, incentives, and ideas to reinvigorate conservation efforts in the future.

The second volume focuses on preserving species diversity. Its first part sets out the goals of this conservation effort, discussing the value of diversity, how species become at-risk, and timelines for some currently endangered species. The second part focuses on the science of conservation--how ecosystems are preserved, distinctive populations, critical habitats, some of the controversies surrounding this science. The third part demonstrates the complexity of policies and management of conservation efforts. Some of the factors discussed include economics, land use issues, agricultural, sea, and urban landscapes, and the positive and negative roles of humans in biodiversity.