Invasive and Introduced Plants and Animals: Human Perceptions, Attitudes and Approaches to Management (Anglais) Broché – 9 mai 2013
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Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
There have been many well-publicized cases of invasive species of plants and animals, often introduced unintentionally but sometimes on purpose, causing widespread ecological havoc. Examples of such alien invasions include pernicious weeds such as Japanese knotweed, an introduced garden ornamental which can grow through concrete, the water hyacinth which has choked tropical waterways, and many introduced animals which have out-competed and displaced local fauna.
This book addresses the broader context of invasive and exotic species, in terms of the perceived threats and environmental concerns which surround alien species and ecological invasions. As a result of unprecedented scales of environmental change, combined with rapid globalisation, the mixing of cultures and diversity, and fears over biosecurity and bioterrorism, the known impacts of particular invasions have been catastrophic. However, as several chapters show, reactions to some exotic species, and the justifications for interventions in certain situations, including biological control by introduced natural enemies, rest uncomfortably with social reactions to ethnic cleansing and persecution perpetrated across the globe. The role of democracy in deciding and determining environmental policy is another emerging issue. In an increasingly multicultural society this raises huge questions of ethics and choice. At the same time, in order to redress major ecological losses, the science of reintroduction of native species has also come to the fore, and is widely accepted by many in nature conservation. However, with questions of where and when, and with what species or even species analogues, reintroductions are acceptable, the topic is hotly debated. Again, it is shown that many decisions are based on values and perceptions rather than objective science. Including a wide range of case studies from around the world, his book raises critical issues to stimulate a much wider debate.
Biographie de l'auteur
Ian D. Rotherham is a leading researcher and writer on ecological history with a long-standing interest in exotic and invasive animals and plants. He is a Reader, Director of the Geography, Tourism, and Environment Research Unit, and International Research Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Robert A. Lambert has a dual appointment at the University of Nottingham, UK, as Lecturer in Environmental History and Lecturer in Tourism and the Environment. He is also a Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and co-editor of the journal Environment and History.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
If all of this seems very strange, read this book, which attempts to achieve a broad synthesis of wildly differing perspectives on "exotic," "alien," and "invasive" organisms. It is written largely, but not entirely, from a British perspective, but includes chapters on continental Europe, New Zealand, South Africa--and even the U.S.A., including the Bay Area. The subject has been hyped outrageously in the media, such that anti-"alien" hysteria can be not unreasonably compared to the media-stoked hysteria against human immigrants in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. And much of the rhetoric is disconcertingly similar.
The book's many chapters are quite uneven in style and degree of comprehensibility to the layman; a few are quite tedious. But the editors arrive at a very important synthesis at the end. They conclude that existing action programs on the control or eradication of "exotics" are usually poorly justified, poorly thought out, and fail to involve a broad range of what we now call "stakeholders." They are typically dictated from the top down by "experts" and those in authority whom they have convinced to act. Often the "experts" are not really such at all-they are better described as activists. And, the editors remind us, science as such can only inform such decision-making. The actual decision-making is intrinsically political and inevitably reflects subjective judgments and someone's list of priorities.
Ultimately, the alteration of our public lands is not a scientific decision. It is a public policy decision. In a democracy this means that the public must decide. In the vast majority of cases, the public has not been given the opportunity to make the decision because the managers of our public lands have been making these decisions for us. They do so, by claiming that it is a scientific, not a public policy decision and that their expertise puts them in a position to impose their will on the public. The authors of the book challenge this claim: "Yet in interventions conservation practice hides behind a veneer of pseudoscience and certainly challenges democratic processes." Hear, hear!!! Thank you for this astute observation, which we see played out repeatedly in the San Francisco Bay Area.