238 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
In the United States and Canada, thousands of species of native plants are edging toward the brink of extinction, and they are doing so quietly. They are slipping away inconspicuously from settings as diverse as backyards and protected lands. The factors that have contributed to their disappearance are varied and complex, but the consequences of their loss are immeasurable.
With extensive histories of a cast of familiar and rare North American plants, The Quiet Extinction explores the reasons why many of our native plants are disappearing. Curious minds will find a desperate struggle for existence waged by these plants and discover the great environmental impacts that could come if the struggle continues.
Kara Rogers relates the stories of some of North America's most inspiring rare and threatened plants. She explores, as never before, their significance to the continent's natural heritage, capturing the excitement of their discovery, the tragedy that has come to define their existence, and the remarkable efforts underway to save them. Accompanied by illustrations created by the author and packed with absorbing detail, The Quiet Extinction offers a compelling and refreshing perspective of rare and threatened plants and their relationship with the land and its people.
"Kara Rogers sought – and in my opinion brilliantly succeeded – in drawing attention to the link between some of biomedicine's most dramatic and significant discoveries, and the importance of the conservation of the planet's plant diversity."
– The Well-Read Naturalist
"Kara Rogers has a flair for telling a good yarn, one that is interesting and based on thorough research. Readers will come away with new knowledge and a better understanding of ecology [...] .and hopefully a better appreciation for landscape!
– Gail E. Wagner, contributor to People and Plants in Ancient Eastern North America
"This detailed and authoritative exploration of the causes of plant extinction and its consequences for the intricate web of life binding us and nature together offers a compelling account of the largely unheeded erosion of our priceless natural heritage and what can be done to reverse the damage."
– Stephen Blackmore, Queen's Botanist and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
"This beautifully written book brings to life the stories of some of the estimated 3 500 declining or rare species of seed plants in the United States and Canada, telling their stories accurately and often in memorable prose. A patient and persuasive call to arms, it should help to energize plant conservation throughout the region. Highly recommended."
– Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO
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Kara Rogers has edited more than twenty books on topics in biomedicine and life sciences. She is the author of Out of Nature: Why Drugs from Plants Matter to the Future of Humanity and is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She is the senior editor of biomedical sciences at Encyclopaedia Britannica.