191 pages, 83 colour photos
The Annihilation of Nature shows us the face of Earth's sixth great mass extinction, revealing that this century is a time of darkness for the world's birds and mammals. In The Annihilation of Nature, three of today's most distinguished conservationists tell the stories of the birds and mammals we have lost and those that are now on the road to extinction. These tragic tales, coupled with eighty-three color photographs from the world's leading nature photographers, display the beauty and biodiversity that humans are squandering.
Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich serve as witnesses in this trial of human neglect, where the charge is the massive and escalating assault on living things. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy. Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world's wild birds and mammals. Thousands of populations have already disappeared, other populations are dwindling daily, and soon our descendants may live in a world containing but a minuscule fraction of the birds and mammals we know today.
The Annihilation of Nature is a clarion call for engagement and action. These outspoken scientists urge everyone who cares about nature to become personally connected to the victims of our inadequate conservation efforts and demand that restoration replace destruction. Only then will we have any hope of preventing the worst-case scenario of the sixth mass extinction.
"This is a gorgeously illustrated book on a riveting subject: the charismatic bird and mammal species that we have already lost or are at risk of losing, the reasons for their demise, and what we can do to minimize our future losses."
– Jared Diamond, University of California–Los Angeles, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
"A beautiful lament for the vanishing wildlife of the world – wrapped in a message of hope."
– Tim Flannery, Stanford University, author of Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth
" [...] an unabashed and heartfelt plea for going into battle on behalf of nature. No holds are barred."
– Los Angeles Review of Books
" [...] an impassioned plea for conservation."
– Science News
1. The legacy
2. Natural extinctions
3. The Anthropocene
4. Long-silenced songs
5. Birds in trouble
6. Mammals lost
7. Vanishing mammals
8. Why it all matters
9. Drivers of death
10. Beyond mourning
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Gerardo Ceballos, one of the world's leading ecologists, is a professor at the Institute of Ecology at National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He is the author of Mammals of Mexico and Diversity of Mexican Fauna.
Anne H. Ehrlich is a senior research scientist emeritus at Stanford University. She is the coauthor of Extinction: The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species and The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment.
Paul R. Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies and the president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. Among his more than 40 books are The Population Bomb and Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect.