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Austral Ark: The State of Wildlife in Australia and New Zealand

  • A unique synthesis of Australia and New Zealand's leading conservation biologists about wildlife gains and declines in this area
  • Provides an insight into the threatening processes occurring worldwide as well as the unique conservation problems faced in this region
  • Highlights Australia and New Zealand's many historical and contemporary environmental differences as well as commonalities
  • Includes special boxes emphasising examples and case studies – offers 'real world' examples of the key issues and solutions

By: Adam Stow(Editor), Norman MacLean(Editor), Gregory I Holwell(Editor)

669 pages, 32 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 77 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 33 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jan 2015 | #214954 | ISBN-13: 9781107033542
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.99 $55/€48 approx

About this book

Australia and New Zealand are home to a remarkable and unique assemblage of flora and fauna. Sadly though, by virtue of their long isolation, and a naive and vulnerable biota, both countries have suffered substantial losses to biodiversity since European contact. Bringing together the contributions of leading conservation biologists, Austral Ark presents the special features and historical context of Austral biota, and explains what is being conserved and why. The threatening processes occurring worldwide are discussed, along with the unique conservation problems faced at regional level. At the same time, Austral Ark highlights many examples of conservation success resulting from the innovative solutions that have been developed to safeguard native species and habitats in both New Zealand and Australia. Austral Ark fills an important gap regarding wildlife gains and declines, and how best to take conservation forward to keep this extraordinary area of the world thriving.

"This splendid book is a unique up-to-date synthesis of the global values, threats to existence and conservation of Australian and New Zealand wildlife. The authors illuminate the challenges faced by a remarkable selection of plant species and vegetation types, vertebrates and invertebrates; on land, in surface and underground freshwater, and the oceans. The growing list of threats to wildlife is assessed, with particular focus on global warming, changing wildfire patterns, plant, animal – and microbial invasions, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Useful examples of successful conservation projects are reinforced by templates for the design of conservation reserves on land and in the oceans. The book captures the urgency of the current situation, throwing new light on the modern requirements for wildlife conservation science and policy in this mega-diverse region. In achieving this, it crucially informs conservation efforts worldwide."
- Andrew Beattie, Macquarie University


List of contributors

1. A separate creation: diversity, distinctiveness and conservation of Australian wildlife David A. Nipperess
2. New Zealand – a land apart William G. Lee and Daphne E. Lee
3. The ecological consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation in New Zealand and Australia Poppy Lakeman Fraser and Robert M. Ewers
4. The impacts of climate change on Australian and New Zealand flora and fauna Abigail Cabrelli, Linda Beaumont and Lesley Hughes
5. Unwelcome and unpredictable: the sorry saga of cane toads in Australia Richard Shine and Benjamin L. Phillips
6. Invasive plants and invaded ecosystems in Australia: implications for biodiversity Rachael V. Gallagher and Michelle R. Leishman
7. Environmental weeds in New Zealand: impacts and management Margaret C. Stanley, Kate G. McAlpine and Imogen E. Bassett
8. The insidious threat of invasive invertebrates Darren F. Ward
9. Pollution by antibiotics and resistance genes: dissemination into Australian wildlife Michael Gillings
10. Invasive vertebrates in Australia and New Zealand Cheryl R. Krull, Josie A. Galbraith, Al S. Glen and Helen W. Nathan
11. Freshwaters in New Zealand Mike Joy
12. A garden at the edge of the world: the diversity and conservation status of the New Zealand flora Carlos A. Lehnebach
13. The evolutionary history of the Australian flora and its relevance to biodiversity conservation Maurizio Rossetto
14. Protecting the small majority: insect conservation in Australia and New Zealand Gregory I. Holwell and Nigel R. Andrew
15. Terrestrial mammal diversity, conservation and management in Australia Mark D. B. Eldridge and Catherine A. Herbert
16. Marine mammals, back from the brink? Contemporary conservation issues Robert Harcourt, Helene Marsh, David Slip, Louise Chilvers, Mike Noad and Rebecca Dunlop
17. Australian reptiles and their conservation Jonathan K. Webb, Peter S. Harlow and David A. Pike
18. New Zealand reptiles and their conservation Nicola J. Nelson, Rod Hitchmough and Jo M. Monks
19. Austral ark chapter – isolation, invasion and innovation: forces of change in the conservation of New Zealand birds Sarah Withers
20. Australian birds: current status and future prospects Stephen T. Garnett, Judit K. Szabo and Donald C. Franklin
21. Austral amphibians – Gondwanan relicts in peril Jean-Marc Hero, J. Dale Roberts, Conrad J. Hoskin, Katrin Lowe, Edward J. Narayan and Phil J. Bishop
22. Predators in danger: shark conservation and management in Australia, New Zealand, and their neighbours Paolo Momigliano, Vanessa Flora Jaiteh and Conrad Speed
23. 'Ragged mountain ranges, droughts and flooding rains': the evolutionary history and conservation of Australian freshwater fishes Leanne Faulks, Dean Gilligan and Luciano B. Beheregaray
24. Down under Down Under: austral groundwater life Grant C. Hose, Maria G. Asmyhr, Steve J. B. Cooper and William F. Humphreys
25. Fire and biodiversity in Australia John C. Z. Woinarski, Allan H. Burbidge, Sarah Comer, D. Harley, Sarah Legge, David B. Lindenmayer and Thalie B. Partridge
26. Terrestrial protected areas of Australia Ian D. Craigie, Alana Grech, Robert L. Pressey, Vanessa M. Adams, Marc Hockings, Martin Taylor and Megan Barnes
27. Australian marine protected areas Alana Grech, Graham Edgar, Peter Fairweather, Robert L. Pressey and Trevor Ward
28. Marine reserves in New Zealand: ecological responses to protection and network design Nick Shears and Hannah Thomas


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Adam Stow is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Australia. His research focuses on three broad themes: conservation genetics, evolutionary processes and molecular ecology. He is Head of the Conservation Genetics Group which carries out research on animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate, in both marine and terrestrial environments. He is a nominated scientific expert to the State and Federal Governments for Shark conservation and an academic editor for the open access scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Norman Maclean is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Southampton University. He is the Molecular Editor of Journal of Fish Biology and has authored and edited a dozen books on genetics as well as published about 150 papers. He is a member of RSPB, BTO, Hants Wildlife Trust and Southampton Natural History Society, and has studied wildlife (as an amateur) in over 50 countries. In 2010 he edited Silent Summer: The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland, published by Cambridge University Press.

Gregory I. Holwell is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on the behaviour, ecology, evolution and conservation of insects and other invertebrates throughout Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Much of his research has centred on praying mantises, most recently investigating the impact of an invasive South African praying mantis on New Zealand's only native mantis. He is a passionate naturalist and advocate for the conservation of our little-known invertebrate fauna.

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