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Academic & Professional Books  Ecology  Biogeography & Invasive Species

Cull of the Wild Killing in the Name of Conservation

New
By: Hugh Warwick(Author)
304 pages, no illustrations
NHBS
Hugh Warwick deftly tackles one of the thorniest challenges in conservation biology: does the threat of invasive species justify the deployment of lethal methods?
Cull of the Wild
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  • Cull of the Wild ISBN: 9781399403740 Hardback Mar 2024 In stock
    £18.99
    #262892
Price: £18.99
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Cull of the Wild

About this book

*We have a very limited number of signed bookplates for this edition, available while stocks last

Across the world, invasive species pose a danger to ecosystems. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity ranks them as a major threat to biodiversity on par with habitat loss, climate change and pollution.

Tackling this isn't easy, and no one knows this better than Hugh Warwick, a conservationist who loathes the idea of killing, harming or even eating animals. Yet as an ecologist, he is acutely aware of the need, at times, to kill invasive species whose presence harms the wider environment.

Hugh explores the complex history of species control, revealing the global movement of species and the impacts of their presence. Combining scientific theory with gentle humour in his signature style, he explains the issues conservationists face to control non-native animals and protect native species – including grey and red squirrels on Anglesey, ravens and tortoises in the Mojave Desert, cane toads in Australia and the smooth-billed ani on the Galapagos – and describes cases like Pablo Escobar's cocaine hippos and the Burmese python pet trade.

Taking a balanced and open approach to this emotive subject, Hugh speaks to experts on all sides of the debate. How do we protect endangered native species? Which species do we prioritise? And how do we reckon with the ethics of killing anything in the name of conservation?

Contents

Introduction

Chapter One: Hedgehogs
Aside: Cane toads
Chapter Two: Residents
Aside: Capercaillie and the pine marten
Chapter Three: Squirrels
Aside: Deer
Chapter Four: Lundy
Aside: Dormice
Chapter Five: Scilly
Aside: Galapagos
Chapter Six: Orkney
Aside: Raccoons
Chapter Seven: Minkicide
Aside: Pythons
Chapter Eight: Keepers
Aside: Cocaine hippos
Chapter Nine: New Zealand
Aside: Scottish wildcat
Chapter Ten: Compassionate conservation
Aside: Fortress conservation
Chapter Eleven: Manifesto for ethically consistent conservation

Acknowledgements
Index

Customer Reviews

Biography

Hugh Warwick is an ecologist, writer and hedgehog expert. He is the author of three non-fiction narratives: A Prickly Affair, The Beauty in the Beast and Linescapes, and two books on hedgehogs and beavers. He has written for BBC Wildlife, New Scientist, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, and has spoken about wildlife protection on national television and radio. Hugh is the spokesperson for the Hedgehog Preservation Society and runs courses on hedgehog conservation.

New
By: Hugh Warwick(Author)
304 pages, no illustrations
NHBS
Hugh Warwick deftly tackles one of the thorniest challenges in conservation biology: does the threat of invasive species justify the deployment of lethal methods?
Media reviews

"Invasive alien species are now considered to be one of the five major drivers of biodiversity loss globally. Efforts to mitigate the impacts of such species, often carried out in the name of conservation, usually mean that some form of lethal control is required. The use of this lethal control is problematic for many people, especially when the invasive alien being controlled is a bird or mammal, and it is perhaps understandable that many conservation organisations find this topic difficult to air with their supporters. Hugh Warwick’s book tackles this emotive subject head-on, seeking to understand the different and sometimes fractious views that exist when we effectively prioritise one animal over another. The author does this by meeting some of the individuals who have been, or still are, involved in active programmes to cull invasive species [...] Our use of language and willingness to turn a blind eye to the practicalities of killing at scale make the killing easier. This, however, is not the case for all of the people whom Hugh Warwick meets. Some see the central question of whether humans have the right to kill one animal to protect another more clearly. It is the conversations with these individuals that provide an opportunity to explore the ethics of killing, in a manner that cuts through the prejudice and passions that many of us bring to the debate about culling in the name of conservation. What is clear from this highly readable account is that this is an incredibly difficult and complex subject. [...] Although clearly passionate in his loathing of the idea of killing, Hugh Warwick maintains a balanced and honest perspective throughout the book and his encounters with those involved in what is portrayed by some as the dark side of conservation."
– Mike Toms, British Wildlife 35(7), June 2024

"Fascinating, intelligent and indispensable: Hugh Warwick tackles a crucial and difficult subject that has been avoided for far too long, and does so with style, insight and verve."
– George Monbiot

"It's hard to think of a more companionable guide to some of conservation's thorniest thickets than Hugh Warwick. Cull of the Wild is a journey navigated with courage, curiosity and compassion. Every nature lover should read it."
– Amy-Jane Beer

"With his customary good humour and grace, Hugh Warwick has tackled the knotted issues entailed in the control and culling of so-called pest species. While he might conclude that the matters themselves are invariably complex, his own approach is always clear and grounded in deep reflection."
– Mark Cocker

"The perfect introduction to the darker side of conservation, which Hugh Warwick explains with reverence and humour. A must read!"
– Kate Bradbury

"A crucially important book on a huge and urgent subject. Hugh Warwick is the perfect person to deal with this difficult and controversial issue, which few, if any, others would be brave enough to tackle."
– Stephen Moss

"This is a fascinating book which speaks volumes about its author: his tremendous erudition, his huge range of experience, his wit, his bonhomie, and above all his humility and determination to live as ethically as life allows."
– Nick Acheson

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