Endangered species is a more complex issue and problem than it may seem on the surface. What species are endangered, and what is causing them to become vulnerable to population decline? How can essential industries such as farming, housing development, and manufacturing continue to thrive without harming flora and fauna that are protected? Are current efforts adequate or should more be done to protect endangered species? And who should be responsible for the substantial costs of working to save endangered species?
Endangered Species: A Reference Handbook begins with an introduction that addresses major threats and extinctions in history, discusses the geographical and cultural contexts in which these incidents happened, highlights other key moments along the endangered species timeline, and clearly shows why the topic of endangered species matters. The following sections examine an unbiased synthesis of classic and contemporary studies that inform the issue of endangered species and outline the most controversial events related to endangered species and the actions that have been taken to address them. Endangered Species also presents perspective essays by scholars, activists, and other experts to provide diverse informed opinions on the issue of endangered species and includes a data and documents chapter that applies research finding to provide answers to questions like what species are most likely to become endangered in the future and which practices have historically been the most effective at protecting vulnerable species.
Jan A. Randall, PhD, is professor emerita at San Francisco State University's Department of Biology. She has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and was previously the associate editor of Animal Behavior.