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By: Ian J Strange(Author)
160 pages, 115 colour & b/w photos
The Falkland Islands and Their Natural History is a replacement for a popular book written by the author in 1987. Brought up to date with new photographs and information it presents a picture of the Islands' unique wildlife, its environment and also a part of a life in the Falkland Islands which is disappearing. This is the human element; the people and their way of life which has close ties with the Islands' wildlife and its habitats.
Much of this past way of life was the exploitation of the Falklands' natural resouces which for many was a means of survival. What we tend to forget, even disregard, is the information left behind by these people. Although they would not recognise themselves as such, many were naturalists with a intimate knowledge of the environment around them. Their anecdotal writings tell us a lot about our natural environ's past history, giving us an insight into its future and, in many cases, presenting us with a valuable baseline.
What of the future for the Falkland's natural life? Over the years the author has been astounded by the resilience of nature and how quickly it can adapt, even to negative situations. As a field naturalist, now an almost-extinct breed with very little chance of being reintroduced into the present environment, he does see a situation arising which will have negative effects, not directly on the Islands' wildlife and environment, but in other ways.
The 1982 conflict brought a lot of attention to the Islands from the conservation and scientific world, which did some good work, but gradually there is emerging a very different form of conservation, which he would call "political conservation". We must now fit into "management plans" and face controls which do very little except take away the incentive and enthusiasm of those who wish to have the freedom to be their own conservationists.
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