Extreme Conservation: Life at the Edges of the World

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The pages of Extreme Conservation are crammed with a variety of goats, antelopes, and more exotic animals, identified as they stake out territorial claims and struggle to survive in the most exacting climates. Author Joel Berger has conducted research in the world’s hottest and coldest deserts, explaining rather than laying blame on the diminishing populations of several species, determining how to slow their endangerment. He explores how both the human imprint and climate change contribute to the situation.

The first sections of the book start way up north, where Russia lies to the west and Alaska to the east. Over a span of years, he has carried out projects with crews that often comprise eager graduate students trained in biological sciences and who can wield new technological instruments to analyze the lifestyles of their stun-gunned targets. Berger’s long-standing fascination with the Arctic region explores animals whose nutrition depends on harvests of the sea and on wild caribou. This time, his attention is focused on studying the thought processes of muskoxen clustering in small groups for warmth and safety and the occasional solitary female that hides from telemetric clicks in barely visible snow holes. The book’s later chapters travel to the Tibetan plateau, to Bhutan and Mongolia where, again, Berger seeks out the challenging and almost mystifying existence of heavy, shaggy animals. He describes animals rarely encountered, even in zoos, an impressive list including chirus and saigas and takin. A glossary would be welcome. But no less impressive, a lengthy list of acknowledgements ensuring thanks to all who have taken part in his research over the years, attempting to establish a future for precarious populations. Berger’s extensive data and relaxed writing style make his esoteric subject endearing and humorous.

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Author Joel Berger
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publish Date 2018-Aug-02
ISBN 9780226366265
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2018
Category Science & Nature


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