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The Atlas of Global Conservation

Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference

Jonathan Hoekstra (Author), Jennifer L. Molnar (Author), Michael Jennings (Author), Carmen Revenga (Author), Mark D. Spalding (Author), Timothy M. Boucher (Author), James C. Robertson (Author), Thomas J. Heibel (Author), Katherine Ellison (Author) & 4 more

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 272 pages
ISBN: 9780520262560
April 2010
$58.95, £50.00
Visually rich, up-to-date, and authoritative, The Atlas of Global Conservation is a premier resource for everyone concerned about the natural world. Drawing from the best data available, it is an unprecedented guide to the state of the planet and our most pressing resource and environmental issues. Top scientists at The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and water, have joined forces to create this extraordinary reference. It features 79 richly-detailed, fullcolor maps and other graphics paired with an informative, inviting discussion of major trends across the world’s terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. Interspersed throughout, essays by noted international authorities point the way forward in confronting some of our greatest conservation challenges.

• The most comprehensive single volume on global environmental conservation and future sustainability

• Includes the latest data on environmental threats, such as climate change, water use, habitat protection, deforestation and overfishing

• Full-color maps and graphics are designed to facilitate sideby-side comparisons, empowering readers to draw their own conclusions

• Brings together information that has been widely dispersed across myriad publications and databases in a format thatinvites evaluation and application

• Supporting data is available on an accompanying website
Acknowledgments x

Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy

Paul R. Ehrlich, Stanford University, Stanford University

1. Introduction 1

Taylor Ricketts, World Wildlife Fund

Terrestrial Ecoregions, Realms, and Biomes 8

Freshwater Ecoregions and Basins 10

Marine Ecoregions, Provinces, and Realms 12

Jon Christensen, Stanford University

2. Habitats 19

Forests and Woodlands: Giving Trees 22

Grasslands: Where the Buffalo Roamed 24

Deserts and Aridlands: Hardy Life under Harsh Conditions 26

Rivers and Wetlands: The Planet’s Lifeblood 28

Lakes: Fragile Pools of Life 30

Caves and Karst: Troves of Subterranean Species 32

Steven J. McCormick, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Coasts and Shelves: The Sea’s Sunlit Margins 36

Coral Reefs: Crown Jewels of the Ocean 38

Mangrove Forests: Bridging Land and Sea 40

Seagrass Beds: Marine Meadows 42

Salt Marshes: Living Filters along Our Coasts 44

High Seas and Deep Oceans: Earth’s Uncharted "Inner Space" 46

3. Species 49

Plants: A Vital Variety 52

Freshwater Fish: A Diverse Cast 54

Amphibians: Fragile Markers of the Planet’s Health 56

Reptiles: Prehistoric Survivors 58

Martin Wikelski, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Konstaz University, and David S. Wilcove, Princeton University

Birds: Everyday, Everywhere Wildlife 64

Mammals: Shared Destiny with Our Closest Kin 66

Endemic Species: In the Narrowest Niches 68

Evolutionary Distinction: Branches on the Tree of Life 70

Greg Mock, former editor, World Resources Report

4. A World of Change 75

Human Population: Outnumbering Nature 78

Consuming Nature: Running Out of Planet? 80

Climate Change: The Planetary Emergency 82

Joel E. Cohen, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities

Habitat Loss on Land: Going, Going,… 88

Coastal Development: Reshaping the Seashore 90

Bottom Trawling and Dredging: Scouring the Seafloor 92

Landscape Fragmentation: Going to Pieces 94

Thwarted Fish Runs: Up against a Wall 96

John Peterson Myers, Environmental Health Sciences

Freshwater Pollution: Clear but Hazardous 102

Nitrogen Pollution: Too Much of a Good Thing 104

Ruin of the Reefs: Fading Jewels, Lost Wealth 106

Into the Wild: The Cost of Expanding Human Access 108

M. Sanjayan, The Nature Conservancy

Forest Clearing: Uprooting Nature 112

Water Stress: Overused and Undermanaged 114

Overfishing: Emptying the Oceans 116

Wildlife Trade: Sold into Extinction 118

Jackie Alder, United Nations Environment Programme, and Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia

Fire: Healthy Doses of Destruction 122

Dams and Reservoirs: Clogging Earth’s Arteries 124

Sediment Flow: Starving Some Habitats, Smothering Others 126

Melting Ice and Rising Seas: Squeezing the Coasts 128

Disappearing Glaciers: Ice Storage on a Slippery Slope 130

Jonathan M. Hoekstra, The Nature Conservancy

Terrestrial Invaders: Unwelcome Guests 134

Freshwater Invaders: Good Intentions with Costly Consequences 136

Marine Invaders: Stowaways Attacking Our Coasts 138

Terrestrial Animals at Risk: More in Jeopardy Each Year 140

Freshwater Animals at Risk: Are Their Futures Drying Up? 142

Marine Animals at Risk: Sea Life Unraveling 144

5. Taking Action 147

Protected Areas on Land: Triumph for Nature 150

Protecting Rivers, Lakes, and Wetlands: Thinking beyond Park Boundaries 152

Marine Protected Areas: Oases for Fish and People 154

Protecting Nature’s Services: Dividends from the Wealth of Nature 156

Scott A. Morrison, The Nature Conservancy

International Cooperation: Saving the Whales—and More 160

Greening the Marketplace: Certifiably Profitable 162

Collaborative Solutions: Problem-Solving Partnerships 164

Gretchen C. Daily, Marilyn Cornelius, and Charles J. Katz, Jr., Stanford University, and Brian Shillinglaw, New Forests, Inc.

Rule of Law: Protecting the Commons 168

Individual Action: Parting the Waters 170

Restoring Nature: Mending the Web of Life 172

6. Conclusion Our Future, Our Choices 175

Appendix A: Ecoregions Index Maps 180
Appendix B: Technical Notes and References 200
Index 229
About the authors 234
Currently, Jonathan M. Hoekstra directs The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Program and teaches at the University of Washington. Jennifer L. Molnar is a senior scientist on the Conservancy’s Ecosystem Services Team. Michael Jennings is an adjunct professor at the University of Idaho. Carmen Revenga and Mark D. Spalding are senior scientists on the Conservancy’s Marine Team. Timothy M. Boucher is a senior conservation geographer for the Conservancy’s Ecosystem Services Team. James C. Robertson is GIS manager for the Conservancy’s Colorado Program. Thomas J. Heibel is a technical research associate at BCS, Inc. Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer–Prize winning investigative journalist and author of three books including The Economy of Nature.
“Encouraging.”—Marilyn K. Alaimo Chicago Botanic Garden
“Distinguished by outstanding global maps depicting environmental trends across the globe, The Atlas of Global Conservation is highly recommended for high-school, undergraduate, public, and special libraries.”—Booklist
“Every academic library should own a copy of this reasonably priced, captivating, unique title.”—J. Nabe Choice
“For many conservation issues, we need to think big, and maps that help us visualize the impact of humans on the planet can facilitate thinking beyond our usual boundaries and time frames.”—Conservation Magazine
“A few years ago, The Nature Conservancy, which since 1951 has protected more than 119 million acres of land, felt the need for a rethink. . . . So the group began mining global data sets from institutions around the world to find out the state of every habitat on Earth. One result of the three-year effort is The Atlas of Global Conservation, a 272-page book rich with maps detailing everything from the world’s shipping routes to the percentage of protected lands.”—Men's Journal
“This is a fascinating resource and is pitched at an accessible level that should enable communication of a wealth of information to the interested public and policymakers.”—Qtly Review Of Biology
The new maps, which rely on collating everything from satellite data to field expeditions to fish species counts in specific locales, reveal that most areas of the world have already warmed as a result of climate change; almost all coastal ecosystems are now impacted by excess flows of nitrogen and other fertilizers, along with a decrease in sediment; and many regions of the world (if not all, because the rest lack sufficient data) now enjoy at least five invasive mammal species and three invading freshwater plants or animal species.—Scientific American
"The atlas offers readers a chance to asess the natural world."—The Nature Conservancy
"What a treasure! It's exciting to see so much real information about nature and its fate presented so beautifully and accessibly. The Atlas' fact-backed case for urgent action builds steadily to a compelling conclusion. And the writing is every bit as good as the excellent graphics and photographs."—James Gustave Speth, author of Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment

"Just as that first image of earth from space revealed the miraculous living planet we call home in a new light, this atlas rivets our attention both on its wonders and the opportunities to conserve it and provide a passport to a better future."—Thomas E. Lovejoy, The Heinz Center

"An amazing book. The story of life on earth, told through one-of-a-kind maps, stunning photos, and engaging stories. For decades, scientists have dreamed of the day when we would have enough information about the world's biodiversity to prepare maps like these. A must-have resource, source of inspiration, and guide for action."—Walter V. Reid, David and Lucile Packard Foundation

"Maps inspire conservation and partnerships everywhere we work. We should be grateful that one of the rising stars in conservation science, Jon Hoekstra, and his team, here give us superlative global data and maps of the world's riches and threats. An Atlas that focuses the mind on our investments where they can make the greatest difference."—Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund

Best of the Best from University Presses, Association of American University Presses

Outstanding Academic Title in Earth Science, Choice, a publication of the American Library Association

Presentation at Google by The Nature Conservancy's Lead Scientist, Dr. M. Sanjayan

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