Popular Biodiversity Books: Issues to Ponder Upon

Author: Sherry Helms

As declared by the United Nations, the world is celebrating today, on May 22, the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB), an annual event that is proclaimed with an intent to increase understanding and awareness about the issues related to Earth’s biodiversity.

Enlisted below some popular Biodiversity Books that deals with the different biodiversity issues, especially those posing serious danger to the Earth’s ecology, and that are written by the renowned veteran of the subject like professors, naturalists and entomologists. These books may help you better understand the current scenario of the subject as well as make you aware about what you are supposed to do  and what not in order to safeguard the nature that we all love and live in.

The Future of Life – The eminent Harvard naturalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson organizes his prodigious intellect and imagination in this impassioned call to ensure the future of life. Opening with an imagined conversation with Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond, he combines lyrical descriptions with dire warnings and remarkable stories of flora and fauna on the edge of extinction with hard economics. He deals with the questions like: How many species are we really losing? Is environmentalism truly contrary to economic development? And how can we save the planet? Having penned an eloquent plea for the need for a global land ethic, he offers the strategies necessary to ensure life on earth based on foresight, moral courage, and the best tools that science and technology can provide.

The Diversity of Life (Questions of Science) – Watching from the edge of the Brazilian rain forest, witness to the sort of violence nature visits upon its creatures, the Harvard University entomologist Edward. Wilson reflects on the crucible of evolution, and so begins his remarkable account of how the living world became diverse and how humans are destroying that diversity. In this book, Wilson takes a sweeping view of our planet’s natural richness, remarking on what on the surface seems a paradox: “almost all the species that ever lived are extinct, and yet more are alive today than at any time in the past.”

The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance – No one in this century can speak with greater authority on the progress of ideas in biology than Ernst Mayr. And no book has ever established the life sciences so firmly in the mainstream of Western intellectual history as “The Growth of Biological Thought.” Ten years in preparation, this is a work of epic proportions, tracing the development of the major problems of biology from the earliest attempts to find order in the diversity of life, to modern research into the mechanisms of gene transmission.

The Balance of Nature: Ecology’s Enduring Myth – The idea of a balance of nature has been a dominant part of Western philosophy since before Aristotle, and it persists in the public imagination and even among some ecologists today. In this lively and thought-provoking book, John Kricher demonstrates that the nature in fact is not in balance, nor has it ever been at any stage in Earth’s history. He explains how and why this notion of a natural world in balance has endured for so long, and he shows why, in these times of extraordinary human influence on the planet’s ecosystems, it is critical that we accept and understand that evolution is a fact of life, and that ecology is far more dynamic than we ever imagined.

The End of the Wild – With the extinction rate at 3000 species a year and accelerating, we can now predict that as many as half of the Earth’s species will disappear within the next 100 years. The species that will survive be the ones that are most compatible with us: the weedy species–from mosquitoes to coyotes. The End of the Wild by Stephen M. Meyer is a wake-up call. Drawing on the evidence from the last ten years of research on environment, Meyer argues that no national or international laws, global bio reserves and local sustainability schemes will change the course that has been set. Like it or not, we can no longer talk about conserving nature. The race to save biodiversity is over, but that doesn’t mean our work is over. Now, what we need to do is to create new strategies for managing and protecting what is left.

Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity – Homosexuality in its myriad forms has been scientifically documented in more than 450 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and other animals worldwide. Biological Exuberance is the first comprehensive account of the subject that brings together accurate, accessible, and non-sensationalized information. Based on a rich body of zoological research spanning more than two centuries, Bruce Bagemihl shows that animals engage in all types of non-reproductive sexual behavior which poses danger to Earth’s biological diversity. He firmly shatters the prevailing notion that homosexuality is uniquely human and only occurs in “unnatural” circumstances.

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