A gripping account of the environmental crusade to save the world’s most endangered species and landscapes—the last best hope for preserving our natural home
Scientists worldwide are warning of the looming extinction of thousands of species, from tigers and polar bears to rare flowers, birds, and insects. If the destruction continues, a third of all plants and animals could disappear by 2050—and with them earth’s life-support ecosystems that provide our food, water, medicine, and natural defenses against climate change.
Now Caroline Fraser offers the first definitive account of a visionary campaign to confront this crisis: rewilding. Breathtaking in scope and ambition, rewilding aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators. Traveling with wildlife biologists and conservationists, Fraser reports on the vast projects that are turning Europe’s former Iron Curtain into a greenbelt, creating trans-frontier Peace Parks to renew elephant routes throughout Africa, and linking protected areas from the Yukon to Mexico and beyond.
An inspiring story of scientific discovery and grassroots action, Rewilding the World offers hope for a richer, wilder future.
Though the poisons of pollution and the encroachment of climate change are continuing environmental threats, it's the acceleration of biodiversity loss that most alarms Fraser (God's Perfect Child) in this well-sourced study of worldwide attempts to knit together enough ecosystems to keep life alive. The problem: the disappearance of nature itself—the mass extinction of species, from lumbering polar bears to fragile flowers—that could see half of all nonhuman life extinct by the end of this century. The solution: rewilding—a nascent “resurrection ecology” that designs wildlife refuges (“cores”) and, more importantly, creates corridors connecting one refuge to another so that species such as elephants, tigers and wolves can range more wildly, a key to survival. Successful rewilding in North America, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, has led to a rebound in mountain lion and bear populations; more unexpectedly, the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, a narrow 155-mile-long corridor uninhabited by humans for 55 years, has seen an ecological rebirth and is now home to 67 endangered species. Though Fraser's fact-heavy prose is slow reading, her story of grassroots activism paired with the scientific is environmentally inspirational. (Dec.)