Precious Heritage

Precious Heritage : The Status of Biodiversity in the United States

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From the lush forests of Appalachia to the frozen tundra of Alaska, and from the tallgrass prairies of the Midwest to the subtropical rainforests of Hawaii, the United States harbors a remarkable array of ecosystems. These ecosystems in turn sustain an exceptional variety of plant and animal life. For species such as salamanders and freshwater turtles, the United States ranks as the global center of diversity. Among the nation's other unique biological features are California's coast redwoods, the world's tallest trees, and Nevada's Devils Hole pupfish, which survives in a single ten-by-seventy-foot desert pool, the smallest range of any vertebrate animal. Precious Heritage draws together for the first time a quarter century of information on U.S. biodiversity developed by natural heritage programs from across the country. This richly illustrated volume not only documents those aspects of U.S. biodiversity that are particularly noteworthy, but also considers how our species and ecosystems are faring, what is threatening them, and what is needed to protect the nation's remaining natural inheritance.
Above all, Precious Heritage is a celebration of the extraordinary biological diversity of the United States.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 426 pages
  • 213.36 x 284.48 x 35.56mm | 1,564.89g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • numerous colour halftone and line illustrations
  • 0195125193
  • 9780195125191

Review quote

" ... a welcome resource for everybody who wants to do the right thing for future generations while still living well today" Coporate Environmental Strategy "In Precious Heritage some of the leading experts on the subject present the most comprehensive and accessible account of the state of the American biota to date. They invite us to turn inward, not by abandoning global conservation but by conserving our own fauna and flora in a manner that will set a shining example for the rest of the world." -from the Foreword by Edward O. Wilson
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Table of contents

Foreword ; Preface ; Contributors ; Participating Institutions ; Acknowledgements ; 1. Biodiversity: Our Precious Heritage ; 2. Discovering Life in America: Tools and Techniques of Biodiversity Inventory ; 3. A Remarkable Array: Species Diversity in the United States ; 4. Conservation Status of U.S. Species ; 5. State of the States: Geographic Patterns of Diversity, Rarity, and Endemism ; 6. The Geography of Imperilment: Targeting Conservation towards Critical Biodiversity Areas ; 7. More than the Sum of the Parts: Diversity and Status of Ecological Systems ; 8. Leading Threats to U.S. Biodiversity: What's Threatening Imperiled Species ; 9. Strategies for Biodiversity Protection ; 10. Owning Up to Our Responsibilities: Who Owns Lands Important for Biodiversity? ; 11. Safeguarding Our Precious Heritage ; Appendix A: Extinct and missing species of the United States ; Appendix B: State Diversity, Endemism, and Rarity ; Appendix C: Kuchler Potential Natural Vegetation Types ; Appendix D: Principal Sources for the Natural Heritage Central Databases ; Literature Cited
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