In the same handsome format as Facklam's book on hibernation, Do Not Disturb (1989), here's a well-organized survey of the causes and victims of extinction--plus some examples of instructive eleventh-hour recoveries. Be ginning with the poignant story of Lonesome George, last surviving tortoise of one of the several Galapagos Islands species, Facklam points out that ""No species. . .has lived more than a few million years"" and outlines the dynamics of natural selection. She chooses particular cases to illustrate factors that have led to extinction--extraterrestrial forces that may have killed the dinosaurs; hunters, including prehistoric men who inadvertently exterminated mammoths; unnatural introductions (European starlings have crowded out North American bluebirds); chemicals and other depredations of humanity. While putting extinction in its historical context as a natural as well as man-made phenomenon, Facklam concludes sensibly that we should ""keep the earth clean [and] stop polluting and destroying the habitats of other living things."" A well-reasoned, readable presentation, attractively illustrated with soft pencil drawings. Index.