Kirkus Reviews QR Code


The New Agenda for Biodiversity

by Roger L. DiSilvestro

Pub Date: July 16th, 1993
ISBN: 0-471-57244-6
Publisher: Wiley

 DiSilvestro (Living with the Reptiles, 1990, etc.) draws on a number of cutting-edge ecotheories to fashion this strong critique of our nation's pitiful handling of its wild areas. Everywhere DiSilvestro looks he sees problems with our public spaces: National forests manipulated by timber interests; public mineral deposits essentially given away to mining operators; public rangeland at the mercy of bovine hooves--even park concessionaires in on the action with outrageous fee structures. But to the author, one problem stands out as more insidious, less in the public spotlight, and graver by far than greed and corruption: the fragmentized nature of our wilderness holdings, which fails to provide corridors between wild places. Corridors are strips of wildland--bridges--between protected areas, fundamental to ensuring everything from biodiversity (of which DiSilvestro speaks with the lucidity of an E.O. Wilson) to shelter from the many storms that beset wildlife. These corridors can be as small as an underpass or as large as any Montana valley, but without them loss of species will continue at the appalling rate it does today, when animal and plant extinction within our park system is a nasty little secret. DiSilvestro not only addresses why we should be protecting all that remains of the wild--discussing preservation in its spiritual (ancientness of life), emotional (immersion in nature), and practical (pharmaceuticals) aspects--but he goes on to outline a modest proposal for biodiversity protection. A wealth of current ecological thinking that will prove a gold mine to those behind in their reading, with enough new material to keep the well-versed interested.