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The Battle Against Invasive Species

by Sneed B. Collard III

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-75636-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Couching his presentation in warlike terms, Collard describes the strategies used by a variety of scientists against the occupation of parts of the United States and its territories by harmful exotic species. Brown tree snakes in Guam, red fire ants in the Southern states, Melaleuca trees in the Everglades and zebra mussels in Minnesota are his examples. Weapons include biological control agents and public education as well as old-fashioned hand removal. This title is thoroughly researched and clearly written, and it provides suggestions for reader action and further investigation on the Internet—but the focus is more on the species than the scientists, a departure for this otherwise excellent series. Although the text is extensively illustrated with color photographs, some choices are curious: Pictures of research buildings, a Hawaiian surfer and an unspoiled New Zealand seacoast fill space but don’t add information. Finally, the dense font may put off middle-school readers. Libraries will want this for teen research, but it does not have the appeal of other volumes in the highly regarded Scientists in the Field series. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)