Cull of the Wild: Killing in the Name of Conservation


Cull of the Wild: Killing in the Name of Conservation Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Pages: 304 Language: English ISBN: 9781399403740 Categories: , , , , , Tag:

Investigating the ethical and practical challenges of one of the greatest threats to biodiversity: invasive species.

Across the world, invasive species pose a danger to ecosystems. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity ranks them as a major threat to biodiversity on par with habitat loss, climate change and pollution. Tackling this isn’t easy, and no one knows this better than Hugh Warwick, a conservationist who loathes the idea of killing, harming or even eating animals. Yet as an ecologist, he is acutely aware of the need, at times, to kill invasive species whose presence harms the wider environment. Hugh explores the complex history of species control, revealing the global movement of species and the impacts of their presence. Combining scientific theory with gentle humour in his signature style, he explains the issues conservationists face to control non-native animals and protect native species – including grey and red squirrels on Anglesey, ravens and tortoises in the Mojave Desert, cane toads in Australia and the smooth-billed ani on the Galapagos – and describes cases like Pablo Escobar’s cocaine hippos and the Burmese python pet trade. Taking a balanced and open approach to this emotive subject, Hugh speaks to experts on all sides of the debate. How do we protect endangered native species? Which species do we prioritise? And how do we reckon with the ethics of killing anything in the name of conservation?

Contents: Introduction Chapter 1: Hedgehogs Aside: Cane toads Chapter 2: Residents Aside: Capercaillie and the pine marten Chapter 3: Squirrels Aside: Deer Chapter 4: Lundy Aside: Dormice Chapter 5: Scilly Aside: Galapagos Chapter 6: Orkney Aside: Raccoons Chapter 7: Minkicide Aside: Pythons Chapter 8: Keepers Aside: Cocaine hippos Chapter 9: New Zealand Aside: Scottish wildcat Chapter 10: Compassionate conservation Aside: Fortress conservation Chapter 11: Ethically consistent conservation – a manifesto Acknowledgements Further reading Index

Weight0.414072 kg




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Fascinating, intelligent and indispensable: Hugh Warwick tackles a crucial and difficult subject that has been avoided for far too long, and does so with style, insight and verve. * George Monbiot * Is killing for conservation right or wrong? There might be no easy answer, but Hugh Warwick employs honest and intelligent questioning in a fruitful, fascinating exploration of one of the skeletons in conservation’s cupboard. * Chris Packham * It's hard to think of a more companionable guide to some of conservation's thorniest thickets than Hugh Warwick. Cull of the Wild is a journey navigated with courage, curiosity and compassion. Every nature lover should read it. * Amy-Jane Beer * With his customary good humour and grace, Hugh Warwick has tackled the knotted issues entailed in the control and culling of so-called pest species. While he might conclude that the matters themselves are invariably complex, his own approach is always clear and grounded in deep reflection. * Mark Cocker * The perfect introduction to the darker side of conservation, which Hugh Warwick explains with reverence and humour. A must read! * Kate Bradbury * A crucially important book on a huge and urgent subject. Hugh Warwick is the perfect person to deal with this difficult and controversial issue, which few, if any, others would be brave enough to tackle. * Stephen Moss * This is a fascinating book which speaks volumes about its author: his tremendous erudition, his huge range of experience, his wit, his bonhomie, and above all his humility and determination to live as ethically as life allows. * Nick Acheson * A thoughtful analysis of how to accommodate animal rights in an era of unprecedented environmental change. * Kirkus Reviews * Hugh’s approach is heartfelt and balanced … his book will force everyone to reconsider how they feel about the widespread mindset behind this controversial and recurring approach to conservation. * Marc Bekoff * Timely … well written and researched. * Simon Lester, Country Life * Warwick’s searching meditation on the ethical uncertainties surrounding culling ... brings clarity and insight to a fraught subject. * Publishers Weekly *