Friday, January 25, 2019

Ten of 2018's best books about climate change, conservation and the environment

At Forbes, GrrlScientist tagged ten of 2018's best books about climate change, conservation and the environment, including:
Cane Toad Wars by Rick Shine

In 1935, white Australians (an alien invasive species) imported 101 cane toads (also an alien invasive species, as it turned out) from South America to eat beetles that were devastating the sugar cane crop (another alien species) in Queensland. What happened next is chilling because cane toads did not eat the insects they were supposed to eat, but they did quickly invade all of northern Australia, becoming fabulously, wildly successful. But more than just re-telling the history of this most fearsome of all man-made ecological disasters, Rick Shine, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Sydney, explores the complex and often nuanced story: the adaptation of the toads to their new environment and of their new environment to them, writing that these events have much to teach us about evolution and ecological resilience. This engaging firsthand account tells the personal story of Professor Shine’s lifetime of research into cane toads and how rigorous natural history studies can effectively inform conservation policies and practices. Professor Shine also makes a strong argument in support of that (apparently) most quaint of scientific practices: field work.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Cane Toad Wars.

--Marshal Zeringue