What would Leopold do?

Considering assisted colonization as a conservation strategy

Authored by: Ben A. Minteer

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138827738
eBook ISBN: 9781315530215
Adobe ISBN: 9781315530208


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The reports are gloomy, and relentless. A recent analysis performed by the journal Nature found that, globally, 41 percent of all amphibians and 26 percent of mammal species are thought to currently face extinction, with considerably higher percentages at risk in the future if current threats, from climate change and habitat loss to species exploitation, continue unabated (Monastersky 2014). Similarly, the Audubon Society, in its widely cited 2014 Birds and Climate Report, projected that climate change would cause 314 of the 588 North American bird species studied to lose more than half their current climatic range by 2080, with extinction looming for those species unable to adapt to smaller or new spaces (http://climate.audubon.org/). Some ecologists have recently also suggested that we may be on the verge of a major extinction event in the planet’s ocean species, underscoring the biotic scope of the crisis across the seas as well as the land (McCauley et al. 2015).

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