Ex­treme Con­ser­va­tion

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild At Home - BY JOEL BERGER, UNIVER­SITY OF CHICAGO PRESS, £22.50 Michael En­gel­hard Writer and wilder­ness guide

Life at the mar­gins has long weath­ered ex­tremes: Ti­betan wild yaks, Arc­tic musk-oxen, Bhutanese takin (‘gnu goats’), and the Gobi’s saiga an­telopes all be­came in­ured to dry­ness, thin air, and cold. Now, cli­mate change, preda­tors and hunters are driv­ing these “elu­sive, daz­zling trea­sures” to the brink. In re­fresh­ingly foot­note-free dis­patches, con­ser­va­tion bi­ol­o­gist Joel Berger re­veals traits that may yet al­low slow re­pro­duc­ing herd an­i­mals to adapt. Faced with the “dis­qui­et­ing des­per­a­tion” that per­vades the no-longer-so-icy bar­rens, Berger’s so­lu­tion is stub­bornly sim­ple: “Main­tain what we have and re­store what we’ve lost.”

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