"Bird versus Bulldozer" by Audrey L. Mayer

Bird versus Bulldozer A Quarter-Century Conservation Battle in a Biodiversity Hotspot Audrey L. Mayer

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
23 Mar 2021
ISBN:
9780300247909
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
312 pages: 216 x 140mm
Illustrations:
9 b-w illus.

The story of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher is a parable for understanding the larger ongoing struggle to conserve biodiversity in regions confronted with intensifying urban development. Because this gnatcatcher depends on vanishing coastal sage scrub in Southern California, it has been regarded as a flagship species for biodiversity protection since the early 1990s. But the uncertainty of the gnatcatcher’s taxonomic classification—and whether it can be counted as a “listable unit” under the Endangered Species Act—has provoked contentious debate among activists, scientists, urban developers, and policy makers. Synthesizing insights from ecology, environmental history, public policy analysis, and urban planning as she tracks these debates over the course of the past twenty-five years, Mayer presents an ultimately optimistic take on the importance of much-neglected regional conservation planning strategies to create sustainable urban landscapes that benefit humans and wildlife alike.

Audrey Mayer is a professor of ecology and environmental policy in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University. Her research focuses on the intersection of ecology and public policy. She lives in Houghton, Michigan.