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The Last Butterflies: A Scientist’s Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing CreatureArtist/Author: Haddad, Nick
A remarkable look at the rarest butterflies, how global changes threaten their existence, and how we can bring them back from near-extinction. Most of us have heard of such popular butterflies as the Monarch or Painted Lady. But what about the Fender’s Blue? Or the St. Francis’ Satyr? Because of their extreme rarity, these butterflies are not well-known, yet they are remarkable species with important lessons to teach us. The Last Butterflies spotlights the rarest of these creatures – some numbering no more than what can be held in one hand. Drawing from his own first-hand experiences, Nick Haddad explores the challenges of tracking these vanishing butterflies, why they are disappearing, and why they are worth saving. He also provides startling insights into the effects of human activity and environmental change on the planet’s biodiversity.
Weaving a vivid and personal narrative with ideas from ecology and conservation, Haddad illustrates the race against time to reverse the decline of six butterfly species. Many scientists mistakenly assume we fully understand butterflies’ natural histories. Yet, as with the Large Blue in England, we too often know too little and the conservation consequences are dire. Haddad argues that a hands-off approach is not effective and that in many instances, like for the Fender’s Blue and Bay Checkerspot, active and aggressive management is necessary. With deliberate conservation, rare butterflies can coexist with people, inhabit urban fringes, and, in the case of the St. Francis’ Satyr, even reside on bomb ranges and military land. Haddad shows how, through protection and restoration efforts, we might face conservation issues for all animals and plants.
A moving account of extinction, recovery, and hope, The Last Butterflies demonstrates the great value of these beautiful insects to science, conservation, and people.
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South AfricaArtist/Author: Samways, Michael J.
ONE COPY ONLY THEN OUT OF PRINT. Pensoft Series Faunistica, No. 70. Dragonflies are a beautiful, important and conspicuous component of freshwater, whether still or flowing. They are also important indicators of freshwater quality and condition, which is significant for current and future conservation initiatives in South Africa. The country’s dragonflies are particularly interesting as many are special or endemic to the area, making it a part of the world of great conservation significance. Sadly however, many of these endemic species are highly threatened, especially by invasive alien trees which shade out their habitat. This book is about this exciting dragonfly fauna. Besides aiming at increasing awareness of these lovely and sensitive insects, it enables their identification, using several approaches, from simple flick-through to the use of comprehensive identification keys. Each species is also given a Dragonfly Biotic Index, covering a spectrum from the most common, widespread and tolerant species through to the most threatened, rare and sensitive ones. Michael Samways is Professor and Chair of the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University., He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has published 260 scientific papers and written several books on insect biology and conservation, the most recent of which is Insect Diversity Conservation, Cambridge University Press. He has won several awards, and in the last two years, these include the Stellenbosch University Rector’s Award for Research Excellence, the John Herschel Medal from the Royal Society of South Africa, and the Senior Captain Scott Medal from the South African Academy for Science and Art. Michael is on several international editorial boards and involved with various international committees devoted to invertebrate conservation. Indeed, his research team is dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates and other biodiversity, which so enrich our planet.