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Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance

Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance

Jane Drake and Ann Love
Annick Press,
2017
88 pp.
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As the human population grows, we are relentlessly encroaching on the natural habitats that surround us. This book defines and describes the science and process of an increasingly important mechanism for conservation known as “rewilding.”

Rewilders, we learn, want to restore habitats to their prehuman states, creating environments that can support native species and give them room to thrive. The authors first describe the basics of this process, including why it is important, and then discuss several examples of where, why, and how rewilding is happening. These include everything from the Pleistocene rewilding plan, which advocates reintroducing modern stand-ins for megafauna that went extinct at the end of the last ice age, to the rewilding of New York City’s “High Line,” an abandoned, elevated train track where lacewing insects have been released to prevent infestations of harmful bugs.

The book is well targeted toward middle-grade readers because it accurately describes rewilding while remaining accessible and interesting. The authors’ positive tone is both refreshing and important. They present rewilding stories in a way that clearly lays out why the process is ecologically important and why it is important for human society as well.

About the author

The reviewer is a Deputy editor at Science.