Scientist pens new book on conservation in Canada

Textbook geared toward students and new practitioners is the first to address issues of biodiversity in a Canadian context.

Katie Willis - 26 November 2019

A new book written by a University of Alberta ecologist provides an accessible guide to biodiversity conservation in Canada-the first of its kind to focus specifically on Canadian species and ecosystems.

"Conservation is, at heart, about making good decisions about our interactions with the natural world," said Richard Schneider, author and research associate in the Department of Biological Sciences. "This book is designed to help practitioners contribute effectively to those decisions. Its incorporation of both the social and scientific aspects of conservation and its emphasis on real-world applications are also unique."

The book, Biodiversity Conservation in Canada - From Theory to Practice, covers the history of conservation, its social and scientific foundations, threats to biodiversity, and applied techniques through the lens of both species and ecosystems. There is also an entire chapter on climate change, which is very timely given the limited guidance available to students and practitioners on this important topic.

"Climate change is making us rethink many of our conservation objectives," explained Schneider. "What does it mean to maintain biodiversity in a constantly changing world? Given the dynamic nature of conservation, the book does not provide stock answers to specific problems. Instead, it provides readers with the tools they need for navigating complex management issues, whatever they may be."

Context is critical

Geared toward both students and practitioners, Schneider's book is written with a specific focus on Canada-because in conservation, context is critical. In fact, it is the first and only book to tackle biodiversity conservation specifically in a Canadian context.

"How conservation is done depends on where it is done," said Schneider. "The specific types of threats matter; the existing laws and policies matter; institutions matter; the values and concerns of local people matter; history matters, and so on."

The result is a tailored guide, designed specifically to meet the needs of Canadian practitioners and students, and to link conservation theory and practice.

Learn more about Biodiversity Conservation in Canada - From Theory to Practice, including where you can find a copy here.