Evidence is mounting that top carnivores and other large mammals play a pivotal role in regulating ecosystem health and function, yet those are the species that are most likely to have been eliminated by past human activities. In recent decades, numerous efforts have been undertaken to return some of the species that were previously extirpated on local or regional scales. "Large Mammal Restoration" brings together detailed case studies of those efforts, from restoring elk in Appalachia to returning bison herds to the Great Plains to the much-publicized effort to bring back the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park. Together these case studies offer important lessons and new ways of thinking for wildlife managers and conservation biologists involved with restoration programmes. Sections examine: approaches to determining the feasibility of a restoration programme; critical hands-on aspects of restoring large mammals; obtaining public input into the process and gaining community support for programmes; and the potential of some species to return without direct human intervention, and what can be done to facilitate that natural colonization. An introductory chapter by Reed F.
Noss explores some of the reasons for restoring large mammals, as well as some of the ecological and social complications, and a concluding overview by David S. Maehr disusses the evolutionary importance of large mammal restoration. Contributors include Paul C. Paquet, Barbara Dugelby, Steven H. Fritts, Paul R. Krausman, Larry D. Harris, Johnna Roy and many others. "Large Mammal Restoration" brings together in a single volume essential information on the lessons learned from previous efforts, providing a valuable resource for researchers and students of conservation biology and wildlife management as well as for policymakers, restoration advocates, and others involved with the planning or execution of a restoration programme.
David S. Maehr is assistant professor of conservation biology in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky and author of The Florida Panther (Island Press, 1997). Reed F. Noss is a consultant in conservation biology, past editor of the journal Conservation Biology, and president of the Society for Conservation Biology (1999 - 2001). He is the author of The Redwood Forest (Island Press, 2000), The Science of Conservation Planning (Island Press, 1997) and Saving Nature's Legacy (Island Press, 1994). He also wrote the foreword for Restoring Diversity (Island Press, 1996). Jeffery L. Larkin is a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky.