Written by an author with longstanding experience in the ecology of insects and birds and with a stellar academic record in molecular life sciences, this is a welcome challenge to the widely held beliefs in conventional environmental policies. Werner Kunz convincingly explains why maintaining high biodiversity in Europe depends heavily on the existence of open space and sparse ground vegetation that is neither used for intensive modern agriculture, nor eliminated by reforestation. He questions the commonly propagated opinion that nature conservation is equivalent to species protection - and shows that technical habitat design can rescue endangered species. A must-have for environmental agencies, policy makers, ecologists and all who are witnessing the current loss of species in Central Europe.
Currently a professor in Dusseldorf, Germany, Werner Kunz studied biology, chemistry, and physics in Munster and spent two postdoc years at Yale University in New Haven, U.S.A. Although he was educated as a zoologist, he switched to Drosophila genetics and worked on chromosomes and ribosomal DNA. He later changed his field of interest again, carrying out research into molecular parasitology, and for the past ten years has participated in the teaching of philosophy of science. Professor Kunz is currently continuing the hobby he began at a very early age, photographing birds and butterflies as a field biologist all over the globe.
Preface Aims of the book What is nature? What is nature protection? Mythos wood Ideological burden of the idea of nature conservation The prime objective of National parks in Central Europe is not rescue of endangered species Threats to biodiversity in Europe differ from threats in other continents. What makes Neozoa so special? Regional Red lists of endangered species mainly aim at cultural heritage protection, not species protection. Dramatic decrease of Central European bird and butterfly species during the last decades. Conservation biology is not the same as species conservation. Protection of the environment is not the same as species protection. Military training grounds, industrial and urban areas as last refuges of endangered species. Man as antagonist of nature. Land sparing vs. land sharing (separation of areas for species from areas for agriculture) Active manipulation of habitats as a solution against species extinction. Winter feeding of birds and nesting boxes as interference factors of ecological equivalence Golden Plover, Godwit and Great Bustard: examples of European breeding birds on manipulated habitats. Who kills more birds: Mediterranean hunters or cats? The importance of population genetics for species protection List of species Glossary