Before listing the species involved, Mackay wisely introduces the planetary situation in which this ‘endangerment’ occurs, discussing where evolution ends and endangerment starts and how they overlap. An examination of ecosystems as habitats follows and the ‘Fragile Regions’ of the globe receive particular attention.
World maps in abundance follow, each devoted to a class of animal or plant (e.g. primates, big cats, seabirds, fish) and quantitatively illustrating the extent of endangerment throughout the planet. In each case a brief text explains the characteristics of each class and highlights noteworthy reasons for and examples of endangerment. Conservation issues ranging from animal biodiversity to plant and animal trading are then discussed and mapped before a country-by-country league table of threatened species and protected ecosystems is appended.
This is not a book for the casual browser but a useful aid to research by the already-informed student, teacher or lecturer – staffroom rather than school library.