New textbook offers guidance for successful species reintroduction
CLEMSON — Clemson University wildlife ecology assistant professor David Jachowski is the primary co-editor of a new textbook on best practices for reintroducing fish and wildlife to areas where it once flourished but is now extinct or languishing.
The first-of-its-kind text “Reintroduction of fish and wildlife populations” compiles writings from experts in the developing conservation field of reintroduction biology, the practice of deliberately releasing species into the wild to mitigate species loss or endangerment. The book is published by University of California Press.
The early days of species reintroduction could involve such blunt measures as dropping beavers from airplanes or releasing zoo-raised animals directly into the wild. But as the field of reintroduction biology has evolved, so have the protocols and techniques for successful reintroductions.
“There are many biological, ecological, human and political factors that determine the success or failure of species reintroduction. This book brings together the brightest minds in reintroduction biology in a practical guide to help ensure success,” Jachowski said.
Recent successful North American species reintroductions include the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park, lake trout to the Great Lakes, the California condor to the desert Southwest and cheetahs to southern Africa. Each reintroduction provided unique challenges to overcome and lessons to be learned.
“We see the book as an essential guide for academics, students and professionals in natural resource management,” Jachowski said. “The need to get species reintroduction right has never been more important as more of our planet’s wildlife is threated by climate change and human encroachment, and as success and failure have implications for how the public views the entire field of wildlife conservation.”
The book is already in use as the primary text in a new course taught by Jachowski at Clemson for fish and wildlife biology graduate students.
Jachowski worked with co-editors Joshua Millspaugh, University of Montana; Paul Angermeier, Virginia Tech; and Rob Slotow, University of KwaZulu- Natal in South Africa.
This is Jachowski’s second book focusing on conservation biology. His first book, “Wild Again: The struggle to save the black-footed ferret,” describes his decade-long experience working to save the ferret and reveals the scientific and human aspects of conservation as well as the dedication required to protect a species on the edge of extinction.