Cover image for Habitats and ecosystems : an encyclopedia of endangered America
Habitats and ecosystems : an encyclopedia of endangered America
Crawford, Mark, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 398 pages ; 26 cm
General Note:
Companion volume to: Toxic waste sites.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH76 .C73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



A unique guide to little-known protected sites across America.

âeuro;¢ Appendixes provide information on important state agencies and lists of endangered and threatened species

Author Notes

Mark Crawford is a professional geologist and science editor.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This is a companion to Toxic Waste Sites: An Encyclopedia of Endangered America [RBB Ap 15 98], a unique book because no similar publication predated it. Habitats and Ecosystems is a state-by-state compilation of selected places that are of ecological and preservational significance. It, too, is unique in amalgamating information and providing a brief overview of many important sites within each state. The introduction explains that the author selected public-use sites that are pristine and high quality, have high biodiversity, or are habitats for rare or threatened and endangered species. Not included are sites "established to protect scenic views or rock formations," archeological or paleontological sites, and national parks and wildlife areas. Each state is introduced with a short description of geographic regions and dominant plant communities. Entries for sites might include parks, preserves, conservation areas, sanctuaries, and other similar locations. Each paragraph-long entry includes the acreage, general location, physical description, and important species. The number of sites per state varies because of the size of the state, the conservation activity within it, and each state's willingness to identify environmentally sensitive areas. In addition to the directory, there is a glossary of selected terms and several appendixes: national organization addresses, state organization addresses, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists of endangered and threatened flora and fauna. The 15 pages of selected references on ecology and preservation include general and state-specific articles and books. The index is an alphabetical list of all the sites, with the state indicated. The one concern about this book is physical. It is one of a group on which the publisher is using a shiny, attractive "bookcloth" cover. Durability is important in reference books and one wonders about the durability of this type of cover. It is always satisfying to be able to recommend a book because of its utility to a wide variety of library users. Students and teachers will find the names of important sites in their regions to be the springboard to further study, lessons, and reports. All those who study nature, such as artists, bird-watchers, and photographers, will find new places to observe. Vacationers will find this a good resource to help with travel plans. Most importantly, this compilation reminds us all of the need to maintain and protect the genetic diversity that allows nature to support and sustain all. Most library types should consider this a good addition to their environmental collections.

Choice Review

The major problem with this work is its wholly misleading title, implying that the book is a systematic treatment of American environments at risk, a work that would be much more interesting than what it actually is, an annotated list of protected areas in the US. In short, this is a directory, not an encyclopedia. That qualification noted, the work covers its subjects reasonably well, with one additional glaring fault. The basic organization is state-by-state; at the beginning of each entry there is a brief review of its physiography/environment, followed by a list of selected "special habitat sites," each succinctly described, including mention of important plant and animal species. Appendixes contain national organizations and offices; state organizations; state-by-state listing of federally endangered or threatened flora and fauna (unfortunately not keyed to the protected areas treated); selected general and state-by-state references. The index lists only the names of the protected areas treated in the rest of the book. Thus, the work is severely limited because there is no way to match a particular subject animal or plant species, or habitat or environment, to any protected areas without going over the entire compilation entry by entry. Despite its positive points, it is difficult to wholeheartedly recommend. General readers; undergraduates through professionals. C. H. Smith; Western Kentucky University