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Nature Wars

The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds

Sterba, Jim

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Nature Wars
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After the Second World War people moved first into suburbs on urban edges, and then kept moving out across a landscape once occupied by family farms. By 2000, a majority of Americans lived in neither cities nor country but in that vast in-between. Much of sprawl has plenty of trees and its human residents offer up more and better amenities than many wild creatures can find in the wild: plenty of food, water, hiding places, and protection from predators with guns. The result is a mix of people and wildlife that should be an animal-lover’s dream-come-true, but often turns into a sprawl-dweller’s nightmare.
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0307341968
9780307341969
9780307985668
Branch Call Number: 304.20973 S8381n 2012
Characteristics: xxiv, 343 p. ;,25 cm

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List - Vermin or urban wildlife? by: multcolib_tamaf Mar 27, 2014

Many of us live in neither city nor country but in that vast in-between that has plenty of trees and better amenities than many wild creatures can find in the wild. The result is a mix of people and wildlife that should be an animal-lover’s dream-come-true, but often turns into a sprawl-dweller’s... Read More »


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Nov 03, 2014
  • tfcameron rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I read this book because I am very interested in wildlife issues that are present on Gabriola and other places that I have lived. I started with chapters titled sequentially: The Elegant Ungulate, Lawn Carp, and Gobblers. The text details the: the history of deer primarily in eastern USA, resident Canada geese, and turkeys in the urban/suburban interface.
The book discusses how and why they have become "problems" and some of the solutions that have been tried. Even though I am an ecologist some of the exposition was a revelation, especially the history of these species in the early post-colonial period.
Jim Sterba isn’t a scientist and this probably makes for a clearer more journalistic book that is willing to looking critically at phenomenon like; pets as family, animal rights, and social media in wildlife management and the Nature Wars.
I am not a pet person but I was totally fascinated by his history of cats as pets. This was a preamble to the chapter Feral Felines which discusses the TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) concept/movement for dealing with the issue of “wild” cats. If you are not open to considering the quote that “TNR is a symptom of the gross ecological illiteracy that blights this nation. It’s cruel to cats and dangerous to people and wildlife.”, then this probably is not the book for you.
The book is so well-written and contemporary that I continued to read the remainder if the book as I was interested in his take on feeding birds, beaver, forest issues.
The 25 page epilogue is much more than a summary as it is used to fill in some of the blanks in the text and even present new topics. There is the curious suggestion that wild venison could just be what locavores are looking for, “free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced and harvested, sustainable…… meat”. tfc

Aug 20, 2013
  • lilypepper rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I found this book badly researched, written, and edited. In talking about pre-colonial North America, the author makes broad generalizations about "Indians", without differentiating between First Nations groups. I found this offensively lazy. This is an interesting topic, but poorly done.

May 08, 2013
  • Malonesd rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The historical perspective clearly presents the conflicts between men and wildlife populations. Solutions tried and potential solutions are offered in a non-judgemental, informative and compassionate style.

This book was very well researched but done in a very interesting format of writing. I would highly recommend it.

Mar 30, 2013
  • Saanich rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Living in an are where the deer population is exploding, I found this very interesting, especially the historical context.

Dec 26, 2012
  • Jane60201 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I loved the first part of the book about the history of American reforestation after the initial colonial period. However, I found the sections on "backyard battlegrounds" sort of tedious as this subject has been well reported in the press.

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