Endangered Species

A Reference Handbook

by Jan A. Randall


Despite the best efforts of conservational and environmental activists, there are still many species of animals and plants around the world experiencing population decline.

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Cover image for Endangered Species

January 2018


Pages 396
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Environment

A detailed exploration of the variety of threats that endangered species are facing around the world, whether they are due to human impact or so-called natural causes.

Endangered species is a more complex issue and problem than it may seem on the surface. What species are endangered, and what is causing them to become vulnerable to population decline? How can essential industries such as farming, housing development, and manufacturing continue to thrive without harming flora and fauna that are protected? Are current efforts adequate or should more be done to protect endangered species? And who should be responsible for the substantial costs of working to save endangered species?

Endangered Species: A Reference Handbook begins with an introduction that addresses major threats and extinctions in history, discusses the geographical and cultural contexts in which these incidents happened, highlights other key moments along the endangered species timeline, and clearly shows why the topic of endangered species matters. The following sections examine an unbiased synthesis of classic and contemporary studies that inform the issue of endangered species and outline the most controversial events related to endangered species and the actions that have been taken to address them. The book also presents perspective essays by scholars, activists, and other experts to provide diverse informed opinions on the issue of endangered species and includes a data and documents chapter that applies research finding to provide answers to questions like what species are most likely to become endangered in the future and which practices have historically been the most effective at protecting vulnerable species.


  • Includes a Perspectives chapter that allows for voices to be heard from many individuals who are concerned with endangered species
  • Serves general readers who wants to learn more about the history and current events concerning endangered species in an easy-to-understand fashion as well as high school and undergrad students conducting research for reports or projects
  • Presents facts that enables readers reach their own conclusions regarding the controversies regarding endangered species
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about. Visit the entire list of titles in the series at


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Jan A. Randall, PhD, is professor emerita at San Francisco State University's Department of Biology. She has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and was previously the associate editor of Animal Behavior. Randall has been Secretary (2006–2009) and Member-at-Large (1986–1989) of the Animal Behavior Society, a Fellow of the California Academy of Science (1993), on the board of directors of the Endangered Species Coalition, Washington, DC, and chair of their Scientific Advisory Committee. Randall was awarded Outstanding Alumnus from the University of Idaho (2005). From 1982 to 2003, she had nearly continuous grants from among NIH, NSF, National Geographic Society, and the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation. She is interested in promoting women in science, and since 2003 has funded a seminar series at the University of Idaho that features outstanding women scientists. In 2013, Randall was elected a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society in recognition of her long-term productive research career which demonstrated the importance of social structure in species once considered asocial.

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