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Top 13 Books To Read To Learn More About Conservation

April 06, 2019 3 min read

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Top 13 Books To Read To Learn More About Conservation

In nearly 50 years, the planet has lost60% of global populations of wildlife. Our insects, plantlife and wildlife face sharp declines across the planet. In case this mind-boggling reality leaves you wondering how this happened and what can be done, here are some excellent reads to learn more about conservation.  


Must-Read Classics


Did you know that this book helped kickstart the environmental movement? For both an eloquent voice and a scientific perspective on pesticides, you have to read Rachel Carson’sSilent Spring. This book inspired the public outcry that led to the banning of DDT.


Following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, author Edward Abbey brings a sense of political conviction to his quest to defend the land. The book is written from an autobiographical perspective, and it recounts three seasons Abbey spent as a park ranger.


After describing the land of Wisconsin from a naturalist’s perspective, Leopold makes a poignant argument in favor of conservation in the final chapter of this book. Widely esteemed as a landmark text for environmentalism, this book will give you insights into the longstanding tradition of conservation in the US.


  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)

A classic Transcendentalist text in American literature, Thoreau’s musings remain striking for their unconventional views on society, spirituality and nature. The observations Thoreau gives of nature remind us that personal integrity and conservation are still interwoven themes.  



Overcoming Extinction


In this book, Kolbert highlights how human actions alone have sparked the sixth mass extinction event of the Earth’s history. This book will feed your mind with its well-researched contents woven together by a strong storytelling voice.


An esteemed scientist and environmentalist, Wilson writes a persuasive argument in favor of setting aside half of the Earth’s surface for conservation. If you like this book, I recommend reading other titles by this Pulitzer Prize-winning author as well.



The Value of Nature


Thinking beyond what a loss of nature means for us scientifically, Monbiot argues that today’s world lacks the wonder and awe we feel when encountering wild animals. Monbiot characterizes this existential threat is characterized as “ecological boredom.” Read how he hopes to reinvigorate our world.  


Jupiter makes the case for conserving nature from an economic perspective. He claims that our entire global economy takes advantage of the free “natural services” of the biodiversity, natural resources and soil-enriching decomposition provided by the planet.   

If you want to take a deep dive into conservation, be sure to read renowned marine biologist and explorer Dr. Earle’s book on ocean sustainability. Packed with important views on how different industries impact the oceans, you’ll learn so much from this modern day companion to Rachel Carson’sSilent Spring.   



Personal Accounts

  • Unbowed by Wangari Maathai (2006)

This book is a powerful account of Nobel Prize Winner Maathai’s life. Learn how she defeated the odds by gaining an education at the doctoral level as a woman, establishing the Greenbelt Movement to protect African forests, and taking a bold stance in the politics of her country.  


Gain inspiration from the stunning insights Goodall developed about humanity and loss by studying chimpanzees in Tanzania. 

Join Anthony’s quest to save the last northern white rhinos of the Congo.


Discover the many bureaucratic hoops that Douglas went through to protect the Everglades.  



2 Responses

Barbara Harding
Barbara Harding

October 21, 2020

Don’t forget “Bringing Nature Home” by Douglas Tallamy – learn how EVERYONE can do SOMETHING in their little corner of the world (no matter how big or small) to help nature along.

Kim M
Kim M

August 31, 2020

You need a copy editor! You’ve missed the author’s name in your review/recommendation. It’s Tony Juniper (cover) but you say Jupiter.

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