Book Review ~ Rewilding: The Radical New Science of Ecological Recovery

Ecologists want to see a healthier planet, and some have found a path to this recovery through rewilding — that is, reintroducing species to their native habitats after being wiped out. And as it turns out, there are wildly different approaches to this truly radical technique. From delicate moves (like replacing an extinct tortoise species with a similar one in the Mauritian Islands) to sledgehammer action (think bringing back mammoths), rewilding begs the question, “How? And more importantly, should we?”

“Rewilding” is a great introduction to the topic, which is multifaceted in the extreme. This book explores the history of rewilding — what’s worked, what’s failed, and what’s on the horizon — as well as the ripple effects. As an armchair ecologist, most of these approaches were new to me. But I did recognize a few rewilding efforts, including Pleistocene Park and the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. I appreciated the mentions of plant and insect rewilding, too, which are often eclipsed by megaherbivores and other showy species.

While it is intended as an overview and introduction, this book sometimes get technical, so a background in biology would be helpful for most readers. The language drifts between pop sci and textbook, but there are lots of great illustrations to help clear up sticky concepts. Plenty of beautiful photographs and well-placed diagrams.

“Rewilding” is a fantastic conversation starter, leaving the reader with lots of food for thought. An excellent foundation for building new knowledge on this tangled topic.

Thanks to NetGalley, the authors, and the publisher for providing a copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.