Unnatural Habitat: The Native and Exotic Wildlife of Los Angeles

Unnatural Habitat: The Native and Exotic Wildlife of Los Angeles
Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 264 pages
ISBN: 9781597146395.

By Craig Stanford

A guide to the ecosystem famously known as Los Angeles, from a field biologist and longtime San Gabriel Valley resident.

Within the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles and its suburbs, residents coexist—often unknowingly—with a bustling mosaic of native and introduced wildlife. Conservationist Craig Stanford, whose research has taken him around the world, now takes a deep dive into the natural history of his Southern California home. Stanford’s informed and vivid accounts of more than 150 species entreat us to appreciate the ecological marvels of sagebrush and skunks and skippers, the iconic palms of LA lore, and the mountain lions still roaming the hills.

These portraits of the glamorous, humble, irritating, and altogether fascinating species that live alongside Angelenos urge us to recognize that even in a jungle of concrete, we live within nature. Witty and captivating, and combining cutting-edge research with his own critter encounters, Stanford demonstrates the beauty of shaping our cities to support biodiversity, and he warns against the threats that can tip urban ecosystems out of balance, leaving us in a much lonelier world.

Reviews

"A worthy and illuminating entry in the tradition of works exploring urbanization’s effect on the environment. [...] Stanford’s fundamental message is clear and simple (and oft-repeated): To preserve a Los Angeles in which humans and nature benefit from one another, we must increase our understanding of our city’s fragile wildlife mosaic." Daniel Vitale, Los Angeles Times
"Unnatural Habitat puts an important spotlight on how L.A. is uniquely positioned to support unique and diverse flora and fauna. The fun and vivid descriptions of the ecological interactions and fascinating history behind L.A.'s biodiversity will inspire local residents to consider even the most human dominated neighborhoods as places to explore nature." Miguel Ordeñana, Wildlife Biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
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Categories Forthcoming | Nature

About the Author

Craig Stanford

Craig Stanford

Craig Stanford is a biologist and anthropologist at the University of Southern California. He is known for his long-term field research on wild chimpanzees in East Africa, and for his many field studies of highly endangered turtles and tortoises in Asia and Latin America. He has published nearly twenty books and hundreds of articles about animal behavior, human origins, and environmental issues. Stanford is a long-time resident of the Pasadena area in Southern California.

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