In The Kingdom of Rarities, scientist Eric Dinerstein poses an intriguing question: What if the way we categorized the living world was reshuffled for a moment, from a system designed to inform us about evolutionary relationships among species to one with two camps based on abundance: the Kingdom of Common species and the Kingdom of Rarities? What new observations and connections would emerge?
The Kingdom of Rarities explores that idea, building a narrative around the concept of rarity and its implications both for our understanding of how the natural world works, and for what it can teach us about protecting biodiversity during a time of large-scale environmental change.
Dinerstein highlights cutting-edge science from remote outposts around the world, focusing on some of the key questions that scientists are asking themselves right now:
As well as a scientific journey, The Kingdom of Rarities is also an adventure story-to meet the rare species that are central to this tale, the reader travels with the author to exotic locations including remote New Guinea, Hawaii, the heart of the Amazon, and the foothills of the Himalayas.
Throughout, Dinerstein explores rarity as a central principle within conservation biology. Looking through this lens not only advances our understanding of the natural world but also inspires the creation of new tools and technologies that can help us both add to our knowledge base and design more effective conservation strategies. He focuses on real-time threats to biodiversity, from climate change to habitat fragmentation, and draws on his long and distinguished scientific career to illuminate the concept of rarity for readers across the spectrum of scientific knowledge.
Eric Dinerstein is Chief Scientist with the World Wildlife Fund, where he has spent the past 24 years working to save rare species globally.
Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
“Why are jaguars rare, despite being South America’s most powerful predator? Why, indeed, are most species rare? How can rare species exert a big effect on the landscape’s structure and function? If you, too, are open to the fascination that rare animals hold for adventure travelers and passionate ecologists, you’ll love the romance and exciting science that this book offers.”
Jared Diamond, Pulizer Prize-winning author and Professor of Geography, UCLA
“In colorful prose that conjures up the rich spell of each landscape, Dinerstein takes us along on exhilarating expeditions that crisscross the globe and travel deep into the heart of rare species, while sharing his own rare expertise and a luminous sense of wonder.”
Diane Ackerman, Author of The Zookeeper's Wife
“The Kingdom of Rarities is a rarity itself, a book whose author is so in command of his material that you don’t realize how much you’re learning; you’re too caught up in the adventure of it all.”
Carl Safina, Author of Song for the Blue Ocean