Migratory Species in the Anthropocene
Distributed for Brandeis University Press
Migratory Species in the Anthropocene
Environmental historian Nancy Langston explores three “ghost species” in the Great Lakes watershed—woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon. Ghost species are those that have not gone completely extinct, although they may be extirpated from a particular area. Their traces are still present, whether in DNA, in small fragmented populations, in lone individuals roaming a desolate landscape in search of a mate. We can still restore them if we make the hard choices necessary for them to survive. In this meticulously researched book, Langston delves into how climate change and human impact affected these now ghost species. Climate Ghosts covers one of the key issues of our time.
208 pages | 15 color plates, 7 maps, 9 figures | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Biological Sciences: Conservation
"Nancy Langston supplies three examples of seemingly impossible and precarious recovery stories for migratory species that offer ways forward for anyone interested in addressing environmental inequality and climate change's impacts on migratory species…Through the stories of caribou, sturgeon, and loons, Climate Ghosts challenges its readers to examine personal and societal relationships and responsibilities to migratory species."
"The most recent addition to The Mandel Lectures in the Humanities at Brandeis University series, Prof. Langston brings her readers a profound message of both warning and encouragement to action, of the potential for tragedy and the potential for renewal. While what has already happened cannot be changed, what happens next can be; but to act wisely, an understanding of these species in and of themselves as well as their existence in their environment must be achieved. Climate Ghosts is clearly a step towards such knowledge."
The Well-read Naturalist
"Historical information, dating back several centuries, is skilfully combined with details on present and planned restoration actions, providing insights into the past, present and possible future of these threatened species. Throughout the book, the prose flows well and without complex jargon, making this an enjoyable and accessible read. I would highly recommend Climate Ghosts to anyone interested in migratory species and climate change."
"Climate Ghosts is as much a call to address the violent and ongoing legacies of settler colonial racism, as it is to salvage particular animals and ecosystems in decline. This is a must read book—written with humility, head, and heart."
Brinda Sarathy, University of Washington Bothell
“Nancy Langston has written a stunning work of environmental history that illuminates the challenges facing wildlife vulnerable to climate change. While the book carries a dire warning, Langston draws hope from recent restoration programs, arguing that species on the brink should not be written off as doomed."
John Sandlos, Memorial University of Newfoundland
“By centering Indigenous rights and values, Langston shows how we can deepen our relationships with other human beings, and with fish, birds, and mammals; she understands each other as relatives. Climate Ghosts challenges us to engage critically with Indigenous dispossession, ecosystem change, and species restoration.”
Michael Dockry, University of Minnesota
“Maang, nme, adik (loon, sturgeon, caribou) are our older siblings. To the Anishnabek, these are relatives with as much right to be here as we have, and to treat a relative as a ‘resource’ is shameful. In this impassioned and detailed account, Nancy Langston shows how our lifeways are harming our siblings. She makes clear what will happen not only to our older siblings but to ourselves if we do not change."
Kathie Brosemer, Environmental Director, Sault Tribe
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Ghosts in the Anthropocene
Chapter 2: Woodland Caribou Histories in the Upper Great Lakes
Chapter 3: Caribou Futures in a Warming World
Chapter 4: Indigenous Communities and Lake Sturgeon Restoration
Chapter 5: The Gift of the Loon