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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Climate Ghosts

Migratory Species in the Anthropocene

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Climate Ghosts

Migratory Species in the Anthropocene

Climate Ghosts deals with the important issue of climate change and human impact on three species: woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon.
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

The Mandel Lectures in the Humanities at Brandeis University

Biological Sciences: Conservation

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"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

List of Illustrations
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

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