For some reason I have missed any announcements and advertisements regarding this absolutely great offer from Oxford University Press (OUP). But now I have discovered it, I must share this with you: OUP together with renown scientists in the field of conservation biology published a textbook that delivers basic knowledge on key issues, including specific hot topics; and Conservation Biology for All is for FREE!
The decision made by OUP was driven by the fact that a large and poor audience of students in developing countries do not have access to authorative textbooks. Especially in these developing countries, where we see the highest biological diversity together with the highest level of habitat degradation, such a textbook is invaluable. Therefore, no matter how you regard OUP's publication - as a statement or as applied development aid, it should be applauded at the least. A free copy of the book can be downloaded here.
Some promotional text from the publisher:
Oxford University Press makes conservation biology textbook by some of the world's most prominent ecologists and conservation biologists available as free download
Conservation Biology for All provides cutting-edge but basic conservation science to a global readership. A series of authoritative chapters have been written by the top names in conservation biology with the principal aim of disseminating cutting-edge conservation knowledge as widely as possible. Important topics such as balancing conversion and human needs, climate change, conservation planning, designing and analyzing conservation research, ecosystem services, endangered species management, extinctions, fire, habitat loss, and invasive species are covered. Numerous text boxes describing additional relevant material or case studies are also included.
The global biodiversity crisis is now unstoppable; what can be saved in the developing world will require an educated constituency in both the developing and developed world. Habitat loss is particularly acute in developing countries, which is of special concern because it tends to be these locations where the greatest species diversity and richest centers of endemism are to be found.
The authors published Conservation Biology for All in a free and open access format in an effort to make conservation knowledge available to as many people as possible.