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Our world is far richer than previously conceived, yet so ravaged by human activity that half its species could be gone by the end of the present century. These two contrasting themes--unexpected magnificence and underestimated peril--have originated during the past two decades of research. In this timely and important new book, one of our greatest living scientists describes exactly what treasures of the natural world we are about to lose forever and what we can do right now to save them. Destruction of natural habitats, the rampant spread of invasive species, pollution, uncontrolled population growth and overharvesting are the main threats to our natural world. Wilson explains how each of these elements works to undo the web of life that supports us, and why it is in our best interests to stop it. THE FUTURE OF LIFE is a magisterial accomplishment - both a moving description of the world's astonishing animals and plants and a guidebook for the protection of all its species, including our own.