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Once and Future GiantsSharon Levy

Oxford University Press, £11.99

Across the world, species are disappearing at an extraordinary rate, with many population declines linked to human activity. Once and Future Giants considers the trials and tribulations of megafauna through time, to suggest how we might use lessons from the past to protect our few remaining large charismatic mammals, and ensure ecosystems across the world fulfil their diverse potential.

Relating knowledge of extinct megafauna to present day analogues, Levy attempts to explain how and why so many large mammals disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene epoch.

She then moves on to consider the success of modern day conservation strategies and the importance of megafauna in retaining our most diverse ecosystems. Taking the form of a long and at times vividly descriptive literature review,

Levy effectively links a variety of investigations to emphasise the huge importance of megafauna to ecosystems worldwide and proposes a number of interesting ideas surrounding potential conservation strategies and extinctions.

Packed full of fascinating work, Once and Future Giants successfully marries modern investigations to ancient evidence, creating an interesting and thought provoking read that raises questions regarding the true 'natural state' of our Earth, our impacts upon it and the importance of megafauna to struggling ecosystems across the globe.

Natasha Ganecki

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