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Empire of extinction : Russians and the North Pacific's strange beasts of the sea, 1741-1867 / Ryan Tucker Jones, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Auckland.

By: Jones, Ryan Tucker [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookCopyright date: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2014Description: xi, 296 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780199343416 (hbk.); 0199343411 (hbk.).Subject(s): Extinct animals -- North Pacific Region | Steller's sea cow -- Effect of human beings on -- North Pacific Ocean | Fur trade -- North Pacific Region | Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- North Pacific Region -- History | Natural history -- North Pacific Region | HISTORY / Polar Regions | HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union | North Pacific Region -- Colonization -- Environmental aspects | North Pacific Ocean -- Environmental conditions | Russia -- Colonies -- North Pacific RegionDDC classification: 591.68091823 JON Online resources: Table of contents
Contents:
Acknowledgments -- Introduction : The Meanings of Steller and His Sea Cow -- 1. The Second Kamchatka Expedition and the Empires of Nature -- 2. Promyshlenniki, Siberians, Alaskans, and Catastrophic Change in an Island Ecosystem -- 3. Naturalists Plan a North Pacific Empire -- 4. Extinction and Empire on the Billings Expedition -- 5. Ordering Arctic Nature : Peter Simon Pallas, Thomas Pennant, and Imperial Natural History -- 6. Empire of Order -- Conclusion : Empire and Extinction -- Appendix -- Notes -- Index.
Summary: "In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Russian Empire-already the largest on earth-expanded its dominion onto the ocean. Through a series of government-sponsored voyages of discovery and the establishment of a private fur trade, Russians crossed and re-crossed the Bering Strait and the North Pacific Ocean, establishing colonies in Kamchatka and Alaska and exporting marine mammal furs to Europe and China. In the process they radically transformed the North Pacific, causing environmental catastrophe. In one of the most hotly-contested imperial arenas of the day, the Russian empire organized a host of Siberian and Alaskan native peoples to rapaciously hunt for fur seals, sea otters, and other fur-bearing animals. The animals declined precipitously, and Steller's sea cow went extinct. This destruction captured the attention of natural historians who for the first time began to recognize the threat of species extinction. These experts drew upon Enlightenment and Romantic-era ideas about nature and imperialism but their ideas were refracted through Russian scientific culture and influenced by the region's unique ecology. Cosmopolitan scientific networks ensured the spread of their ideas throughout Europe. Heeding the advice of these scientific experts, Russian colonial governors began long-term management of marine mammal stocks and instituted some of the colonial world's most forward-thinking conservationist policies. Highlighting the importance of the North Pacific in Russian imperial and global environmental history, Empire of Extinction focuses on the development of ideas about the natural world in a crucial location far from what has been considered the center of progressive environmental attitudes"--Summary: "Empire of Extinction examines the causes and consequences of environmental catastrophe resulting from Russia's imperial expansion into the North Pacific. Gathering a host of Siberian and Alaskan native peoples, from the early 1700s until 1867, the Russian empire organized a rapacious hunt for fur seals, sea otters, and other fur-bearing animals. The animals declined precipitously and Steller's sea cow went entirely extinct. This destruction, which took place in one of the most hotly-contested imperial arenas of the time, also drew the attention of natural historians, who played an important role in imperial expansion. Their observations of environmental change in the North Pacific caused Russians and other Europeans to recognize the threat of species extinction for the first time. Russians reacted by instituting some of the colonial world's most progressive conservationist policies. Empire of Extinction points to the importance of the North Pacific both for the Russian empire and for global environmental history"--
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book Book Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
591.68091823 JON 009125 (Browse shelf) Available 009125

Includes bibliographical references (pages 255-290) and index.

Acknowledgments --
Introduction : The Meanings of Steller and His Sea Cow --
1. The Second Kamchatka Expedition and the Empires of Nature --
2. Promyshlenniki, Siberians, Alaskans, and Catastrophic Change in an Island Ecosystem --
3. Naturalists Plan a North Pacific Empire --
4. Extinction and Empire on the Billings Expedition --
5. Ordering Arctic Nature : Peter Simon Pallas, Thomas Pennant, and Imperial Natural History --
6. Empire of Order --
Conclusion : Empire and Extinction --
Appendix --
Notes --
Index.

"In the second half of the eighteenth century, the Russian Empire-already the largest on earth-expanded its dominion onto the ocean. Through a series of government-sponsored voyages of discovery and the establishment of a private fur trade, Russians crossed and re-crossed the Bering Strait and the North Pacific Ocean, establishing colonies in Kamchatka and Alaska and exporting marine mammal furs to Europe and China. In the process they radically transformed the North Pacific, causing environmental catastrophe. In one of the most hotly-contested imperial arenas of the day, the Russian empire organized a host of Siberian and Alaskan native peoples to rapaciously hunt for fur seals, sea otters, and other fur-bearing animals. The animals declined precipitously, and Steller's sea cow went extinct. This destruction captured the attention of natural historians who for the first time began to recognize the threat of species extinction. These experts drew upon Enlightenment and Romantic-era ideas about nature and imperialism but their ideas were refracted through Russian scientific culture and influenced by the region's unique ecology. Cosmopolitan scientific networks ensured the spread of their ideas throughout Europe. Heeding the advice of these scientific experts, Russian colonial governors began long-term management of marine mammal stocks and instituted some of the colonial world's most forward-thinking conservationist policies. Highlighting the importance of the North Pacific in Russian imperial and global environmental history, Empire of Extinction focuses on the development of ideas about the natural world in a crucial location far from what has been considered the center of progressive environmental attitudes"--

"Empire of Extinction examines the causes and consequences of environmental catastrophe resulting from Russia's imperial expansion into the North Pacific. Gathering a host of Siberian and Alaskan native peoples, from the early 1700s until 1867, the Russian empire organized a rapacious hunt for fur seals, sea otters, and other fur-bearing animals. The animals declined precipitously and Steller's sea cow went entirely extinct. This destruction, which took place in one of the most hotly-contested imperial arenas of the time, also drew the attention of natural historians, who played an important role in imperial expansion. Their observations of environmental change in the North Pacific caused Russians and other Europeans to recognize the threat of species extinction for the first time. Russians reacted by instituting some of the colonial world's most progressive conservationist policies. Empire of Extinction points to the importance of the North Pacific both for the Russian empire and for global environmental history"--

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