As part of this lesson, you will read a book called Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations by Eric Dinerstein. This book is an autobiographical memoir that describes Dinerstein’s 25-year career as a conservation biologist. He began researching the wildlife of Nepal's lowland jungles as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1975. Since then, he has traveled the world practicing conservation on the frontlines—working on everything from snow leopards in northern India to tigers in Nepal to fruit bats in Costa Rica. Today, Dinerstein is Chief of Conservation Science and Vice-President for Research at World Wildlife Fund.


Begin the lesson by listening to an interview with Eric Dinerstein in which he talks about some of the things that inspired him to write the book.

Before you read Tigerland, it might be helpful to find out more about the work of conservation biologists such as Eric Dinerstein. To do so, visit the Conservation Biology FAQ page.

As you are reading this page, write down in your own words the definitions of the following terms: biodiversity, genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity.

Then, in your own words, summarize what the Society for Conservation Biology considers the three main threats to biodiversity.

Knowledge Check

After you have finished reading Tigerland, your teacher will ask you to write a brief essay on one of these topics:

  • What are some ways that humans can impact biological diversity?
  • How do conservation biologists investigate human impacts on biological diversity?
  • What are some practical approaches that can promote human development without threatening biological diversity?
  • What are some economic and ethical arguments for preserving biological diversity?

If you want more information on this topic, you might consider this: As part of his work at the World Wildlife Fund, Eric Dinerstein led the first team to identify every ecoregion on earth and to highlight the most biologically important which are most critical for conservation. This work led to the creation of Global 200 that once guided World Wildlife Fund's fieldwork in more than 100 countries. You can find out more about Global 200 by visiting the Wild World website. Click on the Global 200 link on the homepage and explore some of the critical ecoregions highlighted on the map.

This esheet is a part of the Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations lesson.

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