Pest and Pestilence


'Pestilence' is a word that conjures up destruction at a large scale. It can be a plague of ravenous rabbits, millions of wilding pines that swallow up landscapes, a virus that brings the world to its knees within weeks of emergence. In Phil Lester's new book we dive deep into the world of pestilence. We learn the stories of pests that are plants, animals and pathogens, and consider how we can manage their spread in Aotearoa and around the world. The human movement of diseases and pests has affected every corner of the globe, even Antarctica. We need effective management approaches that cause the least possible harm, especially as our population grows and we become increasingly connected. Lester explores the problems of international movement, methodologies designed to limit the unintentional introduction of species across borders, New Zealand's biosecurity legislation, the limits and possibilities of eradication as a goal, the means of population control, and the management of pathogens in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illuminating this discussion are stories of cats on parachutes, angry hippos, cannibalistic cane toads, and a cook who unwittingly gave typhoid to at least 51 other people. Fascinating and lucidly written, Pests and Pestilence draws on many strands of history and science to ask how we can best manage the pathogens, animal and plant species that can do us harm.

SKU: 9781776920082