The desire of resource managers, risk assessors, and the general public to better understand the consequences of environmental contamination has produced a strong and growing need for information on the effects of contaminants on populations and groups of species, and over moderate to large areas of land or water. However, the problems associated with research involving populations and groups of species or large and complex geographic areas, especially in terrestrial environments, are well known within the scientific community. With the previous thoughts in mind, an interactive symposium was held at the University of Maryland in October 1998. The purpose of the symposium was to review and critically evaluate our understanding of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at levels of organization above that of the individual. Invited background and technical presentations provided a common baseline of information for symposium participants. Discussion groups were then asked to critically evaluate the topics of two technical sessions. Several presentations of recent or ongoing research provided participants with examples of current approaches to assessments of the effects of contaminants on terrestrial vertebrates at the population or higher level of organization. The book consists of 10 chapters written by presenters at the symposium and three chapters conveying the reports of discussion group.