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Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
Elephants are arguably Africa’s most charismatic animals, and among the biggest drawcards to our game reserves. While the burgeoning game-park industry may be increasing our access to these magnificent creatures, rising human-elephant encounters are an inevitable outcome – sometimes, sadly, fatal. Such encounters could likely have been avoided had those involved understood elephant behaviour, and particularly how these intelligent animals interface with traffic through their territory.
This book describes elephant family life, from rearing of infants to establishing dominance within a herd; it unpacks regular elephant behaviour, the matriarchal system, the particular dangers of males in musth, and many other aspects of their lives. Most of all, it provides guidelines for ensuring safe and enjoyable encounters with these majestic animals.
This is an essential guide for those planning visits to reserves: aside from the interest factor, being able to read the tell-tale signs may just save lives.
Dead Zone takes the reader on a journey around the world, travelling from the rainforests of the Amazon to the Midwest plains of America; the palm plantations of Sumatra to the volcanic diversity of Galapagos; the grasslands of England to the Malaysian jungle. In a global safari focussing on some of the world’s most endangered species, it exposes a little known but key factor in their demise: the cheap meat on supermarket shelves. This sequel to Farmageddon lays bare the myths that prop up factory farming and shows what we can do to save the planet with healthy food.
Some may see intensive farming as a necessary evil. After all, we need to produce more food for a growing global population and are led to believe that squeezing animals into factory farms and growing crops in vast, chemical-soaked prairies, is efficient and leaves land free for wildlife – but this is far from the truth. With the limits of the planet’s resources now seemingly within touching distance, awareness is growing about how the well-being of society depends on a thriving natural world. Through the lens of a dozen iconic and endangered species, Dead Zone examines the role of industrial farming in their plight and meets the people doing something about it.
Philip Lymbery is the CEO of leading international farm animal welfare organisation, Compassion in World Farming, and a prominent commentator on the effects of industrial farming.
Great White sharks, attracted by an offshore seal colony, have brought success to the adjacent fishing village of Gansbaai along the southern African coast. A flourishing shark cage diving industry has sprung up, bringing jobs and money, and so benefiting almost the entire community. Tourists come from far and near to experience the thrill of a real-life brush with the legendary ‘Jaws’. Shark Town, as it has become known, is booming. Then one day, the sharks disappear. Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the word spreads: cage diving off Gansbaai can no longer promise the thrill of an encounter. The crowds thin, the boats remain at their moorings, and the once bustling community waits as their livelihoods tail off. Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are baffled.
But it’s not long before shark carcasses start washing up on the beaches. These, together with some coincidental sightings of another apex predator in the vicinity, are the first leads to the possible causes and culprits. Against the clamour and thrill of the cage-diving season in full swing, Richard Peirce visits the unfolding drama and explores what’s behind these strange events.
'This book is a great read for any young nature lover and is a fantastic way to get children more interested in the outdoors. In no time at all they will be chasing down bugs, bees and butterflies.' - LandLove magazine Learn at home about the mini-beast friends and foes in your garden Have you ever wondered what all the bugs you see in your garden are doing? Are they eating your precious plants or are they pollinating them and helping them to grow? Here is the essential fun-packed guide to pests and pollinators and what they do. Find out how plants attract pollinators, such as butterflies, bees and even ants and bats, and what you can do to tempt these creatures into your garden. Help your kids learn about the power of pollinators and how to make your garden more appealing to them with loads of creepy-crawly facts and fun activities, including: Planting flowers bees and other bugs love Making a ladybird hotel Keeping butterflies happy with wild flowers and nettles Pull-out activities include: 64 colour stickers Big bugs survey sheet Garden Heroes card game Make a stag beetle mask Who Eats Who? board game For more about pollinators and how we can help them, have a look at Love Bees.
"Through a globe-circling tour of the planet, a conservation ecologist checks environmental statistics and reveals the importance of understanding where these numbers come from in order to evaluate current awareness of the planet's potential environmental peril."-Forecast Praise for the hardcover edition (published as The World According to Pimm) "Among ecologists who can apply their understanding of basic science to the modern human predicament, Stuart Pimm is one of the very best in the world today. He writes clearly, interestingly, and understandably. This book will interest literally everyone "-Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel "A dazzling tour d'horizon of the twenty-first century environment. The author informs us of the approaching fate of the natural world (including our own species) with uncommon scientific authority, style, and wit."-Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, Harvard University "A born storyteller, Pimm takes us on a world tour to reveal how people are adversely affecting their environment-a tour de force in more than one sense."-Thomas E. Lovejoy, chief biodiversity advisor to the president of the World Bank Humans use 50 percent of the world's freshwater supply and consume 42 percent of its plant growth. We are liquidating animals and plants one hundred times faster than the natural rate of extinction. Such numbers should make it clear that our impact on the planet has been, and continues to be, extreme and detrimental. Yet even after decades of awareness of our environmental peril, there remains passionate disagreement over what the problems are and how they should be remedied. Much of the impasse stems from the fact that the problems are difficult to quantify. How do we assess the impact of habitat loss on various species, when we haven't even counted them all? And just what factors go into that 42 percent of biomass we are hungrily consuming? In this book, Stuart Pimm appoints himself "investment banker of the global, biological accounts," checking the environmental statistics gathered by tireless scientists in work that is always painstaking and often heartbreaking. With wit, passion, and candor, he reveals the importance of understanding where these numbers come from and what they mean. To do so, he takes the reader on a globe-circling tour of our beautiful, but weary, planet from the volcanic mountains and rainforests of Hawai'i to the boreal forests of Siberia. Stuart L. Pimm is Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. He is the author of more than 150 scientific papers, as well as three books, and numerous articles in publications such as New Scientist, The Sciences, Nature, and Science.
Would you ask a honeybee to point at a screen and recognise a facial expression? Or ask an elephant to climb a tree? While humans and non-human species may inhabit the same world, it's likely that our perceptual worlds differ significantly. Emphasising Uexkull's concept of 'umwelt', this volume offers practical advice on how animal cognition can be successfully tested while avoiding anthropomorphic conclusions. The chapters describe the capabilities of a range of animals - from ants, to lizards to chimpanzees - revealing how to successfully investigate animal cognition across a variety of taxa. The book features contributions from leading cognition researchers, each offering a series of examples and practical tips drawn from their own experience. Together, the authors synthesise information on current field and laboratory methods, providing researchers and graduate students with methodological advice on how to formulate research questions, design experiments and adapt studies to different taxa.
There are five races of tiger on our planet and all but one live in tropical regions: the Siberian Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the exception. Mysterious and elusive, and with only 350 remaining in the wild, the Siberian tiger remains a complete enigma. One man has set out to change this. Sooyong Park has spent twenty years tracking and observing these elusive tigers. Each year he spends six months braving sub-zero temperatures, buried in grave-like underground bunkers, fearlessly immersing himself in the lives of Siberian tigers. As he watches the brutal, day-to-day struggle to survive the harsh landscape, threatened by poachers and the disappearance of the pristine habitat, Park becomes emotionally and spiritually attached to these beautiful and deadly predators. No one has ever been this close: as he comes face-to-face with one tiger, Bloody Mary, her fierce determination to protect her cubs nearly results in his own bloody demise. Poignant, poetic and fiercely compassionate, The Great Soul of Siberia is the incredible story of Park's unique obsession with these compelling creatures on the very brink of extinction, and his dangerous quest to seek them out to observe and study them. Eloquently told in Park's distinctive voice, it is a personal account of one of the most extraordinary wildlife studies ever undertaken.
We love our pets. Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and other species have become an essential part of more families than ever before. Pet owners are drawn to their animal companions through an innate desire to connect with other species. But there is a dark side to our domestic connection with animal life: the pet industry is contributing to a global conservation crisis for wildlife, often without the knowledge of pet owners. In Unnatural Companions, journalist Peter Christie issues a call to action for pet owners. If we hope to reverse the alarming trend of wildlife decline, pet owners must acknowledge the pets-versus-conservation dilemma and concede that our well-fed and sheltered cats too often prey on garden wildlife and seemingly harmless reptiles released into the wild might be the next destructive invasive species. We want our pets to eat nutritionally healthy food, but how does the designer food we feed them impact the environment? Christie's book is a cautionary tale to responsible pet owners about why we must change the ways we love and care for our pets. It concludes with the positive message that the small changes we make at home can foster better practices within the pet industry that will ultimately benefit our pets' wild brethren.
'Pilcher is both very funny and very, very clever.' Gillian Burke 'Richly entertaining throughout.' Sunday Times For the last three billion years or so, life on Earth was shaped by natural forces. Evolution tended to happen slowly, with species crafted across millennia. Then, a few hundred thousand years ago, along came a bolshie, big-brained, bipedal primate we now call Homo sapiens, and with that, the Earth's natural history came to an abrupt end. We are now living through the post-natural phase, where humans have become the leading force shaping evolution. This thought-provoking book considers the many ways that we've altered the DNA of living things and changed the fate of life on earth. We have carved chihuahuas from wolves and fancy chickens from jungle fowl. We've added spider genes to goats and coral genes to tropical fish. It's possible to buy genetically-modified pets, eat genetically-modified fish and watch cloned ponies thunder up and down the polo field. Now, as our global dominance grows, our influence extends far beyond these species. As we warm our world and radically reshape the biosphere, we affect the evolution of all living things, near and far, from the emergence of novel hybrids such as the pizzly bear, to the entirely new strains of animals and plants that are evolving at breakneck speed to cope with their altered environment. In Life Changing, Helen introduces us to these post-natural creations and talks to the scientists who create, study and tend to them. At a time when the future of so many species is uncertain, we meet some of the conservationists seeking to steer evolution onto firmer footings with novel methods like the 'spermcopter', coral IVF and plans to release wild elephants into Denmark. Helen explores the changing relationship between humans and the natural world, and reveals how, with evidence-based thinking, humans can help life change for the better.
Climate change and poaching are not the only culprits behind so many animals facing extinction. The impact of consumer demand for cheap meat is equally devastating and it is vital that we confront this problem if we are to stand a chance of reducing its effect on the world around us.
- We are falsely led to believe that squeezing animals into factory farms and cultivating crops in vast, chemical-soaked prairies is a necessary evil, an efficient means of providing for an ever-expanding global population while leaving land free for wildlife
- Our planet's resources are reaching breaking point: awareness is slowly building that the wellbeing of society depends on a thriving natural world
From the author of the internationally acclaimed Farmageddon, Dead Zone takes us on an eye-opening journey across the globe, focussing on a dozen iconic species and looking at the role that industrial farming is playing in their plight.
For readers of George Monbiot, Mark Cocker and Robert Macfarlane - an urgent and lyrical account of endangered places around the globe and the people fighting to save them. 'Powerful, timely, beautifully written and wonderfully hopeful... Julian Hoffman shines a light on what we had, what we have, and how much we still stand to lose' Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground 'Unforgettable. At a time when the Earth often seems broken beyond repair, this courageous and hopeful book offers life-changing encounters with the more-than-human world' Nancy Campbell, author of The Library of Ice 'Wonderful, tender and subtle, beautifully written and filled with a calm authority... No book has done more to champion the idea that connections between the human and the natural are the lifeblood of everything that matters' Adam Nicolson, author of The Seabird's Cry All across the world, irreplaceable habitats are under threat. Unique ecosystems of plants and animals are being destroyed by human intervention. From the tiny to the vast, from marshland to meadow, and from Kent to Glasgow to India to America, they are disappearing. Irreplaceable is not only a love letter to the haunting beauty of these landscapes and the wild species that call them home, including nightingales, lynxes, hornbills, redwoods and elephant seals, it is also a timely reminder of the vital connections between humans and nature, and all that we stand to lose in terms of wonder and wellbeing. This is a book about the power of resistance in an age of loss; a testament to the transformative possibilities that emerge when people come together to defend our most special places and wildlife from extinction. Exploring treasured coral reefs and remote mountains, tropical jungle and ancient woodland, urban allotments and tallgrass prairie, Julian Hoffman traces the stories of threatened places around the globe through the voices of local communities and grassroots campaigners as well as professional ecologists and academics. And in the process, he asks what a deep emotional relationship with place offers us - culturally, socially and psychologically. In this rigorous, intimate and impassioned account, he presents a powerful call to arms in the face of unconscionable natural destruction. New Feature Information 0
For the last twenty years, The Destruction of the Bison has been an essential work in environmental history. Andrew C. Isenberg offers a concise analysis of the near-extinction of the North American bison population from an estimated 30 million in 1800 to fewer than 1000 a century later. His wide-ranging, interdisciplinary study carefully considers the multiple causes, cultural and ecological, of the destruction of the species. The twentieth-anniversary edition includes a new foreword connecting this seminal work to developments in the field - notably new perspectives in Native American history and the rise of transnational history - and placing the story of the bison in global context. A new afterword extends the study to the twenty-first century, underlining the continued importance of this ground-breaking text for current, and future, students and scholars.
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species - including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino - some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert's book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Over the course of his photography career, Daniel Kariko came to realise that many of his most stunning subjects could be found in his own home. Kariko utilises a combination of a Scanning Electron Microscope and optical Stereo Microscope to achieve a portrait-like effect for insects and arthropods. Vibrant in colour and surprising in personality, these images reveal such details as the glittering eyes of a horsefly, the strong legs of a centipede and the fetching smile of a honeybee. Each photograph comes with a full-body illustration from artist Isaac Talley and character descriptions from entomologist Tim Christensen. Blurring the lines of art and science, Aliens Among Us is a guidebook for anyone interested in putting a face to the creepy-crawlies under the couch.
In many parts of Africa a 'front line' has developed between humans and wild animals. People are daily and stressfully aware of their vulnerability, whether from predators that eat their stock, or from marauders that trash their crops: elephants, hippos, bushpigs, baboons, cane rats, dense sun-blocking swarms of locusts and quelea finches that can wipe out an entire season's crop and leave a community starving. And a startling number of people in Africa are killed by wildlife each year.
This reality is rarely conveyed to investors in wildlife conservation or to visitors to wildlife sanctuaries. But the battle lines are drawn between communities directly impacted by the remnant wildlife of an increasingly congested Africa, and the paymasters of a first-world population of voyeurs. Can all the players co-exist? This controversial exposť of the conflict between humans and wildlife lifts the lid on the battle for turf: the future of conservation will depend on the relationship established between wildlife authorities and those bearing the brunt along the front line.
"Planet Without Apes" demands that we consider whether we can live with the consequences of wiping our closest relatives off the face of the Earth. Leading primatologist Craig Stanford warns that extinction of the great apes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans threatens to become a reality within just a few human generations. We are on the verge of losing the last links to our evolutionary past, and to all the biological knowledge about ourselves that would die along with them. The crisis we face is tantamount to standing aside while our last extended family members vanish from the planet.
Stanford sees great apes as not only intelligent but also possessed of a culture: both toolmakers and social beings capable of passing cultural knowledge down through generations. Compelled by his field research to take up the cause of conservation, he is unequivocal about where responsibility for extinction of these species lies. Our extermination campaign against the great apes has been as brutal as the genocide we have long practiced on one another. Stanford shows how complicity is shared by people far removed from apes shrinking habitats. We learn about extinction s complex links with cell phones, European meat eaters, and ecotourism, along with the effects of Ebola virus, poverty, and political instability.
Even the most environmentally concerned observers are unaware of many specific threats faced by great apes. Stanford fills us in, and then tells us how we can redirect the course of an otherwise bleak future."
After stumbling upon a book of photographs depicting extinct animals, B.J. Hollars became fascinated by the creatures that are no longer with us; specifically, extinct North American birds. How, he wondered, could we preserve so beautifully on film what we've failed to preserve in life? And so begins his yearlong journey to find out, one that leads him from bogs to art museums, from archives to Christmas Counts, until he at last comes as close to extinct birds as he ever will during a behind-the-scenes visit at the Chicago Field Museum. Heartbroken by the birds we've lost, Hollars takes refuge in those that remain. Armed with binoculars, a field guide, and knowledgeable friends, he begins his transition from budding birder to environmentally conscious citizen, a first step on a longer journey toward understanding the true tragedy of a bird's song silenced forever. Told with charm and wit, Flock Together is a remarkable memoir that shows how "knowing" the natural world-even just a small part-illuminates what it means to be a global citizen and how only by embracing our ecological responsibilities do we ever become fully human. A moving elegy to birds we've lost, Hollars's exploration of what we can learn from extinct species will resonate in the minds of readers long beyond the final page. Purchase the audio edition.Watch a book trailer for Hollars's newest book, Midwestern Strange.
As our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees offer tantalizing clues about the behavior of early human ancestors. This book provides a rich and detailed portrait of chimpanzee social life in the wild, synthesizing hundreds of thousands of hours of research at seven long-term field sites. Why are the social lives of males and females so different? Why do groups of males sometimes seek out and kill neighboring individuals? Do chimpanzees cooperate when they hunt monkeys? Is their vocal behaviour like human speech? Are there different chimpanzee 'cultures'? Addressing these questions and more, Adam Arcadi presents a fascinating introduction to the chimpanzee social universe and the challenges we face in trying to save this species from extinction. With extensive notes organized by field site and an appendix describing field methods, this book is indispensable for students, researchers, and anyone else interested in the remarkable and complex world of these intelligent apes.
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
A symbol of strength, survival despite hardship and - more recently - the perils of global warming, the polar bear wears many different faces across the world. Polar Bears: A Life Under Threat is an uncompromising exploration of the animal behind the mythos. Rawicki's anthology transports us to the Arctic: the bears' home territory. His photographs depict playful cubs, hunting mothers and solitary adults on their yearly migration. The bears' innate curiosity shines through, as they peer through windows and rear up on their hind legs to study the camera. As well as trekking across miles of dazzling snow, they forage in forests and towns - leading to a striking series of photographs that document the relationship between bear, man and environment. Accompanying these images are a series of essays, poems and even a quiz, from the minds of Michel Rawicki and his contributors: Hubert Reeves, astrophysicist, and Remy Marion, author of several books about the polar regions. They explain the challenges encountered by polar bears in the modern age, and explore the future of a species threatened by climate change and pollution.
Illuminating the conditions for global governance to have precipitated the devastating decline of one of the ocean's most majestic creatures The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is the world's foremost organization for managing and conserving tunas, seabirds, turtles, and sharks traversing international waters. Founded by treaty in 1969, ICCAT stewards what has become under its tenure one of the planet's most prominent endangered fish: the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Called "red gold" by industry insiders for the exorbitant price her ruby-colored flesh commands in the sushi economy, the giant bluefin tuna has crashed in size and number under ICCAT's custodianship. With regulations to conserve these sea creatures in place for half a century, why have so many big bluefin tuna vanished from the Atlantic? In Red Gold, Jennifer E. Telesca offers unparalleled access to ICCAT to show that the institution has faithfully executed the task assigned it by international law: to fish as hard as possible to grow national economies. ICCAT manages the bluefin not to protect them but to secure export markets for commodity empires-and, as a result, has become complicit in their extermination. The decades of regulating fish as commodities have had disastrous consequences. Amid the mass extinction of all kinds of life today, Red Gold reacquaints the reader with the splendors of the giant bluefin tuna through vignettes that defy technoscientific and market rationales. Ultimately, this book shows, changing the way people value marine life must come not only from reforming ICCAT but from transforming the dominant culture that consents to this slaughter.
This volume describes and illustrates an ongoing story of science and rediscovery, of survival and protection, and of research, without which we cannot hope to protect the right whale's habitat in the Atlantic. It also describes in great detail the history and current status of the species, from the reason for its name, to the way each individual can be recognised, the species' feeding and breeding habits, migration, and life in the wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean. The north atlantic right whale is the most endangered large whale in the oceans today. Fewer than 350 are left in their breeding and feeding grounds, which extend from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. Survivors of hundreds of years of commercial exploitation, the Right Whales we see in the ocean today are barometers for the plight of whales in the 21st century. For over 900 years, beginning about AD 1000, whalers from Europe and the Americas hunted north atlantic right whales almost out of existence. By 1935, when they were at last given international protection as an endangered species, some scientists suspected that there were fewer than 100 right whales left in the North Atlantic Ocean. Most thought the right whale was doomed to extinction.
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