A Window on Eternity

A Biologist’s Walk Through Gorongosa National Park

Author: Edward O., Wilson

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476747431

Category: Nature

Page: 176

View: 2761

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The remarkable story of how one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world was destroyed, restored, and continues to evolve—with stunning, full-color photographs by two of the world’s best wildlife photographers. A Window on Eternity is a stunning book of splendid prose and gorgeous photography about one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps in the world. Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was nearly destroyed in a brutal civil war, then was reborn and is now evolv-ing back to its original state. Edward O. Wilson’s personal, luminous description of the wonders of Gorongosa is beautifully complemented by Piotr Naskrecki’s extraordinary photographs of the park’s exquisite natural beauty. A bonus DVD of Academy Award–winning director Jessica Yu’s documentary, The Guide, is also included with the book. Wilson takes readers to the summit of Mount Gorongosa, sacred to the local people and the park’s vital watershed. From the forests of the mountain he brings us to the deep gorges on the edge of the Rift Valley, previously unexplored by biologists, to search for new species and assess their ancient origins. He describes amazing animal encounters from huge colonies of agricultural termites to spe­cialized raider ants that feed on them to giant spi­ders, a battle between an eagle and a black mamba, “conversations” with traumatized elephants that survived the slaughter of the park’s large animals, and more. He pleads for Gorongosa—and other wild places—to be allowed to exist and evolve in its time­less way uninterrupted into the future. As he examines the near destruction and rebirth of Gorongosa, Wilson analyzes the balance of nature, which, he observes, teeters on a razor’s edge. Loss of even a single species can have serious ramifications throughout an ecosystem, and yet we are carelessly destroying complex biodiverse ecosystems with unknown consequences. The wildlands in which these ecosystems flourish gave birth to humanity, and it is this natural world, still evolving, that may outlast us and become our leg­acy, our window on eternity.
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White Man's Game

Saving Animals, Rebuilding Eden, and Other Myths of Conservation in Africa

Author: Stephanie Hanes

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 0805097171

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 638

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A probing examination of Western conservation efforts in Africa, where our feel-good stories belie a troubling reality The stunningly beautiful Gorongosa National Park, once the crown jewel of Mozambique, was nearly destroyed by decades of civil war. It looked like a perfect place for Western philanthropy: revive the park and tourists would return, a win-win outcome for the environment and the impoverished villagers living in the area. So why did some researchers find the local communities actually getting hungrier, sicker, and poorer as the project went on? And why did efforts to bring back wildlife become far more difficult than expected? In pursuit of answers, Stephanie Hanes takes readers on a vivid safari across southern Africa, from the shark-filled waters off Cape Agulhas to a reserve trying to save endangered wild dogs. She traces the tangled history of Western missionaries, explorers, and do-gooders in Africa, from Stanley and Livingstone to Teddy Roosevelt, from Bono and the Live Aid festivals to Greg Carr, the American benefactor of Gorongosa. And she examines the larger problems that arise when Westerners try to “fix” complex, messy situations in the developing world, acting with best intentions yet potentially overlooking the wishes of the people who live there. Beneath the uplifting stories we tell ourselves about helping Africans, she shows, often lies a dramatic misunderstanding of what the locals actually need and want. A gripping narrative of environmentalists and insurgents, poachers and tycoons, elephants and angry spirits, White Man’s Game profoundly challenges the way we think about philanthropy and conservation.
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Science, Conservation, and National Parks

Author: Steven R. Beissinger,David D. Ackerly,Holly Doremus,Gary E. Machlis

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022642314X

Category: Science

Page: 416

View: 7464

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As the US National Park Service marks its centennial in 2016, parks and protected areas worldwide are under increasing threat from a variety of factors, including storms and fires of greater severity, plant and animal extinctions, the changing attitudes of a public that has become more urbanized, and the political pressures of narrow special interest groups. In the face of such rapid environmental and cultural changes, Science, Conservation, and National Parks gathers a group of renowned scholars—including Edward O. Wilson, Jane Lubchenco, Thomas Dietz, and Monica Turner, among many others—who seek to address these problems and, in so doing, to secure a future for protected areas that will push forward the frontiers of biological, physical, and social science in and for parks. Examining the major challenges of parks and protected areas throughout the world, contributors provide answers to a number of key conservation questions, such as: How should stewardship address climate change, urban encroachment and pollution, and invasive species? How can society, especially youth, become more engaged with nature and parks, and are there models to guide interactions between parks and their neighbors? What are appropriate conservation objectives for parks in the Anthropocene? Charting a course for the parks of the next century, Science, Conservation, and National Parks is certain not only to catalyze the continued evolution of US park conservation policy, but also to be an inspiration for parks, conservation, and management worldwide.
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