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Comment: Exlibrary hardcover book in dust jacket- light wear throughout. Has all the usual library marks, stickers, and stamps.
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Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World's Greatest Wildlife Rescue Hardcover – June 21, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Stolzenburg offers a fascinating, if occasionally grisly, peek into the emerging science of preservation through eradication.” ―Salon

“Gripping… Rat Island is less a tragedy of paradise lost than an uplifting tale about the heroic struggle to regain indigenous habitats by exterminating the unwanted predators…[A] powerful book.” ―Financial Times

“Stolzenburg brings a keen eye and thirst for adventure to the front lines of this controversial battle…this study brings important attention to a little known issue, and Stolzenburg probes the moral implications of saving one species by killing another with remarkable fair-mindedness and a temperance rare and needed in the passionate animal rights debate.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A tough, nuanced consideration of ethical issues that arise from man's relationship to nature.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“[Stolzenburg] offers a solid historical background on the topic and effectively conveys the complicated nature of balancing a disrupted island ecosystem.” ―Library Journal

“An extraordianry story” ―Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A gripping account.” ―80 beats (Discover magazine's blog)

About the Author

William Stolzenburg writes about the science and spirit of saving wild creatures. Having written hundreds of magazine articles, he is more recently a 2010 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow, the author of the book Where the Wild Things Were, and a screenwriter for the documentary Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators. He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781608191031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608191031
  • ASIN: 1608191036
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Will Stolzenburg has written hundreds of magazine articles about the science and spirit of saving wild creatures. A 2010 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow, he is also the author of the book "Where the Wild Things Were" and the screenwriter for the documentaries "Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators," and "Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship".

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Rat Island" is a story of invasive species and the effort (sometimes belated and sometimes too late) to reverse the trend of decimation of native flora and fauna. From the moment human exploration and colonization became a reality, humans brought with them rats, cats, pigs, goats, and other creatures, whose introduction into new lands would often greatly upset whatever balance had previously reigned. Especially vulnerable to this type of invasion were islands whose isolation had hitherto allowed for all manner of eco-diversity, and whose populations--often evolving in the absence of predatory land-mammals--would become easy prey for the invasive hordes. Central to "Rat Island" is the story of the Kakapo, a peculiar, flightless parrot native to the New Zealand area, whose precipitous decline--and astonishing recovery--form the central emotional narrative of the book.

"Rat Island" is a fantastic read, treating the above with the sort of storytelling acumen it deserves. It is careful, too, to balance the surprise triumph won by recent reclamation campaigns with the obvious downsides and collateral casualties of the mass-poisoning campaigns needed to remove every last trace of rodentia from some of the hardest-hit islands, although I can see some finding its treatment to still be too one-sided. Written in a lively, captivating style, "Rat Island" is the best book of its sort I have encountered, putting its central challenge in stark perspective while detailing how--with a great deal of coordinated effort--trends wrought by careless expansion can be reversed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An intelligent, must-read... Will Stolzenburg's well-researched account details the gut-wrenching efforts necessary to restore the environment and preserve wildlife... An engrossing labor of love... Sure to enlighten the masses and encourage conversations about conservation...
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Format: Hardcover
A fascinating and horrifying book about native birds in Alaska and New Zealand that are endangered by introduced rats and other predators. This story of the attempts to eradicate these predators reads like a crime novel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book follows many conservation efforts on different islands to save endangered species, especially birds, from the predation of invasive species like ferrets, weasels, stouts, cats, and of course, rats. It tells the tales of naturalist heroes like Richard Henry and Bob Wood, teams of professors and wildlife biologists, helicoptor pilots, bird watchers, and conservation groups working together in efforts to protect native island fauna. It is an inspiring tale of conservation with dramatic conflict by those opposing conservation by eradication. This book is well researched, structured, and written.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Rat Island by William Stolzenburg looks at type of ecological problem we don’t often hear about, but which has caused the extinction of countless strange and beautiful species of animal: invasive species that thrive by killing isolated island ecosystems. It makes one realize how truly fragile these places are, and how special they are as well.

The breadth of island regions the book covers is very impressive. The two archipelagos it focuses on primarily are the Aleutian islands of Alaska, and the many islands off of the New Zealand mainland. But in addition it goes all over Polynesia, to the isles off the west coasts of North and South America, among other places. The history that is told is fascinating: the early humans to reach these islands, the creatures they brought with them, and most significantly what effect they have had since. For the rats, cats, foxes, weasels and other non-natives which people have introduced, some intentionally some not, the victims are many. Prime sufferers are birds, flightless kinds and migratory nesting ones. Many species have gone extinct, and many others are hanging on by a thread.

But the great majority of the book isn’t about the problem, but the solution. In large part it involves the killing of the invaders on a mass scale, for the larger good of the safety of the indigenous. The great urgency and ingenuity of those fighting to rid the isles large, medium, and small, of mammalian plagues is inspiring and impressive. It’s the stories of the people here that stand out as much as the conservation effort itself. Step by step these crusaders work to carry out something many think is impossible, or not worthwhile. I didn’t know what an auklet or a kakapo was before reading this book, but I came out of it quite rooting for their revivals and for the humans trying to help them. Much has been done, and hopefully more will be going forward. I highly recommend this fascinating, funny, sad yet hopeful story.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
A topic previously unknown...reads like a novel...totally engaging...this should be a must go to for anyone interested in our environment and earth's wildlife.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an insight in to the struggles other countries are having with this problem. Great read and supplied a understanding of how one apple can upset the whole cart. Unfortunetly a whole species.
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