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The Kingdom of Rarities 2nd annotated edition Edition
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There is a serious purpose to this book: to look at why rare species are rare and to determine what intervention is required to conserve them and their habitats. Dinerstein shows us the effects of Big Ag in the rainforests of South America, of war in Vietnam and Cambodia, of species invasion in Hawaii, and speculates on the possible effects of global warming on these threatened rarities. Sometimes such books are read with a sense of duty and a heavy heart - but not this one. All through Dinerstein highlights the positives as much as the negatives, offers solutions, tells us of the amazing things that are already being achieved both by nature and by man; and left this reader, at least, with an enormous sense of hope.
Generously Dinerstein name-checks many of the naturalists and ecologists, past and present, who have and are doing so much to reverse the trend towards extinctions, and plays down his own role as a leading conservationist and Lead Scientist at the WWF. The sciency stuff is slotted in so seamlessly amidst the glorious descriptions of flora and fauna that it's easy for a non-academic to absorb - especially if a dictionary is close to hand!Read more ›
Dinerstein tells us that "Wild species that leave footprints larger than our own are now among the rarest of all mammals. Places where they once dominated the landscape must be part of the legacy we bequeath to future generations." This plea, or premise if you will, is at the hallmark of this remarkable book that provides profound and new insights into what is commonly called "the animal kingdom" and the world of nature that seemingly is under constant attack by the human priorities of the moment. How sad a world it would be if we were unable or unwilloing to heed his words here.Read more ›
There are some very good chapters- the scientific trip to New Guinea - wow, the author writing about his own rhino research (my favorite chapter) and the Kirtland Warbler chapter. However, too many of the chapters ended up being a birding trip report where the author's bird list became the focus of the chapter. Some of the chapters such as the section on Hawaiian birds have been better told elsewhere.
For me, there was not enough focus to the book and it ended up with stories that overly featured the authors bird (and mammal) life list. For a birder looking for travel ideas, this book is recommended. But there are better written books that describe the conversation challenge of saving rare species (such as Perter Matthiessen books including my favorite of this genre - The Birds of Heaven: Travels With Cranes", the science behind rare animals - The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent, well-written account of the variety of ways that species adapt, in some cases resist and even survive the effects of humankind.Published 5 months ago by Barbara Doll
One of the things I loved about this book is the engaging stories of expeditions past and current, including field journal notes. Read morePublished 6 months ago by KENR
A fantastic read! This book takes you from your backyard to the most exotic places, looking at the rare species in each. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Reader
This is a book I started years ago and never finished. I just read it all over the last day and am glad I did. Read morePublished 9 months ago by lyndonbrecht
This is a beautifully written eco adventure chronicle that reports on the current state of rare species and explores why so many species are rare. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dennis Littrell
Very informative. The author is brilliant. If this was required reading, I think strip mining, and deforestation would be voluntarily eradicated. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sheila
This wonderfully written treatment about nature and the struggle by those who seek to preserve its rich and varied species against the anthropogenic pressures of extinction is one... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ecologist
Not your everyday read but an interesting book with amazing insight into why rarities occur.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer