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In 1894, a lighthouse keeper named David Lyall arrived on Stephens Island off New Zealand with a cat named Tibbles. In just over a year, the Stephens Island Wren, a rare bird endemic to the island, was rendered extinct. Mounting scientific evidence confirms what many conservationists have suspected for some time—that in the United States alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions. Equally alarming are the little-known but potentially devastating public health consequences of rabies and parasitic Toxoplasma passing from cats to humans at rising rates. Cat Wars tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world, and sheds new light on the controversies surrounding the management of the explosion of these cat populations. This compelling book traces the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling, and feline diseases. It charts the developments that have led to our present impasse—from Stan Temple's breakthrough studies on cat predation in Wisconsin to cat-eradication programs underway in Australia today. It describes how a small but vocal minority of cat advocates has campaigned successfully for no action in much the same way that special interest groups have stymied attempts to curtail smoking and climate change. Cat Wars paints a revealing picture of a complex global problem—and proposes solutions that foresee a time when wildlife and humans are no longer vulnerable to the impacts of free-ranging cats.
In 1894, a lighthouse keeper named David Lyall arrived on Stephens Island off New Zealand with a cat named Tibbles. In just over a year, the Stephens Island Wren, a rare bird endemic to the island, was rendered extinct. Mounting scientific evidence confirms what many conservationists have suspected for some time--that in the United States alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions. Equally alarming are the little-known but potentially devastating public health consequences of rabies and parasitic "Toxoplasma" passing from cats to humans at rising rates. "Cat Wars" tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world, and sheds new light on the controversies surrounding the management of the explosion of these cat populations. This compelling book traces the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling, and feline diseases. It charts the developments that have led to our present impasse--from Stan Temple's breakthrough studies on cat predation in Wisconsin to cat-eradication programs underway in Australia today. It describes how a small but vocal minority of cat advocates has campaigned successfully for no action in much the same way that special interest groups have stymied attempts to curtail smoking and climate change. "Cat Wars" paints a revealing picture of a complex global problem--and proposes solutions that foresee a time when wildlife and humans are no longer vulnerable to the impacts of free-ranging cats.
"In prose as strong and quietly beautiful as the American chestnut itself, Susan Freinkel profiles the silent catastrophe of a near-extinction and the impassioned struggle to bring a species back from the brink. Freinkel is a rare hybrid: equally fluid and in command as a science writer and a chronicler of historical events, and graced with the poise and skill to seamlessly graft these talents together. A perfect book."—Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Spook "A spellbinding, heart wrenching, and uplifting account of the American chestnut that asks the vastly important question: Have we learned enough, and do we care enough, to begin healing some of the wounds we've inflicted on the natural world?"—Scott Weidensaul, author of Return to Wild America and Mountains of the Heart "This is a beautifully written account of the passing of one of the botanical wonders of the North American landscape, the American chestnut tree, which was nearly extirpated by a plague that entered the ecosystem and swept these great trees away. Freinkel, a gifted writer whose research is impeccable and whose reporting is topnotch, tells of the impassioned work of scientists over the past century and up to today, trying to bring the American chestnut back from the brink of extinction. Only a person in love with trees could have written this lovely book."—Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees "Graceful, provocative, and inspiring. Thoreau would be proud."—Alan Burdick, author of Out of Eden, a 2005 National Book Award finalist "In this beautifully written volume, Susan Freinkel ably describes the marriage of science and passion that is being brought to bear to save this majestic American tree from extinction. The people whose ancestors lived among chestnut trees and their places come alive for the reader, as does the appearance and spread of the blight and the heroes who are struggling with it today. The book concludes with a tantalizing vision of chestnuts in the forests again—a thought of making the world right where it has gone wrong."—Peter H. Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden
ItÆs estimated that 50 to 60 million Americans count birding among their hobbies. Some hang feeders in their backyards and accumulate yard lists; others participate in annual ôChristmas Countsö; a select few travel to the ends of the earth in an effort to see every bird in the world. With Fifty Places to Go Birding Before You Die, Chris Santella takes the best-selling ôFifty Placesö recipe and applies it to this most popular pastime. Santella presents some of the greatest bird-watching venues in the United States and abroad through interviews with prominent birders, from tour leaders and conservationists to ornithologists and academics. Interviewees include ornithologist Kenn Kaufman; David Allen Sibley, author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds; Rose Ann Rowlett, the ômother of modern birdingö; John Fitzpatrick, director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and Steve McCormick, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. The places vary from the urban (New York CityÆs Central Park) to the mystical (the cloud forests of Triunfo in Chiapas, Mexico) to the extremely remote (the sub-Arctic islands of New Zealand). The book includes 40 gorgeous photographs that capture the vibrancy of our feathered friends, and the beautiful places they call home.
A New York Times bestseller about how cats conquered the world and our hearts in this “deep and illuminating perspective on our favorite household companion” (Huffington Post). House cats rule bedrooms and back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, even cyberspace. And unlike dogs, cats offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent mouse-catchers and now pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still. In the “eminently readable and gently funny” (Library Journal, starred review) The Lion in the Living Room, Abigail Tucker travels through world history, natural science, and pop culture to meet breeders, activists, and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats-turned-hunters on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world’s biggest celebrities—who just happens to be a cat. “Fascinating” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and “lighthearted” (The Seattle Times), Tucker shows how these tiny felines have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. A “lively read that pounces back and forth between evolutionary science and popular culture” (The Baltimore Sun), The Lion in the Living Room suggests that we learn that the appropriate reaction to a house cat, it seems, might not be aww but awe.
"Should be of value to anyone interested in the movement patterns of birds and other animals." -- Trends in Ecology and Evolution "Collections strong in natural history, ecology, and bird behavior and lore will find Birds of Two Worlds an indispensable ornithological reference." -- The Bookwatch
Join birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma on a ten-week, ten-state bicycle journey as he travels with his son from the Atlantic to the Pacific, lingering and listening to our continent sing as no one has before. On remote country roads, over terrain vast and spectacular, from dawn to dusk and sometimes through the night, you will gain a deep appreciation for the natural symphony of birdsong many of us take for granted. Come along and marvel at how expressive these creatures are as Kroodsma leads you west across nearly five thousand miles—at a leisurely pace that enables a deep listen. Listening to a Continent Sing is also a guided tour through the history of a young nation and the geology of an ancient landscape, and an invitation to set aside the bustle of everyday life to follow one's dreams. It is a celebration of flowers and trees, rocks and rivers, mountains and prairies, clouds and sky, headwinds and calm, and of local voices and the people you will meet along the way. It is also the story of a father and son deepening their bond as they travel the slow road together from coast to coast. Beautifully illustrated throughout with drawings of birds and scenes and featuring QR codes that link to audio birdsong, this poignant and insightful book takes you on a travel adventure unlike any other—accompanied on every leg of your journey by birdsong.

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