John Wesley Powell was an American original. He was the last of the nation's great continental explorers and the first of a new breed of public servant: part scientist, part social reformer, part institution builder. His work and life reveal an enduringly valuable way of thinking about land, water, and society as parts of an interconnected whole; he was America's first great bioregional thinker.
Seeing Things Whole presents John Wesley Powell in the full diversity of his achievements and interests, bringing together in a single volume writings ranging from his gripping account of exploring the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to his views on the evolution of civilization, along with the seminal writings in which he sets forth his ideas on western settlement and the allocation and management of western resources.
The centerpiece of Seeing Things Whole is a series of selections from the famous 1878 Report on the Lands of the Arid Region and related magazine articles in which Powell further develops the themes of the report. In those, he recommends organizing the Arid Lands into watershed commonwealths governed by resident citizens whose interlocking interests create the checks and balances essential to wise stewardship of the land. This was the central focus of John Wesley Powell's bioregional vision, and it remains a model for governance that many westerners see as a viable solution to the resource management conflicts that continue to bedevil the region.
Throughout the collection, award-winning writer and historian William deBuys brilliantly sets the historical context for Powell's work. Section introductions and extensive descriptive notes take the reader through the evolution of John Wesley Powell's interests and ideas from his role as an officer in the Civil War through his critique of Social Darwinism and landmark categorization of Indian languages, to the climatic yet ultimately futile battles he fought to win adoption of his land-use proposals.
Seeing Things Whole presents the essence of the extraordinary legacy that John Wesley Powell has left to the American people, and to people everywhere who strive to reconcile the demands of society with the imperatives of the land.
Based on three years of study in the Serengeti National Park, George B. Schaller’s The Serengeti Lion describes the vast impact of the lion and other predators on the vast herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle for which the area is famous. The most comprehensive book available on the lion, this classic work includes the author’s findings on all aspects of lion behavior, including its social system, population dynamics, hunting behavior, and predation patterns.
“If you have only enough time to read one book about field biology, this is the one I recommend.”—Edward O. Wilson, Science
“This book conveys not only the fascination of its particular study of lion behavior but the drama and wonder and beauty of the intimate interdependence of all living things.”—Saturday Review
“This is an important book, not just for its valuable information on lions, but for its broad, open, and intelligent approach to problems that cut across the fields of behavior, populations, ecology, wildlife management, evolution, anthropology, and comparative biology.”—Richard G. Van Gelder, Bioscience
As dusk settles over the Costa Rican forest, the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, stirs from its cave roost. Flying out to search for ripe fruit, Carollia returns to a night roost in the forest vegetation to eat. After a few such flights Carollia rests, and the fruits pass through its short digestive tract. The seeds are excreted onto the ground, to be eaten in turn by mice and insects, but a few are pushed into crevices where they await the necessary conditions for germination.
In The Short-tailed Fruit Bat, Theodore Fleming examines Carollia's role in the ecology of tropical forests. Based on more than ten years' research, this study provides the most detailed ecological and evolutionary account to date of the life history of a Neotropical mammal and includes striking photographs of the bats in flight.
Solitary, nocturnal creatures, skunks generally go about their business unnoticed. But then there’s that thing they do . . . and oh, boy, when they do it, no one can ignore them.
But there’s far more to skunks than their stench, and with this beautifully illustrated entry in Reaktion’s Animal series, Alyce Miller gives these furry scavengers their due. More than being unappreciated, skunks, Miller reveals, have a long history of persecution: killed off as smelly nuisances, they have also been hunted for their fur and, yes, their unique musk, which has found a perhaps unexpected use in perfume. Moving from nature to culture, Miller delves into the long line of skunks that have played parts in literature, film, and folklore, from the antics of Pepe Le Pew to the role of skunks in Native American spiritual beliefs. As growing urban wildlife populations bring humans and skunks ever closer, Miller’s book will help us understand—and appreciate—these beautiful, intriguing, and wholly distinct animals.
"Just recently, we once again traveled the high roads of snow leopard country, enjoying the beauty of Ladakh's iconic monasteries and watching blue sheep graze steep mountainsides. We saw no snow leopards but sensed their presence, feeling lucky and thrilled to be under the distant gaze of this magnificent cat. May you experience a similar feeling as you read about the snow leopard in this remarkable collection."
-Robert Bateman, from the foreword.
Like no other large cat, the snow leopard evokes a sense of myth and mysticism, strength and spirit shrouded in a snowy veil, seldom seen but always present. Giving a voice to the snow leopard, this collection of powerful first person accounts from an impressive cadre of scientist-adventurers grants readers a rare glimpse of this elusive cat and the remarkable lives of those personally connected to its future. These Stories from the Roof of the World resonate with adventure, danger, discovery, and most importantly hope for this magnificent big cat.
Very little has been written about this mystical creature. Its remote and rugged habitat among the mightiest collection of mountains on Earth, proclaimed "The Roof of the World" by awe-struck explorers, make it one of the most difficult and expensive animals to study. After a millennia thriving in peaceful isolation, human encroachment, poaching and climate change threaten the snow leopards survival. Speaking on behalf of the snow leopard, these heart-felt stories will inform and inspire readers, creating the vital connection needed to move people toward action in saving this magnificent cat. Contributors include: Ali Abutalip Dahashof, Som B. Ale, Avaantseren Bayarjargal, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Joseph L. Fox, Helen Freeman, Darla Hillard, Don Hunter, Shafqat Hussain, Rodney Jackson, Jan E. Janecka, Mitchell Kelly, Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Nasier A. Kitchloo, Evgeniy P. Kashkarov, Peter Matthiessen, Kyle McCarthy, Tom McCarthy, George B. Schaller, and Rinchen Wangchuk
Skilled predators prized by hunters and cursed by ranchers, mountain lions are the wild soul of the American West. Now a wildlife biologist brings you nose to nose with the elusive cougar. Harley Shaw shares dramatic stories culled from his years of studying mountain lions, separating fact from myth regarding their habits while raising serious questions about mankind's relationship with this commanding creature.
"Most of us move into the country because we love wildlife," writes Shaw. "But none of us will tolerate having our pets or children eaten. . . . When lion/human encounters occur, the lion (or bear, or wolf) always ultimately loses."
Soul among Lions offers us a chance to consider the true meaning of that loss.
Famed in story as "the great leviathans," sperm whales are truly creatures of extremes. Giants among all whales, they also have the largest brains of any creature on Earth. Males can reach a length of sixty-two feet and can weigh upwards of fifty tons.
With this book, Hal Whitehead gives us a clearer picture of the ecology and social life of sperm whales than we have ever had before. Based on almost two decades of field research, Whitehead describes their biology, behavior, and habitat; how they organize their societies; and how their complex lifestyles may have evolved in this unique environment. Among the many fascinating topics he explores is the crucial role that culture plays in the life of the sperm whale, and he traces the consequences of this argument for both evolution and conservation. Finally, drawing on these findings, Whitehead builds a general model of how the ocean environment influences social behavior and cultural evolution among mammals as well as other animals.
The definitive portrait of a provocative creature, Sperm Whales will interest animal behaviorists, conservationists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists as well as marine mammalogists.
Award-winning author Frederick Turner examines the lives and careers of nine American authors, the locales they made famous, and the ways in which landscape played a role in the creation of their finest works. Spirit of Place is both a testament to the creative genius of nine of America's most important writers and an insightful investigation of the vital role of the physical landscape in the cultural development of the United States.