Book picks similar to
The Global Forest: 40 Ways Trees Can Save Us by Diana Beresford Kroeger
Living with Tigers
Valmik Thapar - 2016
He was a city boy, unsure of what lay ahead. When he entered the forest, which would go on to become one of the last strongholds of wild tigers, it had a profound effect on him, changing his life forever.For the next forty years, he studied nearly 200 Ranthambhore tigers, spending every waking moment in close proximity to these magnificent animals. Of the various tigers he observed a handful became extra special, and it is these which come to glorious life in this book. They include Padmini, the Queen Mother, the first tiger the author got to know well; Genghis, the master predator, who invented a way of killing prey in water, the first time this had been observed anywhere in the world; Noon, one of his all-time favourites, who received her name because she was most active in the middle of the day; Broken Tooth, an exceptionally gentle male; Laxmi, a devoted mother, whose methods of raising her cubs revolutionized tiger studies; Machli, the most famous tigress in Ranthambhore, and several more.
The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live & Why They Matter
Colin Tudge - 2005
There are Douglas firs as tall as skyscrapers, and a banyan tree in Calcutta as big as a football field.From the tallest to the smallest, trees inspire wonder in all of us, and in The Tree, Colin Tudge travels around the world—throughout the United States, the Costa Rican rain forest, Panama and Brazil, India, New Zealand, China, and most of Europe—bringing to life stories and facts about the trees around us: how they grow old, how they eat and reproduce, how they talk to one another (and they do), and why they came to exist in the first place. He considers the pitfalls of being tall; the things that trees produce, from nuts and rubber to wood; and even the complicated debt that we as humans owe them.Tudge takes us to the Amazon in flood, when the water is deep enough to submerge the forest entirely and fish feed on fruit while river dolphins race through the canopy. He explains the “memory” of a tree: how those that have been shaken by wind grow thicker and sturdier, while those attacked by pests grow smaller leaves the following year; and reveals how it is that the same trees found in the United States are also native to China (but not Europe).From tiny saplings to centuries-old redwoods and desert palms, from the backyards of the American heartland to the rain forests of the Amazon and the bamboo forests, Colin Tudge takes the reader on a journey through history and illuminates our ever-present but often ignored companions. A blend of history, science, philosophy, and environmentalism, The Tree is an engaging and elegant look at the life of the tree and what modern research tells us about their future.
The Glorious Life of the Oak
John Lewis-Stempel - 2018
It is the lynch pin of the British landscape.' The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together. More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain.Many of our ancestors - the Angles, the Saxons, the Norse - came to the British Isles in longships made of oak. For centuries the oak touched every part of a Briton's life - from cradle to coffin It was oak that made the 'wooden walls' of Nelson's navy, and the navy that allowed Britain to rule the world. Even in the digital Apple age, the real oak has resonance - the word speaks of fortitude, antiquity, pastoralism.The Glorious Life of the Oak explores our long relationship with this iconic tree; it considers the life-cycle of the oak, the flora and fauna that depend on the oak, the oak as medicine, food and drink, where Britain's mightiest oaks can be found, and it tells of oak stories from folklore, myth and legend.
What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses
Daniel Chamovitz - 2012
The renowned biologist Daniel Chamovitz builds on the original edition to present an intriguing look at how plants themselves experience the world—from the colors they see to the schedules they keep, and now, what they do in fact hear and how they are able to taste. A rare inside look at what life is really like for the grass we walk on, the flowers we sniff, and the trees we climb, What a Plant Knows offers a greater understanding of their place in nature.
Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
Jon Mooallem - 2013
Half of all species could disappear by the end of the century, and scientists now concede that most of America’s endangered animals will survive only if conservationists keep rigging the world around them in their favor. So Mooallem ventures into the field, often taking his daughter with him, to move beyond childlike fascination and make those creatures feel more real. Wild Ones is a tour through our environmental moment and the eccentric cultural history of people and wild animals in America that inflects it—from Thomas Jefferson’s celebrations of early abundance to the turn-of the-last-century origins of the teddy bear to the whale-loving hippies of the 1970s. In America, Wild Ones discovers, wildlife has always inhabited the terrain of our imagination as much as the actual land.The journey is framed by the stories of three modern-day endangered species: the polar bear, victimized by climate change and ogled by tourists outside a remote northern town; the little-known Lange’s metalmark butterfly, foundering on a shred of industrialized land near San Francisco; and the whooping crane as it’s led on a months-long migration by costumed men in ultralight airplanes. The wilderness that Wild Ones navigates is a scrappy, disorderly place where amateur conservationists do grueling, sometimes preposterous-looking work; where a marketer maneuvers to control the polar bear’s image while Martha Stewart turns up to film those beasts for her show on the Hallmark Channel. Our most comforting ideas about nature unravel. In their place, Mooallem forges a new and affirming vision of the human animal and the wild ones as kindred creatures on an imperfect planet.With propulsive curiosity and searing wit, and without the easy moralizing and nature worship of environmental journalism’s older guard, Wild Ones merges reportage, science, and history into a humane and endearing meditation on what it means to live in, and bring a life into, a broken world.
Mark of the Grizzly
Scott McMillion - 2011
Sometimes grizzlies kill people, and in exceptionally rare cases they even eat them. Those incidents are the focus of this book because that's what makes bears so interesting, such a huge part of our culture and our collective imagination.
The Years of the Forest
Helen Hoover - 1973
It is a book of wilderness adventure, it is an education in the ingenuities of wilderness housekeeping, filled with practical details about making do, building and rebuilding, gardening for fun and for food, even advice about getting away from getting-away-from-it-all.
The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
David George Haskell - 2012
Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature’s path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.Each of this book’s short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands—sometimes millions—of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.
Silence of the Songbirds: How We Are Losing the World's Songbirds and What We Can Do to Save Them
Bridget Stutchbury - 2007
By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"--except the coal mine looks a lot like Earth and we are the hapless excavators.Following the birds on their six-thousand-mile migratory journey, Stutchbury leads us on an ecological field trip to explore firsthand the major threats to songbirds: pesticides, still a major concern decades after Rachel Carson first raised the alarm; the destruction of vital habitat, from the boreal forests of Canada to the diminishing continuous forests of the United States to the grasslands of Argentina; coffee plantations, which push birds out of their forest refuges so we can have our morning fix; the bright lights and structures in our cities, which prove a minefield for migrating birds; and global warming. We could well wake up in the near future and hear no songbirds singing. But we won't just be missing their cheery calls, we'll be missing a vital part of our ecosystem. Without songbirds, our forests would face uncontrolled insect infestations, and our trees, flowers, and gardens would lose a crucial element in their reproductive cycle. As Stutchbury shows, saving songbirds means protecting our ecosystem and ultimately ourselves.Some of the threats to songbirds: - The U.S. annually uses 4-5 million pounds of active ingredient acephate, an insecticide that, even in small quantities, throws off the navigation systems of White-throated sparrows and other songbirds, making them unable to tell north from south. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservatively estimated that 4-5 million birds are killed by crashing into communication towers each year.- A Michigan study found that 600 domestic cats killed more than 6,000 birds during a typical 10-week breeding season. Wood thrush, Kentucky warbler, the Eastern kingbird--migratory songbirds are disappearing at a frightening rate. By some estimates, we may already have lost almost half of the songbirds that filled the skies only forty years ago. Renowned biologist Bridget Stutchbury convincingly argues that songbirds truly are the "canaries in the coal mine"--except the coal mine looks a lot like Earth and we are the hapless excavators.Following the birds on their six-thousand-mile migratory journey, Stutchbury leads us on an ecological field trip to explore firsthand the major threats to songbirds: pesticides, still a major concern decades after Rachel Carson first raised the alarm; the destruction of vital habitat, from the boreal forests of Canada to the diminishing continuous forests of the United States to the grasslands of Argentina; coffee plantations, which push birds out of their forest refuges so we can have our morning fix; the bright lights and structures in our cities, which prove a minefield for migrating birds; and global warming. We could well wake up in the near future and hear no songbirds singing. But we won't just be missing their cheery calls, we'll be missing a vital part of our ecosystem. Without songbirds, our forests would face uncontrolled insect infestations, and our trees, flowers, and gardens would lose a crucial element in their reproductive cycle. As Stutchbury shows, saving songbirds means protecting our ecosystem and ultimately ourselves.Some of the threats to songbirds: - The U.S. annually uses 4-5 million pounds of active ingredient acephate, an insecticide that, even in small quantities, throws off the navigation systems of White-throated sparrows and other songbirds, making them unable to tell north from south. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservatively estimated that 4-5 million birds are killed by crashing into communication towers each year.- A Michigan study found that 600 domestic cats killed more than 6,000 birds during a typical 10-week breeding season.
The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World's Most Misunderstood Mammals
Merlin Tuttle - 2015
From menacing moonshiners and armed bandits to charging elephants and man-eating tigers, Merlin Tuttle has stopped at nothing to find and protect bats on every continent they inhabit. Enamored of bats ever since discovering a colony in a cave as a boy, Tuttle saw how effective photography could be in persuading people not to fear bats, and he has spent his career traveling the world to document them.Few people realize how sophisticated and intelligent bats are. Tuttle shares research showing that frog-eating bats can identify frogs by their calls, that vampire bats have a social order similar to that of primates, and that bats have remarkable memories. Bats also provide enormous benefits by eating crop pests, pollinating plants, and carrying seeds needed for reforestation. They save farmers billions of dollars annually and are essential to a healthy planet.Sharing highlights from a lifetime of adventure and discovery, Tuttle takes us to the frontiers of bat research and conservation and forever changes the way we see these poorly understood yet fascinating creatures.
A World Without Bees
Alison Benjamin - 2008
So if — or when — the world loses its black-and-yellow workers, the consequences will be dire.What is behind this catastrophe? Viruses, parasites, pesticides and climate change have all been blamed, as has modern monoculture agribusiness. In this timely book, two keen amateur apiarists investigate all the claims and counterclaims with the help of scientists and beekeepers in Europe, America and elsewhere.They ask the question that will soon be on everyone’s lips: Is there any possible way of saving the honeybees — and with them, the world as we know it?
Secrets of the Oak Woodlands: Plants and Animals Among California's Oaks
Kate Marianchild - 2014
Yet, while common, oak woodlands are anything but ordinary. In a book rich in illustration and suffused with wonder, author Kate Marianchild combines extensive research and years of personal experience to explore some of the marvelous plants and animals that the oak woodlands nurture. Acorn woodpeckers unite in marriages of up to ten mates and raise their young cooperatively. Ground squirrels roll in rattlesnake skins to hide their scent from hungry snakes. Manzanita's rust-colored, paper-thin bark peels away in time for the summer solstice, exposing sinuous contours that are cool to the touch even on the hottest day. Conveying up-to-the-minute scientific findings with a storyteller's skill, Marianchild introduces us to a host of remarkable creatures in a world close by, a world that rustles, hums, and sings with the sounds of wild things.
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
Amy Stewart - 2004
The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It ploughs the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. Who knew? In her witty, offbeat style, Stewart shows that much depends on the actions of the lowly worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, praising their remarkable abilities. With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the worm's subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists—the unsung heroes of earthworm science—who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to ten feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into the heart of Darwin's last book to the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, The Earth Moved gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe. This book is for all of us who appreciate Mother Nature's creatures, no matter how humble.
Bees: Nature's Little Wonders
Candace Savage - 2008
It considers the diversity and biology of bees, including their peculiar sociosexual arrangements (pity the poor drone), their quirky relationships with flowers, and their startling mental abilities: What are we to make of insects that communicate through symbolic dances? The book also addresses the mysterious syndrome known as colony collapse disorder and identifies opportunities for the conservation of pollinators.Enriched with cultural sidebars and complemented by a stunning collection of images, Bees is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and everyone else who cares about the world around them.Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.Also available in paperback.