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Where the Wild Things Were Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators

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Where the Wild Things Were Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators by Stolzenburg, William, 9781596916241
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  • ISBN: 9781596916241 | 1596916249
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/23/2009
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"Big, fierce animals have a noble champion in William Stolzenburg."Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus, Harvard UniversityWildlife journalist William Stolzenburg follows in the wake of nature's topmost carnivores and finds chaos in their absence. His startling tour through the bizarre, impoverished landscapes of pest and plague provides a world of reason to think again about meat-eating beasts so recently missing from the web of life. Includes a new afterword by the author. William Stolzenburghas studied predator control techniques, monitored endangered species, and written hundreds of magazine features and columns on the science of rarity and extinction forNature ConservancyandScience News, among others. He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It wasn't so long ago that wolves and great cats, monstrous fish and flying raptors ruled the peak of nature's food pyramid. Not so anymore. All but exterminated, these predators of the not-too-distant past have been reduced to minor players of the modern era. And what of it? Wildlife journalist William Stolzenburg follows in the wake of nature's topmost carnivores, and finds chaos in their absence. From the brazen mobs of deer and marauding raccoons of backyard America to stream-sides of Yellowstone National Park crushed by massive herds of elk; from urchin-scoured reefs in the North Pacific to ant-devoured islands in Venezuela, Stolzenburg leads a startling tour through bizarre, impoverished landscapes of pest and plague. This provocative look at how the disappearance of the world's great predators has upset the delicate balance of the environment also tells of what their disappearance portends for the future. "Absorbing and delightful . . .Where the Wild Things Wereis one of those rare books that provide not just an enriching story, but a new, clarifying lens through which to understand the world around us."Christian Science Monitor "Stolzenburg narrates these cautionary tales with a conservationist's attention to ecological detail and a childlike reverence for flesh-eating beasts. His infectious enthusiasm should spark even in bug-wary urbanites a renewed appreciation for nature's complexity."Time "A meticulous and convincing argument that alpha predators are the primary regulators of ecosystems, and that their removal is crippling our planet's biodiversity."Bill McKibben,Boston Globe "With a lucid and sparkling voice, William Stolzenburg offers a revealing and well-documented account that explains clearly why we need the wolf, tiger, and other predators, large and small, to maintain a healthy environment."George B. Schaller, Vice President of Science and Exploration, Wildlife Conservation Society; author ofThe Serengeti Lion "Where the Wild Things Wereis science writing at its best. The subject is important for biology and sustainable development, the prose is excellent, turning lyrical at just the right times, and the story of the research is woven with clarity into natural history. Big, fierce animals have a noble champion in William Stolzenburg."Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University "As the title implies, this work is an examination of a world without the top predators of an ecological niche. Exploring the history of predation from the first microscopic predator through the age of the dinosaurs to today's modern mammals, science writer Stolzenburg, who has studied predator-control techniques and monitored endangered species, reveals the devastat

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