Friday, May 17, 2013

Endangered Species Day

Today is Endangered Species Day. According the National Wildlife Foundation, this day is "a day to learn about the imperiled birds, fish and plants in your area and to share the importance of wildlife conservation with your community."


Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. The town of Lily, Arkansas, is taken by storm with the possible sighting of the Lazarus Woodpecker, a bird long thought to be extinct. Cullen likes to mock it. His brother, Gabriel, is a bit more zen about it. Then, Gabriel disappears without a trace.

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer. Sophie and her mother are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo working at her mother's bonobo reserve. When war breaks out, Sophie and Otto (one of the bonobos) are on the run for their lives.

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Philip Hoose. B95 is a red knot rufa, a small bird that migrates from the Canadian Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, and back again, every year. B95 has done this flight so many times, he could have flown to the moon, and then some. Hoose spends a year tracking the red knot rufas, a species that is dying out, trying to see if, once again, B95 will make it.


The Scientists in the Field series is consistently excellent. Here are 3 titles on endangered species.

Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop. Tom McCarthy is the conservation director of the Snow Leopard Trust. This book chronicles a research trip he takes to Western China to try to find the elusive cat. This is one of my favorites because they never actually see any Snow Leopards. It's a great tale of what happens when stuff goes wrong, and how the trip is still valuable research and not a waste of time.

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin Burns. Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening honeybees. We know life with out beeswax or honey would be not cool, but Burns details the further ramifications... like a world with no fruit. In this book she details the work of 4 scientists trying to discover what's causing this, and how to stop it.

The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species by Peter Lourie. American readers are probably most familiar with endangered manatees off the coast of Florida. In this book, Lourie follows three different conservation projects. The Florida manatees are here, but also different types of manatees in Senegal and ones that live in the Amazon river. They are different issues and different projects, but the race to save them is the same.


World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky, illustrated by Frank Stockton. In this very well-designed book, Kurlansky raises the alarm about the state of our oceans and the wide-spread, dire consequences that are coming because of it. While not about an endangered species per se, this still looks at how an multiple species are struggling and how it will ripple out for wide-ranging catastrophe.

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Philip Hoose. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker's disappearance is the also the story of America's growth as a country. What's better, is after this critically acclaimed book came out, the bird was spotted again (something that inspired the reappearance of Lazarus WoodpeckerWhere Things Come Back). Read the adult title, The Grail Bird: The Rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker for the next chapter in this fascinating story.

What are your favorite books about endangered animals?

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