Lions in the Balance

Author: Craig Packer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022609300X
Format: PDF
Download Now
If you are a morani (warrior), you have your spear at the ready—you could be the hero, but you will have to wait until the morning light before you can go out and prove yourself. If it is a lion, you want to be the first to spear it—and if the lion turns on you, make sure it mauls you on your chest or stomach, on your face, shins, or throat. Any place where you can show your scars with pride, show the incontrovertible evidence of courage. A scar on your back would be a permanent reminder of cowardice, an ineradicable trace of shame. Monsters take many forms: from man-eating lions to the people who hunt them, from armed robbers to that midnight knock at the door of a cheap hotel room in Dar es Salaam. And celebrated biologist Craig Packer has faced them all. Head on. With Lions in the Balance, Packer takes us back into the complex, tooth-and-claw world of the African lion, offering revealing insights into both the lives of one of the most iconic and dangerous animals on earth and the very real risks of protecting them. A sequel to his prize-winning Into Africa—which gave many readers their first experience of fieldwork in Africa, of cooperative lions on dusty savannas, and political kidnappings on the shores of Lake Tanganyika—this new diary-based chronicle of cutting-edge research and heartbreaking corruption will both alarm and entertain. Packer’s story offers a look into the future of the lion, one in which the politics of conservation will require survival strategies far more creative and powerful than those practiced anywhere in the world today. Packer is sure to infuriate millionaires, politicians, aid agencies, and conservationists alike as he minces no words about the problems he encounters. But with a narrative stretching from far flung parts of Africa to the corridors of power in Washington, DC, and marked by Packer’s signature humor and incredible candor, Lions in the Balance is a tale of courage against impossible odds, a masterly blend of science, adventure, and storytelling, and an urgent call to action that will captivate a new generation of readers.

Into Africa

Author: Craig Packer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605599X
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Craig Packer takes us into Africa for a journey of fifty-two days in the fall of 1991. But this is more than a tour of magnificent animals in an exotic, faraway place. A field biologist since 1972, Packer began his work studying primates at Gombe and then the lions of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater with his wife and colleague Anne Pusey. Here, he introduces us to the real world of fieldwork—initiating assistants to lion research in the Serengeti, helping a doctoral student collect data, collaborating with Jane Goodall on primate research. As in the works of George Schaller and Cynthia Moss, Packer transports us to life in the field. He is addicted to this land—to the beauty of a male lion striding across the Serengeti plains, to the calls of a baboon troop through the rain forests of Gombe—and to understanding the animals that inhabit it. Through his vivid narration, we feel the dust and the bumps of the Arusha Road, smell the rosemary in the air at lunchtime on a Serengeti verandah, and hear the lyrics of the Grateful Dead playing off bootlegged tapes. Into Africa also explores the social lives of the animals and the threats to their survival. Packer grapples with questions he has passionately tried to answer for more than two decades. Why do female lions raise their young in crèches? Why do male baboons move from troop to troop while male chimps band together? How can humans and animals continue to coexist in a world of diminishing resources? Immediate demands—logistical nightmares, political upheavals, physical exhaustion—yield to the larger inescapable issues of the interdependence of the land, the animals, and the people who inhabit it.

Life Reimagined

Author: Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101622970
Format: PDF
Download Now
A dynamic and inspiring exploration of the new science that is redrawing the future for people in their forties, fifties, and sixties for the better—and for good. There’s no such thing as an inevitable midlife crisis, Barbara Bradley Hagerty writes in this provocative, hopeful book. It’s a myth, an illusion. New scientific research explodes the fable that midlife is a time when things start to go downhill for everybody. In fact, midlife can be a great new adventure, when you can embrace fresh possibilities, purposes, and pleasures. In Life Reimagined, Hagerty explains that midlife is about renewal: It’s the time to renegotiate your purpose, refocus your relationships, and transform the way you think about the world and yourself. Drawing from emerging information in neurology, psychology, biology, genetics, and sociology—as well as her own story of midlife transformation—Hagerty redraws the map for people in midlife and plots a new course forward in understanding our health, our relationships, even our futures. From the Hardcover edition.

Cheetahs of the Serengeti Plains

Author: T. M. Caro
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226094335
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Cheetahs of the Serengeti Plains is the most comprehensive account of carnivore social behavior to date. Synthesizing more than a decade of research in the wild, this book offers a detailed account of the behavior and ecology of cheetahs. Compared with other large cats, and other mammals, cheetahs have an unusual breeding system; whereas lions live in prides and tigers are solitary, some cheetahs live in groups while others live by themselves. Tim Caro explores group and solitary living among cheetahs and discovers that the causes of social behavior vary dramatically, even within a single species. Why do cheetah cubs stay with their mother for a full year after weaning? Why do adolescents remain in groups? Why do adult males live in permanent associations with each other? Why do adult females live alone? Through observations on the costs and benefits of group living, Caro offers new insight into the complex behavior of this extraordinary species. For example, contrary to common belief about cooperative hunting in large carnivores, he shows that neither adolescents nor adult males benefit from hunting in groups. With many surprising findings, and through comparisons with other cat species, Caro enriches our understanding of the evolution of social behavior and offers new perspectives on conservation efforts to save this charismatic and endangered carnivore.

Learning to Play With a Lion s Testicles

Author: Melissa Haynes
Publisher: Behler Publications
ISBN: 1933016817
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
The cheeky title of Melissa Haynes's story of adventure in Africa, Learning to Play with a Lion's Testicles, earned the book some big publicity on NBC-TV/Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on September 4,2013 where it topped the show's list of "Titles Not to Read" for September 2013. Melissa's book was also a big smash on the March 11, 2014 Ellen Show, where Ellen and guest Ricky Gervais highlighted the book throughout the entire hour. Playing with a lion’s testicles: An African saying that means to take foolhardy chances. Melissa, an exhausted executive from the city seeks meaning and purpose from her work, and volunteers for a Big Five conservation project in South Africa. Her boss, an over-zealous ranger, nicknamed the Drill Sergeant, has no patience for city folk, especially if they're women, and tries to send her packing on day one. But Melissa stands her ground with grit and determination, however shaky it may be. Conflict soon sets the pace with a cast filled with predatory cats, violent elephants, and an on-going battle of wits with the Drill Sergeant. Even Mother Nature pounds the reserve with the worst storm in a century. But the most enduring and profound conflict is the internal battle going on within Melissa, as she tries to come to terms with the guilt surrounding her mother's death. When death grips the game reserve, it is the very animals Melissa has come to save that end up saving her. For the reader who has ever dreamed of going to Africa or knows the pain of loss and guilt, LEARNING TO PLAY WITH A LION’S TESTICLES will fill your soul.

Ivory

Author: Keith Somerville
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 1849048657
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Half of Tanzania's elephants have been killed for their ivory since 2007. A similar alarming story can be told of the herds in northern Mozambique and across swathes of central Africa, with forest elephants losing almost two-thirds of their numbers to the tusk trade. The huge rise in poaching and ivory smuggling in the new millennium has destroyed the hope that the 1989 ivory trade ban had capped poaching and would lead to a long-term fall in demand. But why the new upsurge? The answer is not simple. Since ancient times, large-scale killing of elephants for their tusks has been driven by demand outside Africa's elephant ranges - from the Egyptian pharaohs through Imperial Rome and industrialising Europe and North America to the new wealthy business class of China. And, who poaches and why do they do it? In recent years lurid press reports have blamed mass poaching on rebel movements and armed militias, especially Somalia's Al Shabaab, tying two together two evils - poaching and terrorism. But does this account stand up to scrutiny? This new and ground-breaking examination of the history and politics of ivory in Africa forensically examines why poaching happens in Africa and why it is corruption, crime and politics, rather than insurgency, that we should worry about.

Wild Cats of the World

Author: Mel Sunquist
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022651823X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
Did you know that European royalty once used cheetahs to hunt deer, or that caracals can capture birds by leaping six and a half feet straight up into the air from a standing start? Have you ever wondered whether domestic cats really do land on their feet when they fall, or how Canada lynx can stalk their prey in the winter without falling through the deep snow? Wild Cats of the World is a treasure trove of answers to questions like these, and many others, for anyone who's interested in learning more about the world's felids, including the ones with whom we share our homes. Mel and Fiona Sunquist have spent more than a decade gathering information about cats from every available source, many of them quite difficult to find, including scientific papers, descriptions of hunts, archeological findings, observations by naturalists and travelers, reports from government agencies, and newsletters from a wide variety of organizations. Weaving information from these sources together with their own experiences observing wild cats around the world, the Sunquists have created the most comprehensive reference on felids available. Each of their accounts of the 36 species of cat contains a description of the cat, including human interactions with it, as well as detailed data on its distribution, ecology and behavior, status in the wild, and efforts to conserve it. Numerous photographs, including more than 40 in full color, illustrate these accounts. Ranging from the two-pound black-footed cat to the five-hundred-pound tiger, and from the African serval with its satellite-dish ears to the web-footed fishing cat of Asia, Wild Cats of the World will fascinate and educate felid fans of any stripe (or spot).

Wolves

Author: L. David Mech
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226516981
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Wolves are some of the world's most charismatic and controversial animals, capturing the imaginations of their friends and foes alike. Highly intelligent and adaptable, they hunt and play together in close-knit packs, sometimes roaming over hundreds of square miles in search of food. Once teetering on the brink of extinction across much of the United States and Europe, wolves have made a tremendous comeback in recent years, thanks to legal protection, changing human attitudes, and efforts to reintroduce them to suitable habitats in North America. As wolf populations have rebounded, scientific studies of them have also flourished. But there hasn't been a systematic, comprehensive overview of wolf biology since 1970. In Wolves, many of the world's leading wolf experts provide state-of-the-art coverage of just about everything you could want to know about these fascinating creatures. Individual chapters cover wolf social ecology, behavior, communication, feeding habits and hunting techniques, population dynamics, physiology and pathology, molecular genetics, evolution and taxonomy, interactions with nonhuman animals such as bears and coyotes, reintroduction, interactions with humans, and conservation and recovery efforts. The book discusses both gray and red wolves in detail and includes information about wolves around the world, from the United States and Canada to Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, and Mongolia. Wolves is also extensively illustrated with black and white photos, line drawings, maps, and fifty color plates. Unrivalled in scope and comprehensiveness, Wolves will become the definitive resource on these extraordinary animals for scientists and amateurs alike. “An excellent compilation of current knowledge, with contributions from all the main players in wolf research. . . . It is designed for a wide readership, and certainly the language and style will appeal to both scientists and lucophiles alike. . . . This is an excellent summary of current knowledge and will remain the standard reference work for a long time to come.”—Stephen Harris, New Scientist “This is the place to find almost any fact you want about wolves.”—Stephen Mills, BBC Wildlife Magazine

Cougar

Author: Maurice Hornocker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226353478
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The cougar is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic, and majestic animals in the Americas. Eliciting reverence for its grace and independent nature, it also triggers fear when it comes into contact with people, pets, and livestock or competes for hunters’ game. Mystery, myth, and misunderstanding surround this remarkable creature. The cougar’s range once extended from northern Canada to the tip of South America, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic, making it the most widespread animal in the western hemisphere. But overhunting and loss of habitat vastly reduced cougar numbers by the early twentieth century across much of its historical range, and today the cougar faces numerous threats as burgeoning human development encroaches on its remaining habitat. When Maurice Hornocker began the first long-term study of cougars in the Idaho wilderness in 1964, little was known about this large cat. Its secretive nature and rarity in the landscape made it difficult to study. But his groundbreaking research yielded major insights and was the prelude to further research on this controversial species. The capstone to Hornocker’s long career studying big cats, Cougar is a powerful and practical resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone with an interest in large carnivores. He and conservationist Sharon Negri bring together the diverse perspectives of twenty-two distinguished scientists to provide the fullest account of the cougar’s ecology, behavior, and genetics, its role as a top predator, and its conservation needs. This compilation of recent findings, stunning photographs, and firsthand accounts of field research unravels the mysteries of this magnificent animal and emphasizes its importance in healthy ecosystem processes and in our lives.

The Endangered Species Road Trip

Author: Cameron MacDonald
Publisher: Greystone Books
ISBN: 1553659368
Format: PDF
Download Now
Bill Bryson meets John Vaillant in this life list quest to see the rarest species in North America. Crammed into a minivan with wife, toddler, infant, and dog, accompanied by mounds of toys, diapers, tent, sleeping bags, and other paraphernalia, Cameron MacDonald embarks on a road trip of a lifetime to observe North America's rarest species. In California, the family camps in the brutally hot Mojave, where he observes a desert tortoise—"the size and shape of a bike helmet and the colour of gravel” sitting motionless in the shade of a scrubby sagebush. In Yellowstone, after driving through unseasonal snow, he manages to spot a rare black wolf and numerous grizzlies, which, unfortunately, call forth a crowd of "grizzly gawkers." The journey takes the MacDonald family from British Columbia, along the west coast of the U.S., through the Southwest and Florida, up the east coast of the U.S., and finally to eastern Canada and then back home to BC. Along the way, MacDonald offers fascinating details about the natural history of the endangered species he seeks, as well as threats like overpopulation, commercial fishing, and climate change that are driving them towards extinction.