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Search tags: Endangered-Species
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review 2016-10-29 23:56
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.,Eric Carle

Written by Bill Martin Jr.

Illustrated by Eric Carle

 

Eric Carle's unique illustrations present ten endangered species along with a rhythmic rhyming text, rich with action words.

 

I would use this text with second through fourth graders to introduce endangered species, different animals in different environments, or a unit on nature. Students could do independent research on the animals presented in the book. It could also be used for identifying action words and colors.

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text 2016-10-22 05:52
#5 - Forest - an exploration of wild things, wild places and intimate relationships
FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend - Rod Raglin

How I came to write my fifth novel, Forest - Love, Loss and Legend.

 

My fifth novel was being written in my head even before I put anything on paper (more precisely typed anything into my laptop). It was the residuals of past works.

 

Left over from The Big Picture - A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic was my research into the drug war in Mexico which my heroine Freyja covered as a photo journalist. I'd also done some investigating of failed states and civil wars throughout Africa where she was going on her next assignment. Added to that was my fascination with war correspondents and how they cope with a steady diet of death, destruction, chaos and hopelessness.

 

I also wanted to delve deeper into intimate relationships - what attracts us, what keep us engaged and what are the impediments to long lasting relationships? I'd touch on this in my previous novels with the turbulent romances between Freyja and Marty, and Freyja and Miguel in The Big Picture, and Dieter and Maggie in Not Wonder More - Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. I wanted to explore further how different values, different cultures, timing and circumstances impact on how, who and when we fall in love - and if it lasts.

 

I set this book in the Pacific Northwest of Canada - perhaps one of the few areas on the planet where there still are vast tracts of wilderness. Where, behind an impenetrable wall of green it was as my hero, Matt Bennett says, “easy to imagine no human had ever set foot a hundred metres on either side of the road. Species could come to life, thrive and die without anyone except God ever knowing they existed.”

 

This land is a place of legend and mystery and if you're born and raised here and take an interest in the wild things and wild places as I have, well, there's no end to fascinating tales with just enough substantiated fact to whet the imagination. Two of which I incorporated into this story.

 

Here's the blurb that introduces the novel.

 

Matthew and Raminder are young, idealistic and in love.

As soon as they can they plan to leave behind the small town and small minds of Pitt Landing. They will embrace life and experience the world, maybe even change it.

Man plans, God laughs. Raminder’s father has a stroke and her commitment to her family means she must postpone her plans and stay in Pitt Lake. It’s just the opposite for Matt. A family tragedy leaves irreconcilable differences between him and his father and forces him to leave.

They promise to reunite, but life happens.

Twelve years later, Matt is an acclaimed war correspondent. He’s seen it all and it’s left him with post-traumatic stress, a gastric ulcer, and an enlarged liver. He’s never been back to Pitt Landing though the memory of Raminder and their love has more than once kept him sane.

He’s at his desk in the newsroom, recuperating from his last assignment and current hangover and reading a letter from his father, the first contact they’ve had in over a decade. It talks about a legendary lost gold mine, a map leading to it, and proof in a safety deposit box back in Pitt Lake. He’s sent it to Matt in case something happens to him and cautions his son to keep it a secret.

Matt is about to dismiss the letter when the telephone rings. It’s Raminder telling him his father has disappeared somewhere in the wilderness that surrounds Pitt Lake.

Lost gold, lost love and lost hope compels Matt to return home to Pitt Landing, a dying town on the edge of the rainforest on the west coast of Canada. Will he find any of these, or does something else await him?

 

This novel also gave me an opportunity to revisit one of my central themes - the environment, specifically the protection of endangered species and forest conservation.

 

Quite inadvertently it also turned out to be a mystery.

 

Forest - Love, Loss, Legend was released in January 2015 with no expectations. Sales have been dismal despite the handful of very flattering reviews it has garnered.

 

Perhaps because it was told from only one point of view, Forest was easy to write. Too easy. I resolved that my next book would be more challenging in format and content.

 

You can check all my published work at my Amazon Author Page at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

 

 

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text 2016-08-03 12:16
What a strange and wonderful bird

This post was originally posted here, please 'upvote' the post so more people will be inclined to view it.

 

 

The Kakapo, an endangered species.

 

The Kakapo

 

Nothing can prepare you for a meeting with a kākāpō. Not even an entire front page of them happily shagging a graying faux fro narrated by Stephen Fry. These weird creatures are, without doubt, one of the most remarkable birds in the world. But they need our help to survive.

 

One of the most notable features of the kākāpō, is its distinctive, musty odour. And then there’s the way it looks and behaves. Firstly, it's a parrot that looks like an owl, or maybe a giant budgie. Despite it's large flappy shaggy wings, it cannot fly. Instead, it walks, jumps and climbs around. Sometimes, the kākāpō will forget it can't fly, often when attempting to flee a predator. The kākāpō will then climb a tall tree and, just when it's actually safe, emit a heroic cry and jump into the air. Only to fall back down. It squawks like every over parrot, but the sound comes out more like a braying donkey, than an exotic bird. Weighing in at 1,4kg-2,2kg, the fattest parrot in the world, it is also one of the longer living ones at around 90 years. That's better than most people.

 

little fat flightless bird

 

Unlike most people though, the kākāpō is highly endangered. There are less than 125 on the planet. There are probably a lot less living kākāpō, than there are gifs of it rumping heartily on the front page right now. I think, that since imgur has gotten so much joy out of this fantastic bird, it's is only fair that we return the favour and bring some joy back to kākāpōs themselves.

 

fluffy

 

In the 1970s only 18 kākāpō were known to exist – all males. The species seemed doomed to extinction. But in 1977, a population of male and female kākāpō was discovered on Stewart Island, giving new hope for the survival of this precious bird. Since then, a small team of dedicated staff from the Department of Conservation have worked tirelessly to protect, manage and grow the kākāpō population.

 

Kakapo Recovery

 

These birds have been supported by volunteers and staff work year round ensuring the birds are safe, healthy and well fed. The aim of Kākāpō Recovery is to establish at least two managed populations of kākāpō and another self-sustaining population, each with at least 50 breeding aged females, in a protected habitat. Let's help them out.

 

Therefore, I am going to ask you to donate to help preserve this wonderful bird, so that coming generations can enjoy it as much as we do and have done these past 24 hours. Rare parrot means ENDANGERED parrot. Please help save this wonderful bird from extinction Even a dollar can help make a difference. There are so many of us and so few kākāpō. All donations go directly towards kākāpō recovery – That means food, incubators, health checks, nests, etc. Please visit this link and help out: http://kakaporecovery.org.nz/donate/

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text 2015-12-02 02:39
December Wrap up
Girl meets boy - Ali Smith
The Girl in 6E - A. R. Torre
Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson
Nailbiter Vol. 3: Blood In the Water - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson
Nailbiter Vol. 2: Bloody Hands - Joshua Williamson,Mike Henderson
Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies - Jeff Lemire
Sweet Tooth, Vol. 4: Endangered Species - Jeff Lemire
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened - Allie Brosh
The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed - Patrick Rothfuss,Nate Taylor

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review 2014-06-21 09:03
Discovering Big Cat Country: On the trail of tigers and snow leopards

by Eric Dinerstein

Review copy provided by Netgalley

 

This is a rather fascinating book that tells the true story of not one, but two adventures in Nepal by a research Biologist in the study of big cats.

 

The first part of the book tells the tale of an excursion as a survey biologist in the author's young days as a Peace Corp volunteer in the 1970's. He is sent to a place called Bardiya (Bardia), a National Park in Nepal which is now a protected area, ostensibly to count endangered tigers.

 

The story is told in a conversational manner that draws the reader in thoroughly, as if we are personally dealing with government bureaucracy, then riding an elephant along with the author and almost get washed down the river and experience the excitement of finding tracks and almost stumbling on a sleeping tiger.

 

Though it is written by a scientist, the tale becomes a spiritual journey, looking through his eyes at an unspoiled place, getting to know the local people and their very different way of life and becoming a jungle guardian. His desire to contribute something meaningful to conservation brings the reader's awareness of species preservation to a personal level, away from the television adverts asking us to contribute money to one cause or another into a realm where people have done real work and made personal sacrifices to care for the animals of the planet.

 

The book is very moving, as well as educational. There are amusing moments, such as the explanation of the term 'turdology' which is applied to the practice of collecting droppings of local prey species to ascertain their populations and movements in relation to those of the tigers. Many interesting facts filter into the narrative over the two years the author spent on this assignment. I had no idea that there were fresh water dolphins, for example, and now I know that there are six species of them world wide and something about their distribution.

 

I was also a little amused by the Nepalese word for tiger, (baagh) and for sloth bear (bhalu) as I had recently read Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book and could see the connection to how he named his characters.

 

The second part of the book is titled Kingdom of the Snow Leopard. This adventure, several years and a Ph.D later, takes us up a Himalayan mountain to study Snow Leopards. The important research on these beautiful cats was scarce before this excursion and much of what we now know about their habits and movements came from this study and others that built on what these scientists recorded. Several known scientists were involved this time, including a lady the snow leopards owe much to, Helen Freeman. Despite contracting pneumonia, this brave woman went up the side of a Himalayan mountain in whiteout blizzard conditions to study these animals and work towards their continued existence.

 

Again, the true to life story is related in an engaging tone that takes the reader through the adventure from the comfort of their home. I could see the magnificent vistas of the snowy mountains and feel the excitement when paw prints were found. We even get a recipe for Kasmiri tea! Again, I learned many facts about these lovely creatures that I did not know before reading the book and although these were already my personal favourite big cats, sharing in this study through the written medium allowed me to develop an even greater appreciation for their nature, for the reasons for some of their distinctive qualities (like jumping), and for the importance of preserving the species.

 

This wasn't a long book, but enough emotion and adventure was packed into it to stay with me for some time to come, probably forever. It will have a lasting impact on me, and I expect on any big cat lover who reads it.

 

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