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The Africa-wide Great Elephant Census of 2016 produced shocking fi ndings: a decimated elephant population whose numbers were continuing to plummet. Elephants are killed, on average, every 15–20 minutes – a situation that will see the fi nal demise of these intelligent, extraordinary animals in less than three decades. They are a species in crisis. This magnifi cent book offers chapters written by the most prominent people in the realm of conservation and wildlife, among them researchers, conservationists, film makers, criminologists, TV personalities and journalists. Photographs have been selected from among Africa’s best wildlife photographers, and the Foreword is provided by Prince William.
It is hoped this book will create awareness of the devastating loss of elephant lives in Africa and stem the tide of poaching and hunting; that it will inspire the delegates to CITES to make informed decisions to ensure that all loopholes in the ivory trade are closed; and that countries receiving and using ivory (both legal and poached) – primarily China, Vietnam, Laos and Japan – ban and strenuously police its trade and use within their borders, actively pursuing and arresting syndicate leaders driving the cruel poaching tsunami.
This book is also a tribute to the many people who work for the welfare of elephants, particularly those who risk their lives for wildlife each day, often for little or no pay – in particular the fi eld rangers and the anti-poaching teams; and to the many communities around Africa that have elected to work with elephants and not against them.
The Last Elephants – is the title prophetic? We hope not, but the signs are worrying.
Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
An essential guide for those dealing with the Cape Water Crisis and for general water saving in South and southern Africa, a notoriously water-scarce region.
Three provinces in South Africa have been declared national disaster zones because of drought. The way we think about water needs to change, and fast. This is especially true for those of us who have running water and flush sanitation piped into our homes. For millions of South Africans, water is already a precious resource that costs toil to collect and fuel to heat. Our middle-class expectations that water will gush steaming from our dozens of indoor taps 24/7 are going to look as bizarre to future generations as the spectacle of Cleopatra bathing in asses’ milk. Our Roman-orgy relationship with water is over.
This book will hopefully help to alleviate water panic and distress. A “can-do” compendium, it’s meant to be a guide, not prescriptive – not all solutions or tips are one-size-fits-all. Think of it as an ally in your fight to save water and part of your survival kit, along with the first-aid box; Valium for water-worriers.
After centuries of relative isolation, the Karoo – South Africa’s parched heartland – is a latecomer to the tourist industry. What was once viewed as a harsh and desolate place of limited attraction is rapidly gaining popularity with visitors who now make the Karoo their destination, keen to partake of its legendary charm, its extraordinary flora and the resurgence of wildlife that once again populates its plains.
Wild Karoo documents Mitch Reardon’s 4,000-kilometre journey of discovery through the region. The book focuses on:
Beautifully written, and illustrated with evocative photographs, this book is a must read for anyone interested in travel, wildlife and the environment.
Elephants are arguably Africa’s most charismatic animals, and among the biggest drawcards to our game reserves. While the burgeoning game-park industry may be increasing our access to these magnificent creatures, rising human-elephant encounters are an inevitable outcome – sometimes, sadly, fatal. Such encounters could likely have been avoided had those involved understood elephant behaviour, and particularly how these intelligent animals interface with traffic through their territory.
This book describes elephant family life, from rearing of infants to establishing dominance within a herd; it unpacks regular elephant behaviour, the matriarchal system, the particular dangers of males in musth, and many other aspects of their lives. Most of all, it provides guidelines for ensuring safe and enjoyable encounters with these majestic animals.
This is an essential guide for those planning visits to reserves: aside from the interest factor, being able to read the tell-tale signs may just save lives.
Predictability isn’t a word you will find in any Bushveld dictionary, and the life of wildlife guardian Mario Cesare has been anything but. After years as warden of Olifants River Game Reserve, his feet are firmly planted in this magnificent slice of Big Five country to the west of the Kruger Park, where he has experienced a rich life packed full of incidents far from routine.
In Heart Of A Game Ranger, Cesare recounts some of these hair-raising, heart-breaking and heart-warming moments: a buffalo calf reunited with its pining mother, injured lions given second chances and rhinos lost, one by one, to poaching. Nestled among these tales, Cesare pays homage to the brave, dedicated and curious personalities engaged in a deadly combat on the most majestic of battlefields. Yet, while rhino poaching is by far the reserve’s biggest problem, Cesare reveals how the daily struggles of a game ranger are so much broader – and the rewards, when they come, immense.
Heart Of A Game Ranger is a story of extremes, one of fierce loyalty and devastating betrayal where spectacular days that end in exhausted satisfaction and achievement are balanced by those that leave behind only despair and frustration. Seen through his eyes and spoken from the heart, Cesare tells a deeply personal story – not only of a life lived wild, but of the joy of Africa’s incredible natural world.
Dead Zone takes the reader on a journey around the world, travelling from the rainforests of the Amazon to the Midwest plains of America; the palm plantations of Sumatra to the volcanic diversity of Galapagos; the grasslands of England to the Malaysian jungle. In a global safari focussing on some of the world’s most endangered species, it exposes a little known but key factor in their demise: the cheap meat on supermarket shelves. This sequel to Farmageddon lays bare the myths that prop up factory farming and shows what we can do to save the planet with healthy food.
Some may see intensive farming as a necessary evil. After all, we need to produce more food for a growing global population and are led to believe that squeezing animals into factory farms and growing crops in vast, chemical-soaked prairies, is efficient and leaves land free for wildlife – but this is far from the truth. With the limits of the planet’s resources now seemingly within touching distance, awareness is growing about how the well-being of society depends on a thriving natural world. Through the lens of a dozen iconic and endangered species, Dead Zone examines the role of industrial farming in their plight and meets the people doing something about it.
Philip Lymbery is the CEO of leading international farm animal welfare organisation, Compassion in World Farming, and a prominent commentator on the effects of industrial farming.
With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, breathtakingly beautiful still photography, specially commissioned maps and graphics, and compelling text expanding on the remarkable TV stories and giving the reader a depth of information that is impossible on screen, this companion to the groundbreaking NETFLIX series presents a whole new view of the place we call home.
Featuring some of the world's rarest creatures and previously unseen parts of the Earth—from deep oceans to remote forests to ice caps—Our Planet takes nature-lovers deep into the science of our natural world. Revealing the most amazing sights on Earth in unprecedented ways, alongside stories of the ways humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems—from the wildebeest migrations in Africa to the penguin colonies of Antarctica—this book captures in one concise narrative a fundamental message:
What we do in the next twenty years will determine the future of not just the natural world but humanity itself. If we don't act now to protect and preserve our planet, the beauty we're lucky enough to witness on these pages will have disappeared...
The aggressive poaching of rhinos needs to be countered with equal aggression. So argued Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the founder president of the World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), at a 1987 meeting with John Hanks, conservation expert and WWF’s head in Africa. The result was Operation lock, a secret initiative funded by Prince Bernhard and staffed by former SAS operatives. Operation lock set up headquarters in Johannesburg and extended its reach into neighbouring states: Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. Its operatives planned to train game rangers, to pose as rhino horn traders in order to entrap buyers, and to expose the kingpins who were driving the trade. It was a controversial approach, all the more because it was working within apartheid South Africa in the late 1980s. When the existence of the project was finally leaked, WWF denied any involvement, and John Hanks took the fall. In Operation lock and the War on rhino poaching, John Hanks finally tells the story of these explosive events from 25 years ago. As a leading international authority on conservation, he also deals with the scourge of rhino poaching up to the present, and gives powerful and controversial criticism of some of the current policies to curb poaching.
Capitalism’s addiction to fossil fuels is heating our planet at a pace and scale never before experienced.
Extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels and accelerating feedback loops are a commonplace feature of our lives. The number of environmental refugees is increasing and several island states and low-lying countries are becoming vulnerable. Corporate-induced climate change has set us on an ecocidal path of species extinction. Governments and their international platforms such as the Paris Climate Agreement deliver too little, too late. Most states, including South Africa, continue on their carbon-intensive energy paths, with devastating results. Political leaders across the world are failing to provide systemic solutions to the climate crisis. This is the context in which we must ask ourselves: how can people and class agency change this destructive course of history?
The Climate Crisis investigates ecosocialist alternatives that are emerging. It presents the thinking of leading climate justice activists, campaigners and social movements advancing systemic alternatives and developing bottom-up, just transitions to sustain life. Through a combination of theoretical and empirical work, the authors collectively examine the challenges and opportunities inherent in the current moment.
Most importantly, it explores ways to renew historical socialism with democratic, ecosocialist alternatives to meet current challenges in South Africa and the world.
'The remarkable story of an astounding transformation' George Monbiot
Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp in West Sussex was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.
Once-common species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.
This recovery has taken place against a backdrop of catastrophic loss elsewhere. According to the 2016 ‘State of Nature’ report, the UK is ranked 29th in the world for biodiversity loss: 56% of species in the UK are in decline and 15% are threatened with extinction. We are living in a desert, compared with our gloriously wild past.
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’ and what it reveals of the ways in which we might regain that wilder, richer country. It shows how rewilding works across Europe; that it has multiple benefits for the land; that it can generate economic activity and employment; how it can benefit both nature and us – and that all of this can happen astonishingly quickly. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
You know you should be doing something to help save our planet, but it sounds hard, something that you will tackle another day.
Going green all at once is too much for almost anyone to achieve. Instead, try to make just one change, or add one new sustainable habit, each week. After one year you will be amazed at how much you have accomplished.
A Greener Tomorrow will give you tips on simple things that you can start doing straight away – be it at work, at home, and in your garden. Let’s all do our part in saving this planet – allowing our children’s grandchildren to still live in a world that is beautiful.
A Greener Tomorrow contains over 150 bite-sized chunks of greening advice from the likes of eco-friendly South Africans Arthur Goldstuck; Ashley Hayden; Barry Ronge; Brand Pretorius; Bryan Habana; Casey B. Dolan; Caspe De Vries; Damon Galgut; Gary Kirsten; Jan Braai; Jane Griffiths; Jassy Mackenzie; John van de Ruit; Marc Lottering; Max du Preez; Michiel Heyns; Paige Nick; Romy Titus; Tanit Phoenix; Tony Leon and more.
A blonde, chic Parisienne, Françoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But when she fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony her life took an unexpected turn. Lawrence died in 2012 and Françoise was left to face the tough reality of running Thula Thula without him, even though she knew very little about conservation. She was short on money, poachers were threatening their rhinos, and one of their elephants was charging Land Rovers on game drives and terrifying guests. There was no time to mourn when Thula Thula’s human and animal family were depending on her.
How Françoise survived and Thula Thula thrived is beautifully described in this charming, funny and poignant book. Their elephant herd, rescued by Lawrence, shared Françoise's grief at his passing but over time forged a new relationship with her. One day a baby, Tom, became separated from the herd and found his way into Françoise's kitchen. Another day there was a desperate race against time to save a baby who had a snare wrapped round his face and couldn't open his mouth to suckle.
Meanwhile Françoise fulfilled her dream of building a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos and other wildlife. Abandoned hippo baby Charlie, who hated water, joined the centre's rhinos and quickly became best friends with a little girl rhino called Makhosi. The traumatised babies had round the clock care, including an unlikely nursemaid in the form of a German Shepherd called Duma. If you loved Lawrence's The Elephant Whisperer, or just want to spend time with some very special animals, then you won’t want to miss this sparkling book.
Salmon, one of the most determined, single-minded creatures on earth, have for hundreds of thousands of years succeeded in returning from the sea to their birth rivers to spawn - no matter the conditions or obstacles. But in recent years increasingly fewer are returning due to steady incursions into their habitat from dams, industry, and climate change. The salmon of the Pacific Rim are set for near extinction, just like the salmon that once filled the Atlantic Ocean.
Stronghold is an enthralling account of an unlikely visionary, Guido Rahr, and his mission to protect the world s last bastion of wild salmon. The reader is taken on wild and at times dangerous adventure, as we follow him from Oregon to Alaska to one of the world s last remaining wildernesses, in the Russian Far East - a landscape of ecological richness and diversity that is rapidly being developed for oil, gas, minerals, and timber.
As Guido befriends and navigates scientists, conservationists, corrupt officials, Russian oligarchs, unexpected allies, and impenetrable bureaucracies, he reveals the astonishing natural history of the endangered salmon, a species whose demise will reverberate across the planet. And he sets into motion a plan that can secure their survival.
How can YOU help save our planet? This awesome and inspiring guide, written by musician and environmental activist Dougie Poynter, will show you how to get involved in the mission to cut out single-use plastic. Plastic is everywhere and it sucks. It fills up our oceans, endangers our wildlife and never goes away. So it's time to take action, find ways to cut down our plastic use and help protect our environment. Together we can make a difference! As a lifelong supporter of environmental causes and a key player in the campaign to ban microbeads in the UK, Dougie is always on the hunt for ways to reduce and replace plastic. This campaigning book, his first solo authored project, draws on his own experiences in the fight against plastic waste - the problems he's encountered and the solutions he's found. It covers the history of plastic, introduces us to some key campaigners and eco entrepreneurs and is full of top tips and infographics. The clear and easy steps in Plastic Sucks! You Can Make a Difference show us how we can all make small changes and become champions for our planet.
Fight plastic and change the world by becoming a #2minute superhero. Have you got 2 minutes to change the world? We are killing our home with plastic. It's everywhere. It's in your water bottle. In the rivers. In the sea. It's time to fight back. And you are just the person to do it. You - yes, you - can become a #2minute superhero and make a difference. Read this book and help save the world in just 2 minutes by making small changes to how you use plastic at home, school and in your community.
'Delightful... Pavey writes with warmth and spirit, and brings this space to life' Penelope Lively 'Captivating and grounded... If this book was not as much a pleasure to write as it is to read, I'll eat my hat and gardening glove' Observer After years spent living amid the thrum of London, Ruth Pavey yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood. Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, Pavey found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world. A Wood of One's Own is the story of how she grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife. Interwoven with Pavey's candid descriptions of the practical challenges she faced are forays into the Levels' local history, as well as thoughtful portraits of its inhabitants both past and present. Accompanied throughout by the author's evocative hand-drawn illustrations, A Wood of One's Own is a lyrical, beguiling and inspiring story; a potent reminder of nature's delicate balance, and its comforting and abiding presence.
For a sustainable urban future to be possible, a new botanical discipline is needed to deepen our understanding of the relations between people and plants. This discipline will link environmental management concerns with those of human welfare and wellbeing in a specifically urban context to achieve both ecological restorations and social redress. The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust has published The Durban Forest as an early effort to establish a manifesto for this much-needed new discipline, and provides both historical and forward-looking perspectives on the changing relations between natural areas and urban dwellers. These relations urgently await our exploration if we are to face the challenges of the accelerating urbanism and environmental change that are now upon us. The Durban forest will appeal to all those interested in people and the environment, culture and community, our past and our future. Most of all, it will speak to the Durban of tomorrow and suggest a new kind of botany that will help to build a future for all Durban’s residents that is environmentally, socially and economically more just and more secure. The Durban forest is the first in a series of publications planned by the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust. The series is to be entitled umKhuhlu, the African name for Trichilia dregeana, the forest mahogany and an iconic Durban tree. The series will draw on the garden’s reputation as Durban’s oldest, and one of its most treasured public institutions in order to encourage a new model of plant use. This model aspires to a specific urban, humanitarian and restorative focus that will support a just and resilient urbanism.
Environmentalist, independent researcher and author, Gareth Patterson has spent his entire adult life working tirelessly for the greater protection of African wildlife and, more particularly, for that of the lion. Born in England in 1963, Gareth grew up in Nigeria and Malawi. From an early age he knew where his life’s path would take him – it would be in Africa, and his life’s work would be for the cause of the African wilderness and its wild inhabitants. His is an all-encompassing African story.
From his childhood in West and East Africa to his study of a threatened lion population in a private reserve in Botswana to his work with George Adamson, celebrated as the ‘Lion Man’ of Africa, we witness Gareth’s growing commitment to his life’s mission. This is nowhere more evident than in his account of his life as a human member of a lion pride, experiencing life and death through its eyes, as he successfully rehabilitated three famous orphaned lion cubs back into a life in the wilds. At considerable risk to his own personal safety, he exposed the sordid canned lion ‘industry’ in South Africa, bringing this shameful practice to international attention.
After moving to the Western Cape he took up the fight for the African elephant, notably the unique endangered Knysna population, and published his astonishing findings in his 2009 book The Secret Elephants. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the stressful nature of his work, Gareth suffered a massive physical and mental breakdown in his forties, which he discusses here for the first time with an openness that underlines his courage. Lesser men might have been broken, but his ‘lion’s heart’ fought back and he ultimately overcame his illness.
Gareth Patterson’s long-awaited autobiography is a moving account of one man’s single-minded dedication to the preservation of Africa’s wildlife. It is also a stark reminder that if the human race does not want to lose Africa’s priceless wild heritage there is no time to waste.
`Focuses a razor light on the plight of one of our most iconic birds. Inspirational!' Tim Birkhead Curlews are Britain's largest wading bird, known for their evocative calls which embody wild places; they provoke a range of emotions that many have expressed in poetry, art and music. A bird stands alone on the edge of a mudflat. Its silhouette is unmistakable. A plump body sits atop stilty legs. The long neck arcs into a small head, which tapers further into a long curved bill. The smooth, convex outlines of this curlew are alluring. They touch some ancestral liking we all have for shapes that are round and smooth. Over the last 20 years numbers in the UK have halved; the Eurasian Curlew is one of our most endangered birds. With a quarter of the world population breeding in the UK and Ireland, this is nothing short of a disaster. The curlew is showing all the signs of being the next Great Auk. In Curlew Moon, Mary Colwell takes us on a 500-mile journey on foot from the west coast of Ireland to the east coast of England, to discover what is happening to this beautiful and much-loved bird. She sets off in early spring when the birds are arriving on their breeding grounds, watches them nesting in the hills of Wales and walks through England when the young are hatching. She finishes her walk on the coast of Lincolnshire when the fledglings are trying out their wings. This is also the place many curlews will return to for the winter months. This evocative book chronicles Colwell's impressive journey, with beautiful illustrations by Jessica Holm, weaving a gentle tale of discovery interspersed with the natural history of this iconic bird that has fascinated us for millennia - and so desperately needs our help.
'The most magical book about the African bush since Born Free' Daily Mail Francoise never expected to find herself responsible for a herd of elephants with a troubled past. A chic Parisienne, her life changed forever when she fell in love with South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony. Together they founded a game reserve but after Lawrence's death, Francoise faced the daunting responsibility of running Thula Thula without him. Poachers attacked their rhinos, their security team wouldn't take orders from a woman and the authorities were threatening to cull their beloved elephant family. On top of that, the herd's feisty new matriarch Frankie didn't like her. In this heart-warming and moving book, Francoise describes how she fought to protect the herd and to make her dream of building a wildlife rescue centre a reality. She found herself caring for a lost baby elephant who turned up at her house, and offering refuge to traumatized orphaned rhinos, and a hippo called Charlie who was scared of water. As she learned to trust herself, she discovered she'd had Frankie wrong all along . . . Filled with extraordinary animals and the humans who dedicate their lives to saving them, An Elephant in My Kitchen is a captivating and gripping read.
Long considered one of the most respected authorities on the history and geography of the Adirondack region, award-winning author and conservationist Barbara McMartin focuses on the uniqueness of the forty-four individual tracts that make up the two-and-one-half-million-acre Forest Preserve within the Adirondack Park.
In The Adirondack Park McMartin has aptly likened the various wild forests, wilderness, recreation and primitive areas to a patchwork quilt, with landscapes connecting to jagged boundaries following rivers and narrow valleys.
Sidebars of "views and visits" give readers an insider's advantage to making the most of any Adirondack expedition. With a storyteller's ease, McMartin provides a brief history and description of each area. She chronicles the preserve's unusual origins, people, politics, and economics that created what is now one of the most important wilderness areas in the eastern United States.
Skillfully combining the results of meticulous research and her life-long passion and advocacy for the Adirondack region, she illuminates the story of how the land parcels were pieced together to become the most sought-after and protected acreage in the east. The book is generously interspersed with maps and vivid geographic descriptions of the forest cover, lakes, mountains, and natural and human history.
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