Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World's Greatest Wildlife Rescue

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing, Oct 11, 2012 - Nature - 288 pages
3 Reviews

Rat Island rises from the icy gray waters of the Bering Sea, a
mass of volcanic rock covered with tundra, midway between Alaska and
Siberia. Once a remote sanctuary for enormous flocks of seabirds, the
island gained a new name when shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the
nesting birds by the thousands. Now, on this and hundreds of other
remote islands around the world, a massive - and massively
controversial - wildlife rescue mission is under way.

Islands,
making up just 3 percent of Earth's landmass, harbor more than half of
its endangered species. These fragile ecosystems, home to unique species
that evolved in peaceful isolation, have been catastrophically
disrupted by mainland predators: rats, cats, goats, and pigs ferried by
humans to islands around the globe. To save these endangered islanders,
academic ecologists have teamed up with professional hunters and
semiretired poachers in a radical act of conservation now bent on
annihilating the invaders. Sharpshooters are sniping at goat herds from
helicopters. Biological SWAT teams are blanketing mountainous isles with
rat poison. Rat Island reveals a little-known and much-debated side of today's conservation movement, founded on a cruel-to-be-kind philosophy.

Touring
exotic locales with a ragtag group of environmental fighters, William
Stolzenburg delivers both perilous adventure and intimate portraits of
human, beast, hero, and villain. And amid manifold threats to life on
Earth, he reveals a new reason to hope.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

This non-fiction book, written in the breathless journalistic style, tells of the impact of feral introduced species on the native wildlife of islands. While the Rat Island of the title is in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

Many environmental books have an eat your vegetables feel as they portray humans destroying nature. And, if you read enough of them, it's rare to come across something original, a repetition of bad ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

William Stolzenburg writes about the science and spirit of saving wild
creatures. Having written hundreds of magazine articles, he is more
recently a 2010 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow, the author of the
book Where the Wild Things Were, and a screenwriter for the
documentary Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators.
He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

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