Islands Beyond the Horizon: The Life of Twenty of the World's Most Remote Places

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Sep 13, 2012 - Nature - 228 pages
The remote island has held an enduring place in our collect imaginations, as a spur to our wanderlust and as the inspiration for such classic tales as Robinson Crusoe. Now, in this attractively illustrated volume--filled with numerous photographs and an eight-page color section--Roger Lovegrove has gathered, for the first time, the stories of twenty of the most remote islands in the world.

Wandering over a wide geographical area, from the Arctic and the Antarctic to the Atlantic and Pacific, Lovegrove takes us to islands familiar and unknown, ranging from the storm-bound island of South Georgia and the ice-locked island of Wrangel to the wind-swept, wave-lashed islands of Mykines and St Kilda. We travel to Halfmoon Island, a haven for penguins near the Antarctic, to tropical Tuamotu in French Polynesia, to the beautiful volcanic island of Pico, and to Tristan da Cunha, perhaps the most remote place on earth. Lovegrove set us down on each of these far-off exotic places, describing the diverse wildlife and vegetation to be found there, and highlighting the impact humans have had on their fragile ecosystems. He shows how the presence of humans has been felt in a variety of ways, from the exploitation of birds for food to the elimination of native vegetation for crops, and he points to Guam is an extreme example--perhaps the extreme example--of the dreadful effects that we can have on an oceanic island. Once a tropical paradise, modern Guam is, he writes, "defined by the silence of the birds."

Throughout, Lovegrove reveals that whatever the nature of islands--distant, offshore, inhabited, uninhabited, tropical, or polar--their mystique and magnetism is irresistible. His Islands Beyond the Horizon will be the perfect escape for armchair travelers who yearn to visit far-flung exotic locales.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Wrangel Island
11
2 Chinijo Archipelago
21
3 Jan Mayen
33
4 Mykines
41
5 Guam
51
6 San Blas Islands
62
7 Ascension Island
68
14 South Georgia
136
15 Halfmoon Island
146
16 Great Skellig
155
17 Ile aux Aigrettes
164
18 Solovetski Islands
173
19 St Peter and St Paul Rocks
183
20 Tuamotu Archipelago
188
Epilogue
199

8 Fernando de Noronha
77
9 Mingulay
88
10 Pico in the Azores
97
11 Tristan da Cunha
104
12 Vigur
118
13 St Kilda
124
Scientific names of species
203
Notes
213
References
215
Index
219
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About the author (2012)

Roger Lovegrove was Royal Society Protection of Birds Director for Wales for 27 years and since retirement has been a member of the board of The Countryside Council for Wales, served on the Forestry Commission Advisory Committee for Wales, was chair of the Welsh woodland initiative (Ty Coed),and founder and later chairman of the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. For twelve years he also served as a wildlife inspector for DEFRA. He is the author of some ten books, including Birds of Wales, The Red Kite's Tale, and most recently Silent Fields.

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