Nature / Wildlife
This section has both field guides and philosophical writings, as well as coffee table picture books.
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Beneath the Night
From Stone Age to space age, people have looked up at the stars and been inspired by their beauty, their patterns, and their majesty.
Beneath the Night is a history of humanity, told through our relationship with the night sky. From prehistoric cave art and Ancient Egyptian zodiacs to the modern era of satellites and space exploration, Stuart Clark explores a fascination shared across the world and throughout millennia. It is one that has shaped our scientific understanding; helped us navigate the terrestrial world; provided inspiration for our poets, artists and philosophers; and it has given us a place to project our hopes and fears. In the stars, we can see our past - and ultimately, our fate.
This is the awe-inspiring story of the universe, and our place within it.
Nature conservation in the 21st century has taken a radical new turn. Instead of conserving particular species in nature reserves as 'museum pieces', frozen in time, the thinking now is that we should allow landscape-sized areas to 'rewild' according to their own self-determined processes. By fencing off large areas and introducing large herbivores, along with apex predators such as wolves, dynamic new habitats are already being created.
These 'self-willed' areas will develop in ways that cannot always be predicted, and they may not conform to our traditional ideas of wildlife habitats, but they will form a robust and rich ecology which will be strong enough to withstand future climate changes and species shifts.
In this highly topical book, the first popular account of the science of rewilding, practising ecologists Paul Jepson and Cain Blythe explore the ongoing scientific discoveries that are emerging from this fascinating field.
From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. There are essays here on headaches, on catching swans, on hunting mushrooms, on twentieth-century spies, on numinous experiences and high-rise buildings; on nests and wild pigs and the tribulations of farming ostriches. Moving and frank, personal and political, it confirms Helen Macdonald as one of this century's greatest nature writers.
The Gospel of the Eels
Patrik Svensson offers a unique natural science memoir based on his ongoing fascination with the secretive eel. No human has ever seen eels reproduce; no one can give a complete account of the eels metamorphoses or say why they are born and die in the Sargasso Sea; no human has even seen a mature eel in the Sargasso Sea. Ever. And now the eel is disappearing, and we don't know exactly why.
Andrew Darby follows the odysseys of two Grey Plovers, little-known migratory shorebirds, as they take previously uncharted ultra marathon flights from the southern coast of Australia to Arctic breeding grounds. They chance predators, typhoon weather and exhaustion before they can breed, and then maybe return to familiar southern feeding grounds. But the greatest threat to these, and other long-distance migrants on the flyway, is China's dragon economy, engulfing their vital Yellow Sea staging spots.
Walks In the Wild
Where Song Began
Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania.
Tracks, Scats and Other Traces
Mammals inhabit every corner of our vast continent, yet the great majority of species are seldom seen. The only clue to their presence might be a footprint left on a muddy track, a scat deposited on a rocky ledge, or bones scattered on a forest floor.In Tracks, Scats and Other Traces, Barbara Triggs provides all information needed to identify mammals anywhere in Australia, using only the tracks or other signs they leave behind. Features a new cover design, and covers all Australian states and territories.
The story of a man's obsession with whales, which takes him on a personal, historical and biographical journey - from his childhood to his fascination with Moby-Dick and his excursions whale-watching. All his life, Philip Hoare has been obsessed by whales, from the gigantic skeletons in London's Natural History Museum to adult encounters with the wild animals themselves. Whales have a mythical quality - they seem to elide with dark fantasies of sea-serpents and antediluvian monsters that swim in our collective unconscious. In Leviathan, Philip Hoare seeks to locate and identify this obsession.
What is it that binds human beings to other animals? T. H. White, the author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham's Repose, was a young writer who found himself rifling through old handbooks of falconry. A particular sentence-"the bird reverted to a feral state"-seized his imagination, and, White later wrote, "A longing came to my mind that I should be able to do this myself. The word 'feral' has a kind of magical potency which allied itself to two other words, 'ferocious' and 'free.'" Immediately, White wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk.
A Sand County Almanac
"We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir." San Francisco Chronicle These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape - the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. A stunning tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
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