Jan 28, 2013

Wild Echoes

Encounters with the Most Endangered Animals in North America 
by Charles Bergman

I'm not quite sure how I first encountered this book, I recall seeing it on a shelf in my parents' house and wondering about its contents many times when I was a teen. I think it was picked up at a gift shop in a national park somewhere, but that memory could be erroneous.

The book is about the author's travels through North America to view the most endangered species, or at least to visit with people who have seen them. He describes his travels, meeting with people, conservation and politics that affect those efforts, how the different animals have fared through history and so on. The animals discussed include manatees, Florida panthers, whales (I forget which species exactly), condors, wolves and the dusky seaside sparrow (now extinct).

This is a book I didn't finish reading. I was interested in the animals, their descriptions and histories, but other aspects of the writing got in the way of enjoying that. The philosophical rants confused me, and the crude humor I found distasteful. I wonder now if it was because of my youth; I might be able to make better sense of it now (and ignore the phallic jokes). Some other reviewers have pointed out that a lot of the material in this book is now seriously outdated; I know for a fact that the numbers of condors and wolves have recovered dramatically. I think I might try this one again someday, if I just happen to come across it (not sure if a copy still exists at my parents' home, I know I don't have one in my own collection).

Abandoned ........ 360 pages, 1990

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