Last of the Wild: Vanished and Vanishing Giants of the Animal World

Last of the Wild: Vanished and Vanishing Giants of the Animal World

by Robert M. McClung, Bob Hines

Profiles threatened animals around the world and discusses why they are in danger and what is being done to save them. See more details below


Profiles threatened animals around the world and discusses why they are in danger and what is being done to save them.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Mary Arnold
"We are in the midst of one of the greatest extinction spasms of history," warns evolutionary biologist Edward Wilson. Will giant pandas and snow leopards end up mounted on a wall beside specimens of the extinct great auk? Shrinking habitats, polluted environments, and the technology revolution are changing our natural world at an alarming rate. Many young adults are concerned about this issue and looking to join in the effort to make the world safe for all life. Chock-full of facts and colorful narrative, this is at once a hymn to the wondrous variety of life and a call to action, offering directions for enlightening and influencing public opinion and creating sanctions and sanctuary for the protection of vanishing animals. McClung concentrates on dominant animal species important to humans because of size, habits, or economic value. The book divides the world into major geographic areas, and each section offers background information on the human impact on the area-both destructive forces and constructive ones, in which organizations and individuals have worked to reverse dangerous conditions. Discussions of each animal include line drawings and descriptions that provide interesting, first-hand observations from scientists and naturalists' letters and journals, as well as habitat maps (not seen in galley format). Some species are well known (giant panda, manatee), and some lesser-known species, such as the Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle, will intrigue budding wildlife biologists. Index. Illus. Maps. Biblio. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up--History mingles with contemporary information as readers are shown the tremendous impact that war, politics, and culture have had upon both the environment and the animals that share our planet. McClung begins with prehistoric time and a discussion of the evolution of humans and their fast emergence as the dominant species in their habitat. Over 100 animals are mentioned, dozens of them highlighted with pen-and-ink drawings and information on their physical attributes and behavior. Some are extinct, some are suspected to be extinct, some are extinct in the wild, some are severely endangered. Each continent is handled individually, with a natural, cultural, and political history setting the stage for the discussion of important species in that part of the world. Two major island groups and the oceans of the world receive similar treatment. McClung can be harsh in his criticism of human disregard for the environment, but he is not inaccurate and he does discuss current efforts to preserve, protect, and manage remaining animal populations, and to confront challenges to endangered species. This is a serious treatment of a subject that has been covered thoroughly in both individual books and encyclopedias, but its historical view gives depth to the subject. The book contains an extensive bibliography, many clear and informative maps, and a thorough index that includes scientific as well as common names.--Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Kirkus Reviews
McClung (Old Bet and the Start of the American Circus, 1993, etc.) offers a sweeping historical view of wildlife from the time of the emergence of the first humans to the present, with brief profiles of animals from all the continents and discussions of 62 large endangered animals. He concludes with a plea for wise stewardship of Earth. As with many attempts to compress coverage of billions of years into relatively few pages, there are some oversimplifications that lead to questionable statements. It's not certain, for example, that "Cro-Magnon man worshipped the wild creatures that he depended on for food." The tone can be shrill, with repeated references to human arrogance and "the cycle of human greed and illegal overkill," and the terminology (including the old-fashioned designation of "primitive" and "advanced" societies) and conclusions seem dated. A selected bibliography is provided, but quotes in the text appear without footnotes, making it difficult to determine the source of statements.

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Product Details

Shoe String Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.21(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range:
11 Years

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