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Once a Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf

Overview

With powerful and rare photographs by Jim Brandenburg, Once a Wolf explores the long, troubled relationship between humans and wolves. The book traces the persecution of the wolf throughout history and also reveals the role scientists have played in wolf preservation. The work of scientists can often seem mysterious and intimidating to the nonscientist. No longer! Introducing an exciting perspective on the important work of scientists in all areas of research and study. Scientists in the Field show people ...

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Overview

With powerful and rare photographs by Jim Brandenburg, Once a Wolf explores the long, troubled relationship between humans and wolves. The book traces the persecution of the wolf throughout history and also reveals the role scientists have played in wolf preservation. The work of scientists can often seem mysterious and intimidating to the nonscientist. No longer! Introducing an exciting perspective on the important work of scientists in all areas of research and study. Scientists in the Field show people immersed in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers. Far from the research laboratory, these books show first-hand adventures in the great outdoors - adventures with a purpose. From climbing into a snake den with thousands of slithering snakes to tracking wolves, readers experience the thrill of discovering the unknown.

Surveys the history of the troubled relationship between wolves and humans, examines the view that these predators are a valuable part of the ecosystem, and describes the conservation movement to restore them to the wild.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Jim Brandenburg's unparalleled wildlife photographs illustrate this cogently organized and skillfully designed account of the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Beginning with a historical overview of wolf conservation, Swinburne and Brandenburg then take readers through the controversy that accompanied the reintroduction program and the methods used by biologists and wildlife managers to accustom the wolves, brought from Canada, to their new environment. "The number-one goal of the Yellowstone Wolf Project is to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list," and while the book is in full agreement with this intent, the approach is bracingly journalistic, not sentimental. The large color photos are well placed on the spacious pages, and the captions amplify as much as label. A list of adult and juvenile sources, a directory of websites, and an index are included.
Horn Book

In the Scientists in the Field series, a title that documents those who have championed the much-maligned wolf, and the science used to dispute claims of ranchers and farmers that wolves threaten cattle and sheep. Wolves, villainized in folklore and literature, were nearly eradicated from North America by early settlers who feared their cattle would be eaten and their children menaced. Farmers shot them, ranchers poisoned them, and bounty hunters killed mothers and cubs in their dens by the thousands. Swinburne chronicles how, in the 1930s, conservationists and ecologists began to study the food chain, and began to see the gray wolf's necessary and important role in the balance of nature. So ingrained is the hatred of wolves that even with the efforts of dedicated scientists, it has taken decades to return the gray wolf to small areas of Yellowstone National Park and to begin efforts to return them to New York state. Swinburne (Guess Whose Shadow?, p. 230, etc.) quotes men and women of the past and present involved in these efforts; some balance is provided by including the views of a rancher, but the author clearly favors the reintroduction of the wolf. Brandenburg's striking full-color photographs of wolves in the wild and in captivity turn an already informative work into a glossy tribute to a majestic animal.
Kirkus Reviews
Hungry Mind Review
With stunning photos by acclaimed wildlife photographer Jim Brandenburg, Once a Wolf relates the importance of the wolf in our nation's wilderness.
KLIATT
This series consists of award-winning children's books with a lot of stunning pictures (many in full color), which should appeal to most middle-school students. Even with the frequent photographs and 48-page format, quite a lot of basic information is conveyed in text that is written at the level of a National Geographic article. This book focuses a lot of attention on the project that has re-introduced the wolf to the Yellowstone National Park. The careful planning and hard work of the field biologists, plus the history of prejudice against the wolf that necessitates a public relations campaign as part of the Yellowstone Project, make up the core of the book. (Scientists in the Field series) KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Houghton Mifflin, Sandpiper, 48p. illus. bibliog. index. 23cm. 98-16865., $4.95. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT , July 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 4)
Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Drawing on myth, legend, history, and science, Swinburne recounts the efforts of conservationists to reintroduce the wolf to the American landscape. Stunning photographs reflect the quiet dignity of this much-maligned creature. (May) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-The excitement of science in action fills the pages of these two books. Montgomery focuses on one man and his research on the red-sided garter snake in Canada. The lively text communicates both the meticulous measurements required in this kind of work and the thrill of new discoveries. Large, full-color photos of the zoologist and young students at work, and lots of wriggly snakes, pull readers into the presentation. A list of "unsolved mysteries" about the snakes and instructions on visiting the snake dens will keep interest high to the very last page. Swinburne gives a historical perspective on the extermination of wolves from the Lower 48 states and details the work of biologists in their efforts to reintroduce the animals into Yellowstone National Park. Vintage illustrations (including pictures of dead wolves) and excellent full-color photos document a struggle that, unfortunately, is far from over. A map showing current and historical wolf ranges and a list for further reading that includes books, periodicals, and Web sites are helpful additions. Two outstanding titles that show scientists at work.-Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Hungry Mind Review
With stunning photos by acclaimed wildlife photographer Jim Brandenburg, Once a Wolf relates the importance of the wolf in our nation's wilderness.
Horn Book Magazine
Jim Brandenburg's unparalleled wildlife photographs illustrate this cogently organized and skillfully designed account of the reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Beginning with a historical overview of wolf conservation, Swinburne and Brandenburg then take readers through the controversy that accompanied the reintroduction program and the methods used by biologists and wildlife managers to accustom the wolves, brought from Canada, to their new environment. "The number-one goal of the Yellowstone Wolf Project is to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list," and while the book is in full agreement with this intent, the approach is bracingly journalistic, not sentimental. The large color photos are well placed on the spacious pages, and the captions amplify as much as label. A list of adult and juvenile sources, a directory of websites, and an index are included.
Kirkus Reviews
In the Scientists in the Field series, a title that documents those who have championed the much-maligned wolf, and the science used to dispute claims of ranchers and farmers that wolves threaten cattle and sheep. Wolves, villainized in folklore and literature, were nearly eradicated from North America by early settlers who feared their cattle would be eaten and their children menaced. Farmers shot them, ranchers poisoned them, and bounty hunters killed mothers and cubs in their dens by the thousands. Swinburne chronicles how, in the 1930s, conservationists and ecologists began to study the food chain, and began to see the gray wolf's necessary and important role in the balance of nature. So ingrained is the hatred of wolves that even with the efforts of dedicated scientists, it has taken decades to return the gray wolf to small areas of Yellowstone National Park and to begin efforts to return them to New York state. Swinburne (Guess Whose Shadow?, p. 230, etc.) quotes men and women of the past and present involved in these efforts; some balance is provided by including the views of a rancher, but the author clearly favors the reintroduction of the wolf. Brandenburg's striking full-color photographs of wolves in the wild and in captivity turn an already informative work into a glossy tribute to a majestic animal. (map, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618111206
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 429,199
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Swinburne is the author of another book in the Scientists in the Field series, Once a Wolf. A writer, photographer, and naturalist, he is the author of several nonfiction books for children and says he writes to "share [his] enthusiasm for the natural world, and through children's books and school visits, encourage wonder, imagination, and discovery." He lives with his wife and two daughters in South Londonderry, Vermont.
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