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Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World's Greatest Wildlife Rescue

Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World's Greatest Wildlife Rescue

by William Stolzenburg

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Rat Island rises from the icy gray waters of the Bering Sea, a mass of volcanic rock covered with tundra, midway between Alaska and Siberia. Once a remote sanctuary for enormous flocks of seabirds, the island gained a new name when shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the nesting birds by the thousands. Now, on this and hundreds of other remote islands around the world, a massive-and massively controversial-wildlife rescue mission is under way.

Islands, making up just 3 percent of Earths landmass, harbor more than half of its endangered species. These fragile ecosystems, home to unique species that evolved in peaceful isolation, have been catastrophically disrupted by mainland predators-rats, cats, goats, and pigs ferried by humans to islands around the globe. To save these endangered islanders, academic ecologists have teamed up with professional hunters and semiretired poachers in a radical act of conservation now bent on annihilating the invaders. Sharpshooters are sniping at goat herds from helicopters. Biological SWAT teams are blanketing mountainous isles with rat poison. Rat Island reveals a little-known and much-debated side of todays conservation movement, founded on a cruel-to-be-kind philosophy.

Touring exotic locales with a ragtag group of environmental fighters, William Stolzenburg delivers both perilous adventure and intimate portraits of human, beast, hero, and villain. And amid manifold threats to life on Earth, he reveals a new reason to hope.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608193318
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 06/21/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

William Stolzenburg writes about the science and spirit of saving wild creatures. Having written hundreds of magazine articles, he is more recently a 2010 Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow, the author of the book Where the Wild Things Were, and a screenwriter for the documentary Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators. He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Will Stolzenburg has studied predator control techniques and worked as a wildlife technician, monitoring endangered species. He has written hundreds of magazine features and columns on the ecology of rarity and extinction for Science News and Nature Conservancy, among others. He lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Kiska, Kakapos, and a Note About War 1

Chapter 1 Over the Blue Horizon 9

Chapter 2 Resolution 30

Chapter 3 Fox Fire 50

Chapter 4 Cape Catastrophe 70

Chapter 5 The Night Parrot 79

Chapter 6 Battle for Breaksea 96

Chapter 7 Baja Cats 119

Chapter 8 Anacapa 136

Chapter 9 Escalation 152

Chapter 10 Sirius Point 162

Chapter 11 Rat Island 169

Chapter 12 Whither Kiska 200

Epilogue: Island Earth 205

Acknowledgments 217

Notes on the Sources 221

Bibliography 223

Index 267

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