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  • Richard Conniff

  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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Posts Tagged ‘logging’

A U.S. Plan to Sacrifice Wolves for Lumber

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 28, 2014

A proposed USFS logging auction threatens this wolf subspecies (Photo: Hyde?)

A proposed USFS logging auction threatens this wolf subspecies (Photo: Hyde?)

 

Today’s New York Times reports on a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) plan to cut most of the remaining virgin forest on Prince of Wales Island Island in the Tongass National Forest on the Alaska coast.  Conservationists say the proposed auction, called Big Thorne, threatens a wolf population that’s already in trouble:

In the island’s northern half, nearly 94 percent of the biggest stands of virgin forest have been cut down. Big Thorne will clean up some of what remains; the 9.7 square miles of woodlands marked for cutting are sprinkled over 360 square miles, much of it clear-cut in decades past.

The conservationists’ lawsuit argues that the Forest Service ignored the law and its own rules in choosing tracts of forest for logging in Big Thorne and five other sites. Example 1, they say, is the Alexander Archipelago wolf. [N.B., my link. The NY Times linked to the USFS site for the subspecies.]

The wolf, a smaller, many-colored cousin of the timber wolf, relies on the Sitka black-tailed deer for food. The deer winter in the island’s old-growth forests, where big trees and underbrush provide forage, shelter from snows and cover from the island’s hunters.

Federal rules require the Forest Service “to maintain viable populations” of the wildlife on its lands. For the wolf, that means having enough deer Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

It’s Not Just Deforestation, it’s Degradation. And Wildlife Loses

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 5, 2014

Black bear meets dragonfly (Photo: Reuters)

Black bear meets dragonfly (Photo: Reuters)

Deforestation—the worldwide destruction of forests—is the calamitous problem that everybody worries about.  But a new analysis makes the case that forest degradation is also happening at “alarming speed” and may be just as bad, particularly for wildlife.

Just since the year 2000, almost 250 million acres of the world’s last remaining undisturbed forests have become degraded, mostly by logging and new roads, according to the analysis, the first attempt to measure forest degradation on a global scale.   That’s more than triple the land area of Germany, and represents eight percent of the world’s remaining “Intact Forest Landscapes,” or IFLs.

Ilona Zhuravleva, a Greenpeace GIS scientist who worked on the analysis, said forest degradation poses a major threat to some of the most charismatic animals on Earth, particularly large, wide-ranging species that depend on genuine wilderness for their survival. Among the victims are forest elephants in the Congo, jaguars in the Amazon, woodland caribou in Canada, wolves and bears in Russia, and tigers in Asia.  Indigenous forest people also typically become displaced, or worse, when industrial forestry brings the outside world into formerly inaccessible regions.

In the worst case cited in the study, the South American nation of Paraguay has already Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Conservation and Extinction, Environmental Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »