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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 ‘Mozambique’

Hey, Science Fiction! Face it: Reality is Weirder

Posted by Richard Conniff on October 27, 2015

(Photo: Piotr Naskrecki)

(Photo: Piotr Naskrecki)

This is the latest of many bizarre insect images the entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki posts at his website The Smaller Majority.  He found these characters in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, where most people think wildlife means only those hairy things with four legs Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Biodiversity, Funny Business, Read That Face | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

In Mozambique, A Turning Point in the War on Elephants

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 12, 2014

Tusks seized in Niassa raid (Photo: WCS)

Tusks seized in Niassa raid (Photo: WCS)

The arrest of a deadly six-man poaching gang this past Sunday in the Niassa National Reserve, on Mozambique’s border with Tanzania, could mark a turning point in the war on elephants for two African nations critical to the survival of the species.

In a 1 a.m. raid, the result of a 10-month-long investigation, local police together with wildlife scouts from Niassa and the adjacent Lugenda Wildife Reserve surrounded the gang members as they were transporting a dozen ivory tusks.  The largest of the tusks, at 57 pounds apiece, came from an elephant believed to have been at least 40 years old.  Police also confiscated two high-powered hunting rifles.  During questioning, the shooter in the group, a skilled marksman, admitted to having killed 39 elephants in the Niassa Reserve this year alone.

That admission came in a bid to obtain repatriation to Tanzania, where four of the alleged poachers are based, according to Alastair Nelson, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Mozambique program, which co-manages the Niassa reserve with the national government.  “But that’s not going to happen this time,” he said. “These guys are in prison now and we’re pretty confident they’re going to remain there. Mozambique’s new minister of tourism himself phoned the warden and asked that these men be tried under a new law passed June 20.”

That law, for the conservation of biodiversity, criminalizes poaching of endangered species.  In the past, poachers often got off with a fine.  But the new law now mandates a prison sentence of eight to 12 years, on conviction.  That represents a major change for Mozambique, where in the run-up to elections last year, local police and politicians were rumored to be themselves participating in ivory poaching.

“We’re seeing a number of things beginning to align,” said Nelson.  “We have had

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Posted in Conservation and Extinction | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »