strange behaviors

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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 ‘sea turtles’

Saving Wildlife By Going to the Source of the Problem

Posted by Richard Conniff on March 21, 2014

Coop member Miguel Arce with a hand-caught sand bass (Photo: Carlos Aguilera-SmartFish)

Coop member Miguel Arce with a hand-caught sand bass (Photo: Carlos Aguilera-SmartFish)

It may seem counterintuitive and even downright risky. But protecting habitat often involves working closely with the people doing the damage. It can mean supplying efficient sawmills to rainforest loggers who might otherwise hack the timber they harvest into planks with chain saws. It can mean helping communities in Africa manage trophy-hunting concessions more profitably so they don’t need to kill as many animals. And it can mean introducing better fishing practices to fishermen who are inadvertently killing thousands of endangered loggerhead turtles every year.

The object isn’t to make exploiting the environment easier, faster, more destructive. Instead, says Hoyt Peckham, it’s about setting up a framework to help people focus on resources that can withstand the pressure—and then get the full value from whatever they harvest. Helping them earn more while harvesting less gets their buy-in, because they’re building better lives for their families.

That’s the delicate balancing act Peckham, a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, has been working ever since he showed up in Baja California as a doctoral student doing marine biology research more than 10 years ago.

One day not long after he arrived, Peckham discovered 17 dead loggerhead turtles and two live ones caught on 200-hook long-lines. He watched a fisherman on one boat slit the throat of a Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cool Tools, Environmental Issues | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Saving Sea Turtles by Eating Their Eggs

Posted by Richard Conniff on August 19, 2013

A local harvests sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica’s Ostional National Park. (Photo: Olivier Blaise/Getty)

A local harvests sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica’s Ostional National Park. (Photo: Olivier Blaise/Getty)

It is one of nature’s great spectacles. On certain nights of the year, huge numbers of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) mass in the Pacific Ocean just off the beach at Ostional, Costa Rica. Next, tens of thousands of females come clambering ashore over two or three nights to lay their eggs in the sand. These mass nesting events, called arribadas, may occur a half-dozen times over the course of a year on the beach of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. And each time, for the first two days, local villagers come out to harvest and sell as many eggs as they can lay their hands on. And it is entirely legal.

The harvest may seem particularly shocking given that Costa Rica has carefully cultivated a reputation as a green destination. On the opposite coast, moreover, a conservationist was murdered earlier this year while trying to prevent poachers from raiding the nests of another sea turtle species. (Police recently arrested suspects, said to be known turtle egg poachers, in that killing.)

But Ostional is different, and for its many supporters, it constitutes … to read the rest of this article, click here.

Posted in Conservation and Extinction, Cool Tools, Environmental Issues | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »