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On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear

Out of Print

By: Richard Ellis

400 pages, B/w photos, illus

Knopf Publishing Group

Hardback | Nov 2009 | #181055 | ISBN-13: 9780307270597
Out of Print Details

About this book

The polar bear - the magnificent and mythic inhabitant of the Arctic - has captivated our imagination for centuries. Now, with this amazing creature symbolizing the perils of global warming, acclaimed science writer Richard Ellis gives us an impassioned examination of its extraordinary life - and illuminates a path for saving it from extinction. Ellis describes the largest of land predators in clarifying detail and elucidates its hunting, mating, reproduction, and hibernation habits. He explains its venerated place in Inuit culture and charts its normal lifespan. But he also reiterates the ways in which that lifespan is being shortened and perhaps altogether eliminated: with the ever-increasing loss of sea ice, the bear's ability to hunt for food is continuously diminished. Over the past twenty years alone, the population of polar bears has shrunk dramatically and today numbers just 22,000.

Ellis discusses the U.S. government's resistance to placing the polar bear on the endangered species list and makes clear that while the ideological and fiscal battles between oil excavation and conservation are waging, the polar bear is tumbling toward an extinction that is preventable. Authoritative, urgent, vividly written, "On Thin Ice "is both a celebration and a rallying cry on behalf of one of the world's greatest natural treasures.


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