With its rich biodiversity, astounding wildlife, and breathtaking animal migrations, Serengeti is like no other ecosystem on the planet. A Place Like No Other is Anthony Sinclair's firsthand account of how he and other scientists discovered the biological principles that regulate life in Serengeti and how they rule all of the natural world.
When Sinclair first began studying this spectacular ecosystem in 1965, a host of questions confronted him. What environmental features make its annual migration possible? What determines the size of animal populations and the stunning diversity of species? What factors enable Serengeti to endure over time? In the five decades that followed, Sinclair and others sought answers. What they learned is that seven principles of regulation govern all natural processes in the Serengeti ecosystem. Sinclair shows how these principles can help us to understand and overcome the challenges facing Serengeti today, and how they can be used to repair damaged habitats throughout the world.
Blending vivid storytelling with invaluable scientific insights from Sinclair's pioneering fieldwork in Africa, A Place Like No Other reveals how Serengeti holds timely lessons for the restoration and conservation of our vital ecosystems.
Anthony R. E. Sinclair is a professor emeritus of zoology at the University of British Columbia and one of the world's leading Serengeti researchers. His books include Serengeti Story: Life and Science in the World's Greatest Wildlife Region.
René Beyers is a research associate in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia.
"A keystone ecosystem provides lessons in how we can save the world from ourselves."
– Kirkus Reviews
"When it comes to understanding the hidden workings of Serengeti, Anthony Sinclair is a scientist like no other. Thanks to his rich and authoritative account of more than a half century of research, we all get to see the majestic Serengeti through expert and loving eyes."
– Sean B. Carroll, author of The Serengeti Rules and A Series of Fortunate Events
"Anthony Sinclair recounts how he and other remarkable field scientists figured out how the world's most Pleistocene ecosystem works, why it is changing, and how it can be saved. His story begins with wonder, follows through by revealing the interplay of hard-won field data with ecological theory, and ends with an inspired vision of how to restore and protect Serengeti and other great ecosystems."
– Mary Power, University of California, Berkeley
"A Place like No Other is a spellbinding story of scientific discovery in one of the most spectacular places on Earth. This wonderful book is an intellectual safari led by an expert who, over the course of an extraordinary career, has coaxed Serengeti into divulging many of its secrets. On the journey, we learn that the ecological rules discovered in Serengeti offer guidance for those who seek to heal damaged ecosystems and bring the wild things back."
– Robert M. Pringle, Princeton University
"Few places inspire the way Serengeti does, from its vast plains where iconic species play out life-and-death dramas to some of the world's last great mammal migrations. Sinclair draws on his own wonder and curiosity as an ecologist to help us understand what makes Serengeti work, along the way revealing the scientific principles that underpin all life on Earth."
– Stuart Pimm, Duke University
"Understanding how ecosystems change through time is central to our ability to conserve the last remaining areas of wilderness on the planet. Sinclair has spent much of the past fifty years observing and quantifying change in Serengeti. A Place like No Other reveals what that lifetime of work tells us about Serengeti and other wild places that need to be studied and conserved."
– Andy Dobson, Princeton University