By: William Conway
320 pages, Colour photos
The first book to take an in-depth look at wildlife and human interaction in this spectacular area of the world. Written by William Conway, former president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the book is unique in its concentration on the long Patagonian shoreline - populated by colorful cormorants, penguins, elephant seals, dolphins, sea lions, and numerous species of whale - and an increasing number of human beings.
Threatened by overfishing, invasive species, artificially abundant predators, and overgrazing, the Southern Cone of Patagonia is now the scene of a little-known conservation drama distinguished by the efforts of a dedicated group of local and foreign scientists determined to save one of the Earth's least-inhabited places. From tracking elephant seals in the Atlantic to following flamingos in the Andes, Act III in Patagonia takes readers to the sites where real-life field science is taking place. It further illuminates the ecology of the region through a history that reaches from the time of the Tehuelche Indians known by Magellan, Drake, and Darwin to the present.
Conway has helped to establish more than a dozen wildlife reserves in South America and is thus able not only to tell Patagonia's history, but to address its future. He brings a wealth of knowledge about Patagonia and its wildlife and responds to the difficult questions of how the interests of humans and wildlife are best balanced. He tells of the exciting collaborations among the Wildlife Conservation Society and its national and provincial partners to develop region-wide programs to save wildlife in steppes, coast, and sea, demonstrating that, with public support, there is hope for this stunning corner of the world. Though singular in their details, the conservation efforts Conway spotlights are a microcosm of what is happening in dozens of sites around the world.
In this inspiring book, Bill Conway, who inspired so much cutting-edge work in conservation as president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, introduces us to a lonely region at the very end of the world. The familiarity Conway gained through dozens of expeditions enables him to present a fascinating account of the scattered human inhabitants and teeming wildlife of Patagonia. One cannot read this book without wanting to visit Patagonia and help to preserve its animals and way of life for all to enjoy, creating an Act III that is worthy of our highest aspirations. --Peter H. Raven
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