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In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science writer and editor Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement's history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the bald eagle to today's global effort to defend life on a larger scale.
She describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, reveals the origins of organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund, explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros, and confronts the darker side of conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism. Now, as the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change escalate, conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species – including our own.
Michelle Nijhuis is a project editor at the Atlantic, a contributing editor at High Country News, and an award-winning reporter whose work has been published in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. She is coeditor of The Science Writers’ Handbook and lives in White Salmon, Washington.