Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Hope for Animals and Their World"

This morning, I developed a pesky migraine headache and even though the weather cleared later into a lovely day, I did not feel well enough to go for a hike. By around 5PM, I did finally feel a little better, so I went to a local park and alternated running and walking 3/4 mile laps through the woods around Echo Lake. I did four laps, two running and two walking, for a total of 3 miles - basically a 5K. It was warm and a little humid, but still a very pretty late summer day. Even though the calendar and the Equinox says fall, it is still really summer here for a bit longer.

I've been reading a great book by Jane Goodall, the dedicated and passionate conservationist. It is named "Hope for Animals and Their World," and was also written in part by two other authors. It is about how endangered species are being rescued from extinction, often at the last possible moment. Each species discussed is written about in the form of a separate chapter as a case study, for a total of about 40 species. Of course, this is a small subset of all possible endangered and vulnerable species of animals and plants.

I really recommend this book. It is sobering and also inspirational to think that many species still alive today are only in existance because a small number of individuals decided that something that to be done. They organized enough financial help and political will to litterally pull species away from the brink. Just a few examples in this country are the California condor, the black footed ferret, and the whooping crane. I saw the magnificent condors soaring above the Grand Canyon in 2000, and it was simply amazing - beyond words, really. They had been extinct in the wild, and now were roaming free again.

Species affected by human kind go extinct for many reasons: over hunting, habitat destruction, introduced disease and competitor species, pollution, and climate change. But animals and plants also become extinct because of human apathy. The people discussed in this book were not apathetic - they decided that a given species would not become extinct on their watch, and they did something about it. I very much recommend this book if you are interested in our natural world, and the plight of the fellow species who inhabit it with us.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are feeling better. I was out walking the same time as you were. :-)