The fate of the elephant

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9780670851416: The fate of the elephant
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Through visits to India, Siberia, Botswana, Thailand, Kenya, and even an American zoo the author examines the pivotal role the elephant plays in balancing the ecosystems, and how it has been brought close to extinction

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It's no longer news that animals are being driven to extinction at an astonishing rate, with some scientists now estimating that 1,000 species disappear each year. What is news is that the species are increasingly familiar to us: lions, grizzly bears, gorillas, whales, black terns--and elephants. In the 19th century, writes Douglas Chadwick in this superb journalistic study, Africa boasted more than 10 million of the giant pachyderms; there are fewer than half a million today, a situation mirrored in Asia. The slaughter is largely the result of the illegal ivory trade, conducted through such nations as Japan and Singapore, which ignore international conventions to keep the barbarous supply rolling. Sanctions on those nations are needed, says Chadwick--but so is much more. This sobering book offers an encyclopedic look at the life history of the African and Asian elephants, which, unless something is done now, may not be long for the world.

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Praise for The Fate of the Elephant

"An absolutely brilliant book that shines through and through with [Chadwick's] love for these gentle giants ... will no doubt become a classic."

John Murray, Writing in the Bloomsbury Review

"One of the most instructive, liveliest, and the most moving books I've read in quite a while."

Gary Snyder

"Chadwick is trained as a wildlife biologist, and his impressive book is both a wondrous celebration of elephants and a warning about the future of these awesome creatures in the wild. Blending lively prose and sound science, Chadwick examines the facts and the informed speculation surrounding elephants: their complex social behavior, which includes mourning their dead and caring for their sick and elderly; their use of subsonic sounds to communicate over vast distances; and their ability in captivity to respond to more than 60 different human commands."

Audubon Magazine

"A thorough overview of elephant natural history and conservation that doubles as globe-hopping travel adventure. The great strength of Chadwick's book is its intensely personal tone. He sees, touches, hears and smells the elephants, in great -- and often quirky -- detail."

San Francisco Chronicle

"An exhaustive look at the status of the world's elephants. It takes us all over the world to meet people who track elephants, study them, kill them, work with them, fear them and live off their ivory."

Boston Globe

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