By William Stolzenburg
Rat Island rises from the icy grey waters of the Bering Sea, a mass of volcanic rock lined with tundra, halfway among Alaska and Siberia. as soon as a distant sanctuary for huge flocks of seabirds, the island received a brand new identify whilst shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the nesting birds by way of the hundreds of thousands. Now, in this and hundreds and hundreds of different distant islands around the globe, a massive-and hugely controversial-wildlife rescue challenge is below way.
Islands, making up simply three percentage of Earth's landmass, harbor greater than half its endangered species. those fragile ecosystems, domestic to specified species that advanced in peaceable isolation, were catastrophically disrupted through mainland predators-rats, cats, goats, and pigs ferried through people to islands world wide. to avoid wasting those endangered islanders, educational ecologists have teamed up with specialist hunters and semiretired poachers in an intensive act of conservation now bent on annihilating the invaders. Sharpshooters are sniping at goat herds from helicopters. organic SWAT groups are blanketing mountainous isles with rat poison. Rat Island reveals a little-known and much-debated facet of today's conservation move, based on a cruel-to-be-kind philosophy.
Touring unique locales with a ragtag workforce of environmental warring parties, William Stolzenburg can provide either perilous experience and intimate photos of human, beast, hero, and villain. And amid manifold threats to existence on the earth, he unearths a brand new cause to pray.
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