Author: Dan Flores
Release Date: 2017-01-16
America’s Great Plains once possessed one of the grandest wildlife spectacles of the world, equaled only by such places as the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, or the veld of South Africa. Pronghorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears: less than two hundred years ago these creatures existed in such abundance that John James Audubon was moved to write, “it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals.” In a work that is at once a lyrical evocation of that lost splendor and a detailed natural history of these charismatic species of the historic Great Plains, veteran naturalist and outdoorsman Dan Flores draws a vivid portrait of each of these animals in their glory—and tells the harrowing story of what happened to them at the hands of market hunters and ranchers and ultimately a federal killing program in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Plains with its wildlife intact dazzled Americans and Europeans alike, prompting numerous literary tributes. American Serengeti takes its place alongside these celebratory works, showing us the grazers and predators of the plains against the vast opalescent distances, the blue mountains shimmering on the horizon, the great rippling tracts of yellowed grasslands. Far from the empty “flyover country” of recent times, this landscape is alive with a complex ecology at least 20,000 years old—a continental patrimony whose wonders may not be entirely lost, as recent efforts hold out hope of partial restoration of these historic species. Written by an author who has done breakthrough work on the histories of several of these animals—including bison, wild horses, and coyotes—American Serengeti is as rigorous in its research as it is intimate in its sense of wonder—the most deeply informed, closely observed view we have of the Great Plains’ wild heritage.
The story of what happened to six major species of the Great Plains pronhorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the prospects for recovering North America's "Serengeti" in our time by re-creating a great Plains wilderness on a Yellowstone-sized scale. The book is thus the story of plains slaughterhouse history in the 19th century and large-scale conservation hopes for the 21st."
Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award "A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation." -Wall Street Journal Legends don't come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn't just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time.
Author: Dan Louie Flores
Publisher: UNM Press
Release Date: 1999
These personal and historical meditations explore the human and natural history of the Near Southwest, a bio-region that embraces New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and slices of Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Centuries ago, the Navajos named this region the Horizontal Yellow, a landscape characterized by yellowed grass stretching in all four directions, rivers that drain from the Southern Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico, and human cultures peculiarly adapted to the regional biome. The Horizontal Yellow's piney woods, oak savannahs, blackland prairies, rolling desert plains, desert scrub basins, scarp mesas, table lands, pi?à. on-juniper foothills, and diverse mountain ranges have succored and inspired American Indians, Hispanos, Anglos, and Frenchmen, including Dan Flores's own ancestors, who homesteaded in western Louisiana three hundred years ago and were mustangers on the Southern Plains. Moving between the present and past, the personal and historical, the author ruminates on myth, wilderness, wolves, horses, deserts, mountains, rivers, and human endeavor from Cabeza de Vaca to Georgia O'Keeffe in the Near Southwest. "Dan Flores explores our complex relationship with the natural environment in a way that far surpasses the simple-minded rhapsody of most nature writers. This is a provocative book from an original mind."--Stephen Harrigan
From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.” A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination. In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness. American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel. Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.
Author: Paul Schultz Martin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2005
The author's overkill hypothesis is presented in this study that explains the mysterious megafauna extinctions in North and South America around the time humans arrived at the end of the last great ice age.
Author: Dan Louie Flores
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2014-05-14
Twenty years ago, Dan Flores's "Caprock Canyonlands" became one of the first books ever to treat the flat, arid landscape of the southern High Plains as a place of uncommon beauty and enduring spirit. Now a classic, "Caprock Canyonlands" has been favorably compared by readers to the work of such icons of nature and environmental writing as William Bartram, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau. Containing the author's stunning photography, a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx, author of "Brokeback Mountain," an afterword by environmental historian Thomas R. Dunlap, and a new preface by the author, this twentieth anniversary edition makes available to a new generation of readers Flores's knowledgeable and heartfelt narrative of the canyons and badlands of eastern New Mexico and western Oklahoma and Texas. He evokes the history and natural history that shaped the region, drawing upon geology, mythology, botany, art, history and natural history that shaped the region, drawing upon geology, mythology, botany, art, history, and literature. ""Caprock Canoynlands" keeps its place on our bookshelves . . . for its exploration of a deeply human activity: the search for the beauty of the earth, the depth and strength of our ties to it, and the ways those appear in a particular landscape . . . here illuminated by love."--from the afterword by Thomas R. Dunlap
Author: Richard E. McCabe
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Release Date: 2010-10-15
A Wildlife Management Institute Book In this lavishly illustrated volume Richard E. McCabe, Bart W. O'Gara and Henry M. Reeves explore the fascinating relationship of pronghorn with people in early America, from prehistoric evidence through the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. The only one of fourteen pronghorn-like genera to survive the great extinction brought on by human migration into North America, the pronghorn has a long and unique history of interaction with humans on the continent, a history that until now has largely remained unwritten. With nearly 150 black-and-white photographs, 16 pages of color illustrations, plus original artwork by Daniel P. Metz, Prairie Ghost: Pronghorn and Human Interaction in Early America tells the intriguing story of humans and these elusive big game mammals in an informative and entertaining fashion that will appeal to historians, biologists, sportsmen and the general reader alike. Winner of the Wildlife Society's Outstanding Book Award for 2005
Author: Sean B. Carroll
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-03-07
How does life work? How does nature produce the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna, or fish in the ocean? How do our bodies produce the right numbers of cells in our organs and bloodstream? In The Serengeti Rules, award-winning biologist and author Sean Carroll tells the stories of the pioneering scientists who sought the answers to such simple yet profoundly important questions, and shows how their discoveries matter for our health and the health of the planet we depend upon. One of the most important revelations about the natural world is that everything is regulated—there are rules that regulate the amount of every molecule in our bodies and rules that govern the numbers of every animal and plant in the wild. And the most surprising revelation about the rules that regulate life at such different scales is that they are remarkably similar—there is a common underlying logic of life. Carroll recounts how our deep knowledge of the rules and logic of the human body has spurred the advent of revolutionary life-saving medicines, and makes the compelling case that it is now time to use the Serengeti Rules to heal our ailing planet. A bold and inspiring synthesis by one of our most accomplished biologists and gifted storytellers, The Serengeti Rules is the first book to illuminate how life works at vastly different scales. Read it and you will never look at the world the same way again.
Author: Dan Flores
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Social Science
The Natural West offers essays reflecting the natural history of the American West as written by one of its most respected environmental historians. Developing a provocative theme, Dan Flores asserts that Western environmental history cannot be explained by examining place, culture, or policy alone, but should be understood within the context of a universal human nature. The Natural West entertains the notion that we all have a biological nature that helps explain some of our attitudes towards the environment. FLores also explains the ways in which various cultures-including the Comanches, New Mexico Hispanos, Mormons, Texans, and Montanans-interact with the environment of the West. Gracefully moving between the personal and the objective, Flores intersperses his writings with literature, scientific theory, and personal reflection. The topics cover a wide range-from historical human nature regarding animals and exploration, to the environmental histories of particular Western bioregions, and finally, to Western restoration as the great environmental theme of the twenty-first century.
Author: Ben Mezrich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-07-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Science fiction becomes reality in this Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic resurrection of an extinct species—the woolly mammoth—by the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel. “With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction” (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world? Along with Church and his team of Harvard scientists, a world-famous conservationist and a genius Russian scientist plan to turn a tract of the Siberian tundra into Pleistocene Park, populating the permafrost with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the race against global warming, the incredible power of modern technology, the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. Can we right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction—and at what cost?
Author: Geoff Cunfer
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2016-10-04
The near disappearance of the American bison in the nineteenth century is commonly understood to be the result of over-hunting, capitalist greed, and all but genocidal military policy. This interpretation remains seductive because of its simplicity; there are villains and victims in this familiar cautionary tale of the American frontier. But as this volume of groundbreaking scholarship shows, the story of the bison’s demise is actually quite nuanced. Bison and People on the North American Great Plains brings together voices from several disciplines to offer new insights on the relationship between humans and animals that approached extinction. The essays here transcend the border between the United States and Canada to provide a continental context. Contributors include historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists, and Native American perspectives. This book explores the deep past and examines the latest knowledge on bison anatomy and physiology, how bison responded to climate change (especially drought), and early bison hunters and pre-contact trade. It also focuses on the era of European contact, in particular the arrival of the horse, and some of the first known instances of over-hunting. By the nineteenth century bison reached a “tipping point” as a result of new tanning practices, an early attempt at protective legislation, and ventures to introducing cattle as a replacement stock. The book concludes with a Lakota perspective featuring new ethnohistorical research. Bison and People on the North American Great Plains is a major contribution to environmental history, western history, and the growing field of transnational history.
Author: Robin Reid
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2012-10-01
This book tells the sweeping story of the role that East African savannas played in human evolution, how people, livestock, and wildlife interact in the region today, and how these relationships might shift as the climate warms, the world globalizes, and human populations grow. Our ancient human ancestors were nurtured by African savannas, which today support pastoral peoples and the last remnants of great Pleistocene herds of large mammals. Why has this wildlife thrived best where they live side-by-side with humans? Ecologist Robin S. Reid delves into the evidence to find that herding is often compatible with wildlife, and that pastoral land use sometimes enriches savanna landscapes and encourages biodiversity. Her balanced, scientific, and accessible examination of the current state of the relationships among the region’s wildlife and people holds critical lessons for the future of conservation around the world.