Predators in Paradise and the World's Greatest Wildlife Rescue
by William Stolzenburg
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011, paperback, ISBN 9781408825112
As New Condition
'Islands, totaling just five percent of Earth's landmass, harbour more than half of its endangered species. Home to unique and naive fauna that evolved in blissful isolation, island ecosystems in modern times have been shattered by mainland predators : rats and cats, goats and pigs, and a host of fellow invaders ferried around the globe by humans. To save the imperiled islanders, academic ecologists have teamed up with professional hunters and poachers in a radical act of conservation. Sharpshooters snipe at goat herds from helicopters, and biological SWAT teams are blanketing mountainous isles with rat poison. Their mission: to annihilate the alien hordes.
Rat Island reveals a little-known but highly contentious new tactic of today's conservation movement. Following a ragtag crew of environmental fighters through exotic locales, William Stolzenburg gives us a story of perilous adventure and emotional conflict, blurring distinctions between hero and villain, the pristine and the plundered. And, amid manifold threats to life on Earth, he gives us new reason to hope.'