100 Endangered Species
It’s alarming to think that there are so many creatures on the endangered or threatened list; the author/illustrator of this chunky book teamed up with the People’s Trust of Endangered Species to illustrate one such animal every day for 100 days.
Those chosen come from all over the world and each has undergone evolutionary adaptations to suit its environment, be that the Red pandas found in China, Nepal and Bhutan; the Madagascan Aye-ayes, and the Indris that live in the northern and central rainforests of East Madagascar; the Sumatran tigers; the Little spotted kiwis of New Zealand; the Lulworth skipper butterfly first found in Dorset and now on the decline across Europe;
or those magnificent polar bears whose Arctic Circle habitats are at risk both from destruction due to oil exploration work, and rising temperatures resulting from climate change.
Each of the animals depicted is on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List (explained at the beginning of the book) and is thus a conservation priority. Opposite each gently amusing illustration is a descriptive paragraph (or two) giving interesting facts, as well as saying why the species is currently at risk and often, what is being done, or needs to be done, to protect it. There’s also a world map showing distribution, and listing habits, threats and population trend which is given, with very few exceptions, as ‘decreasing’.
However, it’s heartening to see that numbers of the African elephant, the little spotted kiwi, the whooping crane, the greater one-horned rhino and the giant panda are on the increase as are those of the Eurasian beaver.
Readers who feel inspired to become involved in conservation issues/initiatives – hopefully that is all of them – can find a list of organisations and projects at the back of the book, as well as a glossary; and there’s a foreword by broadcaster and naturalist Brent Westwood. Give this book to a child and who knows, you might inspire a life-long passion for conservation.