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Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink

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From world-renowned scientist Jane Goodall, as seen in the new National Geographic documentary Jane , comes an inspiring message about the future of the animal kingdom.

With the insatiable curiosity and conversational prose that have made her a bestselling author, Goodall - along with Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard - shares fascinating survival stories about the American Crocodile, the California Condor, the Black-Footed Ferret, and more; all formerly endangered species and species once on the verge of extinction whose populations are now being regenerated.

Interweaving her own first-hand experiences in the field with the compelling research of premier scientists, Goodall illuminates the heroic efforts of dedicated environmentalists and the truly critical need to protect the habitats of these beloved species. At once a celebration of the animal kingdom and a passionate call to arms, Hope For Animals Their World presents an uplifting, hopeful message for the future of animal-human coexistence.

Praise for Hope For Animals Their World
"Goodall's intimate writing style and sense of wonder pull the reader into each account...The mix of personal and scientific makes for a compelling read."- Booklist

"These accounts of conservation success are inspirational."- Publishers Weekly

416 pages, Hardcover

First published August 14, 2009

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About the author

Jane Goodall

275 books1,929 followers
For the Australian academic and mystery writer, see Professor Jane R. Goodall.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace is a world-renowned ethologist and activist inspiring greater understanding and action on behalf of the natural world every single day.

Dr. Goodall is best known for groundbreaking studies of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, transformative research that continues to this day as the longest-running wild chimpanzee study in the world. Dr. Goodall is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, a global conservation, advocacy, animal welfare, research, and youth empowerment organization, including her global Roots & Shoots program.

Dr. Goodall has worked extensively on climate action, human rights, conservation, and animal welfare issues for decades, and continues to be a central voice in the work to advance environmental progress.

Today, she is a global phenomenon spreading hope and turning it into meaningful positive impact to create a better world for people, other animals, and the planet we share.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 135 reviews
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,122 reviews104 followers
September 16, 2019
Truth be told, although I have indeed found much of Jane Goodall’s (with Thane Maynard and Gail Hudson) Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink more than a trifle repetitive at times, I also and equally do well realise that the main reason for this is of course and very much sadly that the chief causes for human-caused and human-influenced animal species endangerment and extinction are generally pretty much similar if not even often totally the same no matter where on earth this tends to occur (habitat loss, over-development, irresponsible hunting, invasive species, agricultural pesticide use and so on and so on), and that therefore, the very repetitiveness of Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink is in fact and actually a huge and as such also totally necessary and required indictment of us, of humanity.

And while the general tone of both Jane Goodall’s narrative and Thane Maynard’s textual interludes are rather hopeful (and that yes, I have definitely both enjoyed and been much cheered by the many, the numerous animal conservation success stories presented) there is (and in fact fortunately, I might add) also a distinct sub-current of ever necessary vigilance, of even some doubt and negativity shown regarding the future of our planet and its ecosystems. For no indeed, we have certainly not at all succeeded totally and in every way saving all or even most endangered animal species on earth from extinction (as there are still currently numerous and seemingly also often more and more threats, that we must therefore keep fighting for and on behalf of threatened animal species, which is also why I do so much appreciate the list of environmental dos and don’ts and what we as readers can do to help which Jane Goodall provides at the back of Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink).

Four stars for Jane Goodall’s and Thane Maynard’s general texts, for the content, the emotional feel and scope of their printed words, but lowered to a high three star average ranking, as for one, I really do find it a trifle annoying that especially with regard to unsupportive government agencies and agrochemical companies insisting that their pesticides are supposedly both necessary and not all that much of a danger to and for the environment, the authors have not been more directly condemning and critical and for two, I also am rather frustrated and disappointed that Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink does not include a bibliography with suggestions for further reading and study (and also, perhaps a list of some of the main animal species that have gone extinct in the past thousand years or so due to our, due to human presence and behaviour might also be a good idea and a sobering fact, as indeed there are many).
Profile Image for Vaishali.
1,032 reviews262 followers
September 7, 2020
I've had the huge privilege of meeting Dr. Goodall, and what an absolute honor it is to hear her gentle, divine voice again via audiobook. I'm convinced she's God's very own.

I see this book got poor reviews... possibly because readers today reject factual matter that's not entertaining. Quite sad, since Dr. Goodall has invested decades trying to convince us to save Mother Earth.

Quotes & Facts
“One of the problems I faced in writing this book is just how many admirable efforts are being made to save endangered species. What is important is that we never give up trying.”

“Evidence is mounting of a sixth extinction, this time caused by human actions.”

MALA WALLABY (Australia)
“If a female wallaby loses a joey, she’s able to replace it by activating a fertilized egg that she has stored internally.”

“Every time the female returned to take her turn of incubating her egg, she was subject to the violent aggression of her mate, who apparently did not want to relinquish care of the egg.”

“… And then - and this really blew my mind away - the young beetles will stroke the mandibles of their parents, to entice feeding, and the adults will regurgitate food for their young. How absolutely amazing: an insect species in which mother and father care for their young together.”

“Once we got to the nest, one of the Indian villagers just took off his shoes, grabbed a hemp rope, and climbed an enormous tree to collect a vulture chick... I thought of my friends from the U.S., who would want expensive ropes and carabiners to climb that tree.”

“There is this special pair that first nested at the new site he chose on Torishima in 1995. For 12 years now they’ve maintained their bond, returning every year to the identical place to raise their chick."

7) GIANT TUBE WORMS (Gulf of Mexico)
"They have no natural predators, and can grow to 10ft in length. The biologists who measured the growth rate… calculated that they would have to live 250 years - a quarter of a millennium - to reach their maximum length."

"A completely new species of fan palm… The adult leaves have a 16-ft diameter. Apparently, the full-grown palm is so massive, it can actually be seen on Google Earth."

[ A small story: Dr. Goodall told our sold-out auditorium in drought-stricken California "That's another thing. I bring the rain with me wherever I go." Hours later my car fought thru a heavily flooded Interstate-5. ]

Profile Image for Brian Griffith.
Author 6 books223 followers
August 29, 2020
Goodall writes in a way that serves equally for zoologists or school kids. She's clearly there as a narrator, but only enough to lend her good name to the animals and animal protection activists she honors. She sounds like a Dalai Lama of the global conservation movement, able to lift hearts by her presence. The stories themselves are gritty with grim detail on the fate of animals, and each featured case involves a near brush with total extinction. The activists resort to captive breeding, predator exclusion fences, even extermination of invasive species. Then they have to gain buy-in from the local people. They have to slowly work toward community agreements on ways of living that allow biodiversity, or maybe even stimulate it.

I think every public school system should use this as a textbook. The kids would get a world of insight and it would naturally ignite passion. The index is loaded with ways the classes could learn through engagement in making a difference.
Profile Image for Wendelle.
1,517 reviews24 followers
July 25, 2020
Species extinction and habitat destruction might seem like large-scale issues that we are powerless to affect, the focus of this book is to show the polar opposite is true- species recovery is only possible from the sustained, intense commitment of some people in long term, localized efforts targeting select individuals or members remaining from endangered species, in an effort to do captive breeding, assisted reproduction, soft release, tracking and monitoring, and ultimately overseeing their bounce back to healthy numbers. There are many stories of different species presented here, grouped according to their endangered status, such as nearly extinct, critically endangered, endangered, believed to be extinct then rediscovered, and newly discovered. In the end, Dr. Goodall shows some steps people can do to take measurable action, like donating to or taking part in the programs of the Jane Goodall Initiative or the Durrell Foundation or Conservation International.

People who are critical of zoos' efforts to do captive breeding on ideological grounds, yet offer no actual alternative or contribution to the maintenance of species numbers may end up reexamining their position in the light of the evidences in this book. Captive breeding is sometimes the only resort or respite, dying species have to be reintroduced to the wild.
Profile Image for Lauren .
1,713 reviews2,307 followers
February 9, 2017
A book of essays interspersed with Ms. Goodall's "field notes" on conservation efforts around the globe. Each story centers on an endangered species, usually ones that are on the brink of extinction. With so much depressing news about the state of the Earth, it is was a nice change to hear hopeful stories and good news about conservation biology and the major strides made by both dedicated scientists and amateur naturalists.

There are a lot of stories - and that is the only down side (but it feels odd to complain about good stories of successful programs!) to the book... it is just so many all together. By the time I was half-way through the book, I had a hard time remembering the stories in the beginning. Some extraordinary cases stand out, but because of the sheer volume, this reader was a bit overwhelmed.

Perhaps it is a book best read over a long period of time? One or two essays every few days or weeks. Maybe then, it would have stuck with me more. Thing is, it was a library book, so I read it in the three week time period!
Profile Image for Laurie.
1,258 reviews10 followers
April 23, 2010
This is a good book to read if you are interested in animals or conservation. It is really a collection of small essays about different species that are labeled conservation successes, so it is not great to read straight through. The purpose of the book is to counteract the hopelessness a lot of people feel when discussing conservation. The idea is that this hopelessness stops people from acting, so Goodall decided to present some success stories, in hopes that people will see a difference can still be made for a lot of species that appear to be in a dire situation. I can see the merit in this approach, but at times I was worried the book went too far in the positive direction, and lost some of the sense of urgency that we need to have when thinking about conservation. Also, there was a lot about zoos and captive breeding programs, and I, personally, am not convinced that these contribute to conservation to the extent we hope they do. Still, I love Jane Goodall and this was a very interesting book overall.
Profile Image for Minyoung Lee.
Author 1 book6 followers
April 21, 2011
Jane Goodall is my childhood hero. I grew up reading her books on her work with the chimps in Gombe. With my first paycheck, I donated to the JGI. It dawned on my one day that I have not read any of her present work and decided to check this book out... But I dare say I was rather disappointed. While Dr. Goodall's efforts in wildlife preservation is admirable, her observations with all these endangered species that she does not have firsthand exposure with or as passionate about as the chimps... Well, I'm sure these species will benefit from the exposure from Dr. Goodall's celebrity status, personally the book did not enslave me with fascination as it did with her very moving accounts with the chimps. Or it could be that there was just "too much." I am sure each individual animal's story would have been as fascinating as the stories of her chimps. In fact, I did read a separate book on the plight of the Black Robins of New Zealand in the past that was gripping. But too many stories in too little detail.. Not sure how much the endangered species in this book will benefit from this.
Profile Image for Michelle.
135 reviews30 followers
December 9, 2009
Being an environmentalist, an activist, and an animal lover I enjoyed this book. It is written so differently from other books, it felt like I was reading a series of editorials rather than a comprehensive novel. Being an academic I usually read fiction for fun and leave the serious stuff to 'work'. This was serious stuff and very educational, but it is hard to have an opinion about the ‘quality’ of the book when it is a position piece that you just generally agree with. It was not what I would call an exceptional read, but it was an exceptional educational experience.
Profile Image for Jamie.
287 reviews
March 31, 2020
I listened to the audiobook.

Wow, what a moving experience listening to this was. I highly recommend anyone going into biology to read/listen to this. Goodall is an amazing human being and I'm glad she brought light to a bunch of conservation work. This was moving in so many ways. I found myself overwhelmed with both sadness and love at points. And I felt so deeply that this kind of work is what I am destined for. When I exit school, I hope to be at the forefront of a species preservation project.
Profile Image for Freda Mans-Labianca.
1,280 reviews106 followers
June 1, 2010
I love that Jane Goodall is also the narrator of the audiobook. It puts more emphasis on the story when you hear it from the horses mouth, per say.
The statistics that she read out in the story were eye openers! You hear stuff all the time, especially since Global Warming, but the stats she gives were unknown and new to me.
This book was not just about apes, as you would think being Jane Goodall, but it is about all animals, even us humans. We all need sustainable life, and this book reminds us of that.
Jane even makes ape noises on the audiobook, which was awesome for me. I smiled from ear to ear at that moment. After all the emotional things said it was needed.
I love this one line;
"Frogs know how to be frogs. It's their job."
Like who would strive to be a frog?!
The one thing I disliked about the audiobook, is the story ends rather abruptly on the CD. What made up for it, was the interview at the end with Jane Goodall.
I think everyone should read this, or listen like I did. I admit, I am a little bias here. I think we need to be more aware of our world and surroundings, that includes animals. Without it, we die. It's that simple. Too often we take life for granted.
Profile Image for Icon Books.
57 reviews12 followers
November 17, 2011
Using her unique access to conservation programmes across the globe, one of world’s most famous animal lovers tells a unique and passionate real-life story, meeting at first-hand a vast range of animals, from Giant Pandas in China to Whooping Cranes in Texas that are being taught new migration routes, led by human devotees in flying machines.

With over 100 photographs, Jane Goodall’s book brings both new hope for the future of the animal kingdom – and a forthright call to arms to play our part in its conservation.


‘Hope for Animals and their World is Goodall’s gift of optimism to us, her shining a light on how we can all make a contribution towards mending a wounded planet.’ Glasgow Herald

‘Jane Goodall has always been about motivation – her early work proved to be an inspiration to biologists and conservationists [and] this latest book is no exception. It’s a pep talk to gloomy conservationists, and ... a timely reminder that however good humans are at destruction we are also remarkably clever at fixing things.’ New Scientist

‘With hope but without hype, Goodall and her co-authors identify rare animals and birds and describe the threats to them, pitching stories of survival to move and inspire new generations of ecologists.’ The Times
Profile Image for trina.
573 reviews23 followers
June 4, 2011
what could i say about this amazing book, written by an amazing woman, that would not be trite and cliche and fangirl-ish? nothing, but that it's amazing and inspirational truly far beyond what i thought it would be, or that a book could be, period. i love animals and have a vast reserve of respect and reverence for nature, and the daily news of environmental destruction is most depressing to me- in part because so few people seem to notice or care. to have a whole entire book!!! about the opposite of destruction, about the restoration of nature to what it was before humans shat all over it, and to read about people who care- people who care SO MUCH, who risk life and limb and reputation to intervene in almost hopeless cases- and succeed, against all odds! i mean, wow. what can i say but that it's a beautiful, hopeful book, and that i'd give anything in the world to care about anything as passionately as the amazing, tireless heroes of this book care about animals and plants and nature (including the author herself, the venerable jane goodall, about whom i did not know much before i started this book).
Profile Image for Kim Olson.
161 reviews3 followers
June 19, 2012
At a time when we're losing thousands of animal species to extinction every year, Jane Goodall offers a welcome message of optimism, backed up by stories of unsung heroes who have saved various animal species on the brink of extinction--from the giant panda, to the California condor, to the Iberian lynx.

She takes us right into the field and shows how biologists and others are saving species--some that had dwindled down to low single digits--often using some pretty inventive tactics like "marriage counseling" for critters. Despite being up against everything from habitat loss to DDT poisoning, the never-give-up dedication of the folks who are doing this work is pretty inspiring. And the genuine affection the field biologists have for the animals they're helping to save is truly heartwarming, much like Goodall's own well-publicized affection for her beloved chimps.

Of course, Goodall is, above all, a scientist and makes cogent pragmatic arguments for saving animal species--yes, even the bugs!

The book has lots of color photos of the animals discussed in the book, and she closes with a chapter that lists specific ways to get involved and help them.

Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,240 reviews
February 15, 2012
Sigh, moving this to "stalled." Really enjoyed this for awhile but then it got a bit too repetitive, similar messages and methods but with different animals, and I lost interest. Too, I didn't like the segments as well when Goodall herself wasn't involved or doing the storytelling. BUT I definitely do want to revisit it sometime as there is some wonderful work being done and I like reading about it, I did love the Goodall segments (and she does have a majority of them), and I love the idea of the book, showing the "good news" in the endangered animal arena and how humans can be helpful, not just harmful, to animals and the environment. I think I just need to regard this as one to pick up from time to time, not a continuous cover-to-cover read.

Only one chapter in and dang it but so far, it's great. I've already gone all misty-eyed! ;-p Those cute little black footed ferrets just got me from the start and Goodall is so inspiring!

Profile Image for Nicole.
1,130 reviews11 followers
February 15, 2010
Jane Goodall, without a doubt, is one of the few individuals in the world today (outside of my circle of friends and family) that I admire and aspire to be like. She fills me with hope - a hope that human beings are still capable of showing compassion and empathy and that every person can make a significant difference in the world. This book describes in fascinating detail the events that have lead to the near extinction of a number of birds, animals, and/or flora/fauna...and the way that ordinary men and women have helped to bring these species back from the brink. Intermingled with each story is Jane's own personal empathetic voice, and the final chapter of the book gives Jane a chance to give one last, gentle, call to arms - inspiring everyone to find a way to do their part in saving the world for generations to come. I recommend this one for readers of any age (it's written in a clear, straightforward manner appropriate for even young adults).
Profile Image for Cassandra Kay Silva.
704 reviews280 followers
July 10, 2011
I love Jane Goodall. Who doesn't? So its hard not to give heaps of brownie points to someone who has in her small way changed the world. The book focuses on different projects going on throughout the planet working with endangered species of all types from birds to beetles. It highlights the main contributes for work in these areas and discusses ways that the population can get involved with protection outlets. There are lots of little mini bios in this one and I think it is a wonderful cause. The color photos were a nice touch, but the writing was a bit dry to be honest :) Anyway Jane is still the best.
Profile Image for Kayla.
517 reviews15 followers
November 29, 2013
I enjoyed many of the stories in this book. Chiefly the stories about black-footed ferrets, grey wolves, and rhinos. I thought the book was was interesting; however, some parts were a little slow. I also have the audio book. Jane Goodall is the narrator and I found her a little hard to understand and listen to. (This is probably because of her age and the fact that I was running on the dreadmill.)I still enjoyed the book and I hold tremendous respect for Jane Goodall and all that she has done to better our wondrous wild planet.
Profile Image for Heather C..
279 reviews
December 15, 2009
The idea for this book is so beautiful and optimistic. Jane Goodall recounts stories of a handful of animal species which were hopelessly close to extinction, and how they were rescued from that fate. Her writing is so simple, I think my ten year-old could make her way through this, but that is who Jane Goodall is. A single woman with a simple goal of making the world a better place. This book was very calming and happy in a flood of sad stories in the world.
469 reviews6 followers
August 2, 2011
I LOVED THIS BOOK! And I love Jane Goodall! This book is just a collection of stories about species of plants and animals that are near extinction. A subject like that could be truely depressing for anyone who cares about such things but this book is all about hope. it is divided into a few sections like species extinct in the wild but not in captivity, species rescued from the brink, etc. It is truely awesome. I totally recommend it.
November 27, 2012
It is indeed a beautiful and hopeful book. Now I have the desire to know more, and to go to the website and learn everything about all those projects mentioned there. The only remark I could make, is that some of the stories are told in a rush, as obviously there was not enough space to tell all the stories as detailed as they deserved. I highly recommend this book to everyone as it makes us look at the future in a brighter way, now that we are closing in on the 21st of December 2012. :)
Profile Image for Sara.
20 reviews8 followers
January 25, 2018
Jane Goodall is such an amazing and inspirational person and in this book she shares her thoughts of hope as she describes a number of succesful conservation projects that saved a species from the brink of extinction. As well as her, many scientis are passionate with animals and nature and have made constant efforts to reduce the number of exticnt species.
The book is beautifully written and it is seems that she is speaking with us and encouraging us to work towards a bright future.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,155 reviews24 followers
August 29, 2013
Take an in depth look into some of the success stories of conservation. The history, conservation efforts, and Jane's own personal experience of each endangered animal allow you to see how important these animals are, and how much effort and dedication it takes for people to save them. Unlike many other books on the topic, this one has a general positive feel throughout.
Profile Image for Vaiva Sapetkaitė.
290 reviews30 followers
March 2, 2021
Goodall is one of my heroes so I am biased evaluating this book :)

I don't know a lot about conservation and exotic animals so this book was a good guide to some successes in this area. We have much more inspiring stories in the world than I would have thought. That's calming :) There are so many good and caring people who work tirelessly to save rare and disappearing species. It's so refreshing after all that bu***** we constantly see in social media or even mainstream media.

Because there are many different stories after some time it got confusing for me (I don't know well this area and I wanted to google all those mentioned animals - often I heard about them for the first time ever). I think I listen to this book in the near future to get a better grip. And it's narrated by Goodall so it will be lovely to hear her again.

Here are some stories from her area of work: https://www.janegoodall.org/our-impac...
Profile Image for TrinaLynn.
80 reviews
September 11, 2021
Dear Mrs. Jane Goodall,
Thank you for all the effort you put into writing this excellent book.
It is a very heart wrenching and awe inspiring compendium of lovely stories and helpful facts about the preservation of endangered species.
I learned a lot but, for some reason, most appreciated the stories of large birds which have been dying as a result of having had their food chains so badly disrupted and being sickened by plastic & diclofenac.
Also, I am very glad I listened to this book in Audiobook format.
It was nice to listen to your narration and, had I not been listening, I would have missed your fabulous Chimp greeting at the end.
Thanks again for the lovely book,
Trina Lynn Wilson
Profile Image for Laurel.
60 reviews1 follower
December 9, 2022
I could listen to a whole book on the California condor, but alas, this book includes a trillion stories about a trillion creatures, and that is where it falls short for me.
Profile Image for Jane.
151 reviews6 followers
September 20, 2022
Once I read The MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood, and in that book, the saints of the vegan organization, the goodies in the book, were people who fought to save the animals before they went completely extinct. While reading this book, I realized that the real saints are not those considered by the church, but the people of this book, who are risking their lives and spending their time to save endangered SPECIES, other creatures that for other people are not at all important. These might be the most incredible people in the world. When I was young I admired idols, not even serious artists, but idols, popular culture idols, especially k-pop idols, after I finished school I started to admire serious artists of the high culture, especially the writers, now I admire biologists, especially primatologists and some psychologists. Why? Biologists see the worth of other creatures and they fight like mad to save them, they are so dedicated and passionate and suffer so much for them, it’s impressive.
I admit that sometimes I found this book boring, I felt like reading the same story over and over again because most species went through the same stages, failures, and then success. But it was all worth it, for these saints it’s worth spending my time reading about them. Many passages made me laugh, Goodall is very funny:
“During my visit with the team, as I came to understand the challenges they faced, I was interested to talk further to Jonathan Proctor about his work with the prairie dogs and the prairie ecosystem. Jonathan explained that one of the main problems for conservationists is that almost no rancher has a good word for prairie dogs. I met one of these old-timers as he drove by Ann’s Motel. The prairie dogs, he said, were a real nuisance. There were all those holes in the ground that caused cattle and horses to break their legs. And, he said, the prairie dogs competed with the herds for the new grass. While no one I talked to had actually encountered any cows or horses with broken legs on the prairie, I listened to his point of view and respected what he had to say. I said it was a shame there wasn’t some way around the problem without poisoning those cute little animals.
“Best prairie dog is a dead one,” he said.”
Then there were times when I literally cried.
“No. 9750 was born the following year in the first cohort of wild-born black-footed ferrets in the Conata Basin. “Their future was uncertain,” Travis told me. “But No. 9750 survived and prospered and became a founder of the black-footed ferret population that now numbers approximately three hundred adults and kits annually in Conata Basin.” No. 9750 lived for four years, which is quite old for a wild black-footed ferret. She had produced four litters and raised a total of ten to twelve youngsters.
In October 2001, Travis came upon No. 9750. She looked exhausted after raising her last litter, emaciated and with thinning hair and deep-sunken eyes. Kneeling to look down at her in the burrow, he knew she would not see another spring. Listening to Travis, I was miles away from the breakfast table, with its empty plates and cups. I was out on the prairie, bleak with approaching winter, with this tough dedicated man who was talking softly, saying good-bye to a very small, very tired black-footed ferret. “I want to say thank you, honey. I know we’ll not see each other again.” I could tell, by his voice, that he was all choked up, but I could not see for the tears in my eyes.”
This was so touching, I was laughing like mad because I kept having in my head Goodall telling me “While no one I talked to had actually encountered any cows or horses with broken legs on the prairie, I listened to his point of view and respected what he had to say.” And when I reached this part suddenly from hysterical laughing I went to powerful crying. This book makes me bipolar.
Now… I loved the most the final part:
There were many people against their projects:
“Jill Jenkins asked, “Can someone tell me what difference it would make in our world as a whole, if this beetle were to become extinct?? I am really thankful our U.S. government wasn’t around to offer grants to keep the dinosaur from becoming extinct. One half million dollars to save a bug when millions of humans are homeless and hungry. We should be ashamed!”
Then someone named J had this to say: “Now I have heard it all! I am getting so sick of our ‘fine’ government making kindergarten decisions like this! We need to save our humans that are inflicted with cancer and other life threatening illnesses before we care about this beetle thing! If I saw one in my house I would smash it!”
I sincerely do not understand this type of people, I would be very sad if only humans were left on earth… What a sad fate that would be. But there will always be saints and there will always be sinners.
Finally, these biologists after they retire dare to admit the truth. They dare to admit that they love these animals.
“Unfortunately in our materialistic world, where all that counts is the bottom line, human values of love and compassion are too often suppressed. To admit you care about animals, that you feel passionately about them, that you love them, is sometimes counterproductive for those in conservation work and science. Emotional involvement with one’s subject is considered inappropriate by many scientists; scientific observations should be objective. Anyone who admits to truly caring about, having empathy with, an animal is liable to be written off as sentimental, and their research will be suspect.
Fortunately, most of the extraordinary individuals whose work is discussed in this book are not afraid of showing that they care. (Particularly those who have retired!) During one of my discussions with Carl Jones, of Mauritius Island fame, he echoed my own belief—that although scientists must have the ability to stand back and observe objectively, “they should also have empathy.” Humans, he said, “are intuitive and empathetic before they are coldly scientific”—and he believes that most “scientists call on these underlying qualities every day.” When he was working to save the Mauritius kestrels, he got to know and understand each bird as an individual. Don Merton waxed lyrical over the black robins, “those delightful, tame, friendly little birds.” Over the years, Don said, “I naturally became very attached—even emotionally involved you might say! I just loved them.” And Len Zeoli, when I asked him what motivated him to keep on working to save the pygmy rabbits, said simply, “How can you see one, know one, and not love these little creatures? That’s what drives us. That is what keeps us going.”
Mike Pandey, while filming in India the barbaric method of killing gentle, harmless whale sharks, came across a huge individual who was dying. “It slowly turned to look at me … beseeching and pleading … the intelligent eyes spoke a million words.” He said he would never forget that look: “Suddenly I was in communication with the majestic creature and there was a deep-rooted bonding.” That was the turning point that transformed his life. He decided to “speak out for the voiceless” and started his long series of powerful films for conservation.
Brent Houston told me of the time when a young black-footed ferret approached him as he sat near the den, in the first light of day. “Without warning, he approached my foot and sniffed my hiking boot … I thought the pounding of my heart would scare him, but I remained still, desperate for some sort of connection. He looked right up at me and at my face, into my eyes. And then the most extraordinary thing happened. This young ferret, looking up at me with his big round eyes, put his little black foot on my hiking boot and he held it there. I looked right at him and he looked at me and he saw me smile. It was one of the most satisfying moments in my long career of observing wildlife. Here was one of the last black-footed ferrets in the world reaching out to me, trusting me, perhaps even asking for my help.”
It is this—this link between the human being and the other animals with whom we share Planet Earth, this connection we can establish with another life-form—that for many makes it possible to carry on. To carry on with work that can be so hard, carry on despite the frustrations and setbacks, and sometimes the outright hostility or ridicule of those who believe that to save any species from extinction is sentimental and a waste of money and resources.”
For this, I held biologists the highest in my regard. Yeah, physicists and mathematicians might be the smartest, but nothing can compare with these biologists’ wonderful hearts. I now regret not studying biology in high school, and university, because I think it’s the most wonderful thing you can do. To me, these are the real saints.
8 reviews2 followers
April 14, 2018
In this book, Jane Goodall, Thane Maynard, and Gail Hudson describe the heroic efforts of different organizations and people around that Dr. Goodall knew or worked with and their work towards wildlife conservation. This book was written and published in 2009 by Hachette Book Group. I would recommend this book to people who love animals or people who look up to Jane Goodall or people who one day want to become a conservationist.
The authors of this book separated this book into several parts. In each chapter, it would describe how some people helped rebuild animal populations from the brink. The population of each species faced challenges while being kept in captivity or after being released into the wild.
Jane Goodall has written many books such as: Reasons for Hope: A Spiritual Journey, In The Shadow of Man, and Africa in My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters.
One reason why I liked this book was because in between each chapter, there would be some facts about the species that was being saved. For example, on page 93, it says, " Falcons hacked from ledges high up on buildings in urban areas subsequently return to nest and raise their young there." I learned from this that Peregrine falcons are likely to return to these areas when they are ready to give birth to young.
I would give this book four out of five stars because you can learn so much from this book.
Profile Image for Troy Kramer.
49 reviews13 followers
May 29, 2018
Sometimes it's nice, amidst all the doom and gloom, to see some bits of hope for endangered species. Jane selects several stories to talk about, ranging from a rare tree in Australia (the Wollemia Pine, which I recently saw in the Australian Botanic Garden at Mt. Annam ~ it looks like a cross between a fern and a pine), to insects, to fish (the salmon of Taiwan, who knew?), to very cute and amazing stories like the black footed ferret (still endangered but with an increasing population).

Often the book will leave you scratching your head wondering why departments that were ostensibly designed to protect wildlife were actively working against conservation efforts. To be fair though, Jane Goodall does put forth several bits of reasoning (even if unfounded) on why efforts were opposed in various areas (brucellosis for the bison from ranchers, even though the CDC only speaks of transmission between elk and cattle (and then mostly in unvaccinated cattle) and not bison which were included in the study (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/19/... for those interested), and on the idea that sometimes animals go extinct for a reason and the natural process shouldn't be interfered with..

I would recommend this book, both for us bleeding heart animal lovers, and for those who would like to get the perspective (in a reasoned way) from someone on the other side of the conservation question.
Profile Image for Michelle.
480 reviews14 followers
October 20, 2018
A fellow book-clubber loaned me this book, clearly knowing about my love for animals and conservation! This book was a pretty fast read, despite it's thickness. It is a collection of short essays on various species that have been dangerously close to extinction, and how they've been brought back from the edge. It's fascinating to learn about all these species that I'd never heard of before (mostly) and the factors that led to their downfall. It even led to an enlightening chat with a geneticist cousin of mine regarding how one would bring back an entire population with just a few individuals!

My only gripe with the book was (surprisingly) the writing. I expected a higher quality of writing from Goodall, but this book fell a bit short for me on that front. Some passages were written so awkwardly that I had to read them aloud to try to decipher the meaning. There was the repetitive use of words like "enchanting." And finally, there was just a lack of shine to this book. Conservationists talk about "big, sexy science" - you know, the headline grabbers, the things that get people to care. And there was a distinct lack of grab in this book. I truly appreciated learning about all of these species that I'd never learned about before. But I think, to generate wider appeal for the majority of readers not coming from a conservation background, it would have been helpful to entice readers in with a bit more glitz in the selection of species discussed.
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