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Author to speak on the ‘Wild Ones’ at Eagle Harbor Books
As children, we learned the names of many exotic animals and imagined their lives in far off jungles and deserts, so distant from our civilized society. However, as adults, it becomes more apparent that the lives of animals are hugely affected by humanity.
San Francisco journalist Jon Mooallem explores this growing awareness in his recent book “Wild Ones,” which he will present at Eagle Harbor Book Co. at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.
Mooallem has been a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine for seven years, and he has also done projects for radio shows such as “This American Life.” Since 2008, he has been reporting for Wildlife Conservation Magazine, and during that time he learned how complicated the efforts to save endangered species actually are.
“I didn’t realize before how much many animals rely on human intervention,” Mooallem said.
In 2010, he began to study wildlife conservation more closely, collecting research and stories for his first book, “Wild Ones.” Published in 2013, the book is a non-fiction account of Mooallem’s experiences, his observations and the people he met as he learned about endangered species conservation in hands-on environments.
“I’d been interested in animal conservation from afar, but it was much different actually going there and getting to know people who’d spent so much time in this field,” Mooallem said. “One thing I noticed was how much American attitudes toward endangered species have changed over time.”
The book is told in three parts, each focusing on a different endangered group. First,
Mooallem describes the efforts to preserve three species of polar bear. Next is Lange’s Metalmark butterfly, and last comes the whooping crane.
Mooallem hopes that his book will wake people up to the realities of wildlife conservation.
“Instead of allowing people to think about issues in the abstract, I want to make people see that things are much more complex than we like to imagine,” Mooallem said. “But I also want to leave readers with hope in the rightness of the situation.”
To complement the book, a folk band from Portland, “Black Prairie,” composed a soundtrack to the book. During the fall, Mooallem and “Black Prairie” will be telling stories and performing the music in shows across the country.