Islands + birds = paradise, but paradise + rats = DISASTER. With islands home to more than half the world's endangered species, the arrival of introduced predators has had a catastrophic effect on fauna, especially birds. With particular focus on two bird species that evolved in mammal-free environments, New Zealand's kakapo and the auklets from the Aleutian Islands, this book considers the different conservation measures employed to protect these fragile island ecosystems.
Informative and lively, this is a story fraught with ethical complexities, of conservation crusades and radical pest eradication, and the people and animals on both sides of the equation.
People really enjoyed this book. Found it interesting, well-written and educational. Very pertinent to the N.Z. situation with N.Z. mentioned frequently. One of the best reads of the year.
Generally enjoyed by all. Research involved was appreciated. Very readable style. Some members who have good knowledge of the N.Z. aspect of the topic considered it accurate. We all thought the pioneers are true heroes. Good discussion re pests, especially "the cat issue".
We learnt so much!
2 members did not finish the book. The others felt it was worthy, but they did not particularly enjoy it. But in discussion, they realised they had learned a lot about rats and islands around the world, and the politics and ethical dilemmas involved.
Everyone was engaged by this book, and even those who knew a bit about the topic learnt more. (One of our members had just been to Government House to receive an award for her role in trapping to protect whio, in the Ruahine ranges!) So, a book which encouraged us in our resolve to do more in our own back yards.
So much information about failures of the past and the successes. It is amazing what the rats can do and how we have worked to out smart them (and they in turn us - who is watching the watcher). There are some great tales that you will want to share with everyone you meet.
Most interesting and topical.
We certainly did enjoy this book. It was saddening to read of man's progressive effecting of species extinction. But heartening to read of efforts made to try and remedy some of this. Interesting to read of the extent of this work and N.Z's part in it. Once again, much to ponder and discuss.
Excellent discussion. Several of us are hoping to be able to buy the book. Well-written. Food for thought.
While the title of the book didn't entice us initially, we all engaged pretty quickly as the writing style was such that it made it very readable. The stories of the men who worked so hard to conserve the birds, were so dedicated and had to withstand such difficult conditions, that we all admired them. We had a really interesting and animated discussion. We all learnt a lot - it showed us the big picture, and the fact that it had so much about New Zealand made it more interesting. We liked it so much that many of us wanted to buy it to give to our children!
Fascinating. Enjoyed immensely. Some detail re NZ not quite accurate.
Should be compulsory reading in all NZ secondary schools.
With this book's strong focus on New Zealand, we gained an excellent understanding of our historical management and (mis)management of pests, especially rats. What a thought-provoking book - it was the catalyst for a lively discussion.
This was the best book of our whole year of book club. Everybody loved it, we had a great discussion, and it has been a talking point all summer. I even got it as a present for someone for Xmas!
Overall comment was " a good, easy and enjoyable read". It was well-written, intensive and well researched. The content is very relevant to the trapping in our local area.