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Pandas to Penguins: Ethical Encounters with Animals at Risk (W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series #59)

Pandas to Penguins: Ethical Encounters with Animals at Risk (W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series #59)

Current price: $28.00
Publication Date: September 12th, 2018
Texas A&M University Press


Perhaps nothing about nature calls to us as deeply as wild animals. To see an enormous whale leaping out of the water, the eerily human eyes of a gorilla, or the comical waddle of a penguin; to hear the ethereal howl of a wolf or majestic roar of a lion—these experiences change us. Around the world, animal populations are threatened by loss of habitat, pollution, climate change, overhunting, and poaching—and yet wildlife-based tourism is growing rapidly and makes up as much as forty percent of the worldwide tourism industry today.

In Pandas to Penguins, nature journalist Melissa Gaskill profiles twenty-five species and one endangered ecosystem, highlighting local ecofriendly travel outfitters operating in the area for those seeking out their own enriching personal experience with wildlife. She provides basic information about each animal’s behavior and biology, descriptions of the threats they face, and maps, photographs, and first-person accounts of wildlife watching.

Each species meets three basic criteria: 1) some level of risk to its survival, 2) a reasonably accessible habitat where travelers have a chance to view the animal in the wild in its natural setting, and 3) responsible tourism that directly benefits the animal or its habitat. More than a wildlife bucket list or an exhortation to “see them before they’re gone,” this guide is intended to identify wildlife experiences that can be life changing for people as well as animals. Extinction is tragic but not inevitable. We can all do something to make a difference, and Pandas to Penguins is an important resource for adventurers and armchair travelers alike.


About the Author

MELISSA GASKILL is a professional journalist with thirty years of experience writing about the outdoors, nature, and science. She is the author of Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Gulf Coast and coauthor of A Worldwide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles. She lives in Austin.

Praise for Pandas to Penguins: Ethical Encounters with Animals at Risk (W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series #59)

“Melissa has long been a trusted voice on conservation and environmental issues, in Texas and beyond. With Pandas to Penguins, she has gone to great lengths to take the guesswork out of responsible nature travel—one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. This is truly a roadmap for wildlife-enthusiasts and travel-lovers alike to explore the wonders of the natural world while honoring the lands and creatures in most need of protection.” – Laura Huffman, Texas State Director, The Nature Conservancy
— Laura Huffman

“Pandas to Penguins is a thoroughly researched guide to wildlife watching in ways that help support efforts to protect these amazing animals. This book has great information on wild animals, tips on the best places to see them, and advice on how to support conservation efforts every day. Melissa has put together an invaluable resource for nature tourists around the world.” —Brad Nahill, President, SEE Turtles
— Brad Nahill

“Melissa Gaskill’s new book Pandas to Penguins offers a vivid yet pragmatic snapshot many of the world’s most critically engendered species, most of which are threatened due to overpopulation or exploitation. While common wisdom would assume that visiting them in their natural habitats would further imperil them, Melissa suggests a more exhilarating solution which involves informed travel and adventure in a way that can actually benefit them. This book provides just the right information to see the wildest corners of the world while benefiting local economies and the wild denizens that sustain them.” —Fernando Bretos, Director of Marine Conservation Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
— Fernando Bretos