Friday Reads: Endangered Species Day
“Friday Reads” is a weekly (almost) blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work. Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read. Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things. Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too. No matter the source, good reads are featured here.
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Today, May 18, 2018, is the 13th annual Endangered Species Day. Proclaimed by the U.S. Congress in 2006, the day “is a celebration of the nation’s wildlife and wild places and is an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species, as well as everyday actions they can take to help protect them.” (Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2018 p. 280).
In recognition of the day, I am highlighting a stunning new coffee table style book we are adding to our oversize collection today titled, Endangered, featuring the work of British animal photographer Tim Flach and text by Professor Johnathan Baillie and writer Sam Wells. Flach writes in the introduction, “ … this book is something of an experiment: I have tried to bridge that otherness and instead invite sameness by creating portraits of animals that emphasize their personality, while incorporating abstracts and landscapes that show the material aspects of their ecosystems.” In doing so, he endeavors to connect the viewer emotionally with his subjects. He shows their sameness to us through vivid and compelling photographs in the hopes that we will be moved significantly enough to fight for their preservation. The golden snub-nose monkey looks pensive against a black ground; the beluga sturgeon resembles a tired, old traveler; and the black and white ruffed lemur evokes thoughts of a maestro with his outstretched arms and focused expression. Pictured, is the Bengal Tiger shaking water off his head much like a house cat. Photos are accompanied by short passages describing the predicament the species is in and other important facts.
This book is a must-view for all ages. You can find it with the new oversized books.
P.S. The book is international in scope. If you are curious about the status of wildlife in Massachusetts, here is a link to the “MESA List,” the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act list of endangered, threatened, and special concern species from the Mass.gov website. There are “427 native plant and animal species” on this list. I am pleased to report that the American Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus, for which I have a great fondness, is not included. The coast is not clear for them however, as species that eat the crabs and their eggs are in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species database.
photo: Bengal Tiger, Tim Flach, Endangered, page 237