In Wild Echoes, environmentalist and photographer Charles Bergman chronicles his experiences tracking down and interacting with the few remaining members of nine of North America's most endangered species. Bergman soars in the company of two of the last remaining California condors, swims with manatees, assists in the capture and release of a Florida panther, and comes face to face with the last remaining dusky seaside sparrow, a species now extinct. As he describes these and other poignant encounters, Bergman discusses the factors, both manmade and natural, that have led to the animals' endangerment. He also examines the efforts of those who hope to pull species back from the brink of extinction. Wild Echoes was originally published in 1990, and this 2003 edition contains a new introduction and substantial updates on the good news and the bad concerning the current status of the species Bergman discusses in the book.
This is a very personal, affecting account of one man's endeavor to come to grips with the fact that humans in the 20th century are causing animal extinctions at an unprecedented rate. Bergman, professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington, goes into the wild to observe some of our most endangered species--among them the California condor, the black-footed ferret and the little-known dusky seaside sparrow--and he also studies the men and women working to preserve them. Drawing from his literary background, he examines attitudes toward animals throughout history and tries to understand why we are alienated from the rest of the natural world. He reflects on what it means to live in an era when humans so completely dominate other species that even the people who try to stop destruction have to manipulate animal lives to such an extent that they are no longer truly wild. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)