Monday, May 21, 2007
Book Review: Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Western United States
I raved last month about Janine Benyus' best selling book called 'Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature'. I'm preparing for my trip to Montana on Wednesday, and as part of my pre-course homework for BaDT, another book by her was recommended to me.
This earlier work explores the systems of the wild places in the western states, and is told in a fashion that made me read it like I haven't read since picking up a juicy piece of fiction. The book appears to no longer be in print, but it's a gem worth finding. It gives a perspective on wildlife gleaned from her 9 years with the US Forest Service. She leads her readers to crawl around at the height of the mouse, to sit quietly to view river otters, to think like animals. She points out pivotal species in a habitat, such as the prairie dog and its critical role in maintaining the soils of the Great Plains. As an ecologist, I pride myself on knowing the local habitats here in this part of California. But there's always room for more info to bounce around in my noggin, I've learned so much from reading her book.