Audubon Magazine

Audubon Magazine

Alisa Opar
Published: 12/13/2012

The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea

By Callum Roberts

Viking, 405 pages, $30 (Buy it)

Despite its beauty and wonder, disaster looms beneath the ocean’s surface. Year after year, fish populations decline and the oceans become more polluted. In recent decades we’ve treated it as a dumping ground and heedlessly exploited its resources. Callum Roberts’s new book is a call to action. A marine scientist and author, he describes in vivid detail how the ocean’s stores are rapidly declining and how its very makeup is changing.—Catherine Griffin


Decade of the Wolf, revised and updated edition: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone

By Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson

Lyons Press, 256 pages, $16.95 (Buy it)

Between harrowing helicopter rides, firing dart guns, and handling gray wolves up close, working on the recovery of Yellowstone's top predator isn't for the faint of heart. Douglas Smith, leader of the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Restoration Project, teams up with award-winning nature writer Gary Ferguson offer readers a compelling, intimate look at restoring wolves to Yellowstone.—Alisa Opar



The Maximum of Wilderness: The Jungle in the American Imagination

By Kelly Enright

University of Virginia Press, 200 pages, $29.95 (Buy it)

Enright investigates explorers, writers, and scientists who shared their enchantment with the jungle through books, essays, and film. From the poetic “wild hot continents” John Muir explored to the “unbelievably rich flora” ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes saw in the Amazon, Enright delves into the origins and evolution of American views of the jungle and, later, the rainforest. “—Anna Sanders


Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death

By Bernd Heinrich

Houghton Miffl in Harcourt, 256 pages, $25 (Buy it)

When a friend with a severe illness expresses to Bernd Heinrich his desire for a green burial “because human burial is today an alien approach to death,” it compels the renowned biologist and author to contemplate how the natural world deals with the end of life. The result is a moving examination of what Heinrich calls “animal undertaking.” In Life Everlasting he delves into happenings largely invisible to us: carrion beetles burying mice; the astonishing transformation of marine plankton (microscopic plants) into chalk; the persistence of ravens in chipping meat off of a frozen carcass mid-winter and their stealthy exploits to hide their hard-earned meal.—Alisa Opar



What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses

By Daniel Chamovitz

Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 192 pages, $23 (Buy it)

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