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Thames & Hudson
5th October 2009
Style and content:
Hardcover with 224 pages
229 x 229mm
Written by: Chris Weston
Photographs by: Chris Weston and Art Wolfe
Foreword by: Dr Jane Smart OBE, Head of IUCN Species Program
Chris Weston is among the finest wildlife photographers at work today as well as being a passionate advocate of wildlife conservation. This book features his stunning photographs, along with those of contributing photographer, Art Wolfe, of some sixty rare and endangered mammals across six continents, in all types of terrain, from the high arctic to temperate forest, jungle, savanna, steppe and desert.
Chapters are organized by region: The Americas; Europe and North Asia; Africa; West, Central and East Asia; South and Southeast Asia and Oceania. Captions detail each animal’s habits, habitat and conservation status.
Developed in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Red List of Threatened Species – the most authoritative global guide to the status of biological diversity – the Introduction explains the project’s background and mission; the final section lays out the stark statistics of the plight of animals worldwide.
In concise, compelling narratives, Weston goes behind simplistic headlines of good versus evil – of innocent creatures assailed by greedy, selfish humans. Instead he has sought out all sides of the story, talking to villagers, officials, scientists, poachers, hunters, conservation workers and campaigners. What becomes powerfully clear is the need for conservation solutions that work for people as well as animals. For while the reasons that animals are endangered are many – from habitat destruction and illegal hunting through global warming – there is one common factor: intensifying conflict between animals and people sharing the same pieces of land.
In fascinating ‘On the frontline’ features, Weston explores particular examples, such as the mountain gorillas of Rwanda – a rare success story of a species pulled back from the brink by a concerted conservation effort. Other examples are far bleaker. About the tigers of India, Weston is particularly blunt: as long as they continue to be worth more to local people dead than alive, their future extinction is more or less certain.
In the informative and often amusing “On Assignment: A Photographer’s Journal” Weston takes us behind the scenes to reveal the dramatic tales of his encounters, discoveries and many trials and tribulations. Also revealed are the ingenious means by which some of the unique in the book have been made.
Animals on the Edge combines extraordinary imagery and authoritative information with an impassioned message. Setting a forceful agenda for change, it is a publication that is guaranteed to make a huge impact.