Where the Wild Things Were
Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators
By William Stolzenburg
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781596912991, 291pp.)
Publication Date: July 8, 2008
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It wasn't so long ago that wolves and great cats, monstrous fish and flying raptors ruled the peak of nature's food pyramid. Not so anymore. All but exterminated, these predators of the not-too-distant past have been reduced to minor players of the modern era. And what of it? Wildlife journalist William Stolzenburg follows in the wake of nature's topmost carnivores, and finds chaos in their absence. From the brazen mobs of deer and marauding raccoons of backyard America to streamsides of Yellowstone National Park crushed by massive herds of elk; from urchin-scoured reefs in the North Pacific to ant-devoured islands in Venezuela, Stolzenburg leads a startling tour through bizarre, impoverished landscapes of pest and plague. For anyone who has seldom given thought to the meat-eating beasts so recently missing from the web of life, here is a world of reason to think again.