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Darwin's Fox and My Coyote

Holly Menino

BUY Cloth · 192 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813926759 · $35.00 · Mar 2008
BUY Paper · 192 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813942414 · $25.00 · Dec 2018

A rare fox in the South American cordillera. A disappearing fox on an island off California. A common coyote in the Albany suburbs. How do these wild carnivores live? And what is it about the places they live that allows them to survive? Holly Menino joins up with three young scientists to find out, and along the way is drawn into a broader consideration of the science that defines these animals’ natural histories.

With the same intelligent, lucid style that made Forward Motion such a success, Darwin’s Fox and My Coyote is a sympathetic but unsentimental examination of animals in their habitats. Field biology spearheaded the animal conservation movement by creating a new awareness of wild animals and bringing to public consciousness their needs and vulnerabilities. The conservation movement has fostered a general sense that land is shifting out from under wild animals at a pace that threatens their very survival. But if that threat is known, it is little understood. Few realize that animals are becoming extinct at rates that far exceed the ability of scientists to help stabilize their populations. Menino confronts the public attitudes that reinforce these calamitous realities and thwart animal conservation efforts.

In the tradition of Silent Spring and A Sand County Almanac, Darwin’s Fox and My Coyote is thought-provoking, alarming, and unapologetic. It is, most important, a call to action.


" Darwin’s Fox and My Coyote is a remarkable and very important book—both a fascinating adventure story and a comprehensive, close-up look at the formidable amount of science that supports and enables wildlife conservation. With depth, clarity, and admirable scholarship, Holly Menino has produced a real page-turner for a very wide range of readers, young and old, scientists and laymen, from those in the front lines of conservation to those who want to learn about it. As someone who has been involved with animals all my life, I consider myself no stranger to these matters, but I was dazzled by the insights I gained from these pages.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs and The Old Way: A Story of the First People

"Holly Menino is an engaging, personable, unsentimental, and scientifically literate writer.

Donald McCaig, author of A Useful Dog and Rhett Butler’s People

"The book is beautifully written, as one would expect, given its author. I admire its unsentimental tone, its insightful descriptions of the scientific process, and, especially, its arresting moments with the animals themselves.

Jennifer Ackerman, author of Notes from the Shore and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body

About the Author(s): 

Holly Menino is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in National Geographic and Smithsonian. She is the author of Calls beyond Our Hearing: Unlocking the Secrets of Animal Voices and Forward Motion: Horses, Humans, and the Competitive Enterprise.

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