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The Hunt for the Golden Mole All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter by Richard Girling
  

The Hunt for the Golden Mole All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter

Popular Science   

Sue Baker's view...

The only record of the Somali Golden Mole is some tiny fragile bones found in an owl pellet. The Golden Mole is therefore the ideal icon for showing our responsibility to conserve and protect. Much of Richard Girling’s book makes for uncomfortable reading, yet he ends with some hope, firstly a wonderful piece on the amazing Professor Simonetta who discovered the bones and finally getting to see the bones in a Florentine museum. There is still a possibility the Golden Mole exists, others species such as the Passenger pigeon have been hunted to extinction, there is still some hope for the species clinging on but given so-called sport and medical needs, trophyism and smuggling it’s a hard struggle and as Richard Girling has found, an incredibly frustrating one with only the occasional small ray of light in the gloom.

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Who is Sue Baker

Synopsis

The Hunt for the Golden Mole All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter by Richard Girling

This story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded. The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964. It is mentioned in a number of textbooks, but the sole evidence for its existence is a tiny fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet. Intrigued by this elusive creature, and what it can tell us about extinction and survival, Richard Girling embarks on a hunt to find the animal and its discoverer - an Italian professor who he thinks might still be alive...Richard's journey comes at a time when one species - our own - is having to reconsider its relationship with every other. It is also a quest for knowledge. He delves into the history of exploration and the tall tales of the great hunters, explores the science of collecting and naming specimens, traces the development of the conservation movement and addresses the central issues of extinction and biodiversity. The Hunt for the Golden Mole is an engaging story which illustrates the importance of every living creature, no matter how small, strange or rare. It is a thoughtful, shocking, inspiring and important book.


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Reviews

That rarest of delights: a roaring book of huge importance written by a master storyteller exploring our fragile relationship with the animal kingdom, offering insights into how a hopeful future could yet be snatched from the jaws of despair. Not a hint of preaching, not a whiff of worthiness. A great story written not by an idealist but by a pragmatist with a heart of gold with a clear eyed view of the world. - Tim Smit

I loved this book. This is natural history at its funniest, most curious, enlightening and heartfelt. I couldn't put it down. It was like going on safari with Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson and Redmond O Hanlon ... I was alternately wide-eyed with wonder, appalled and then tickled to laughter. It's beautifully written. And it's powerful. An elegy to every living thing on this remarkable planet. Impossible to finish without being uplifted by the wonder of the natural world and driven to do something about its plight. - Nicholas Crane, writer and co-presenter of Coast

About the Author

Richard Girling was editorial manager of the Sunday Times Magazine, had a regular column for the Daily Telegraph during the 1990s, and is now a senior feature writer on the Sunday Times Magazine - contracted to write a minimum 8 cover stories and/or major features a year. He is the author of THE VIEW FROM THE TOP, an illustrated guide to the structure and history of the British landscape (Little, Brown 1997), and was a major contributor to the Readers' Digest social history of the 20th century, YESTERDAY'S BRITAIN. He has edited seven Sunday Times books. He won the Evian Award in 1989 for a special issue of ST Magazine on the medical effects of alcohol and, in 2002, the Specialist Writer of the Year at the UK Press Awards. He is a consultant to Reader's Digest and to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and his commercial clients have included Ford, Esso, Harveys of Bristol, Prudential, Philips, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the RIBA, the Department of the Environment, the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Civic Trust.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 2014

Author

Richard Girling

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Publisher

Chatto & Windus an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Hardback
320 pages

Categories

Wildlife: mammals

ISBN

9780701187156

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