Monday, July 10, 2006

2. The Ark's Anniversary by Gerald Durrell

ISBN 0002154986 - William Collins and Sons, 1990

Written after the Jersey Wildlife Trust's 25th anniversary in 1984, this book follows the format of The Stationary Ark. In fact, many of the same anecdotes, from the early years are retold.
A new section detailing the Trust's work to release captive bred endangered species is eye opening. It outlines the difficulties of getting third generation captive bred animals to successfully adapt to their "natural habitat" - assuming it still exists in a viable form.
It also talks about Wildlife Preservation Canada and its American counterpart Wildlife Trust.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

1. The Stationary Ark by Gerald Durrell

ISBN 0671228781 - Simon and Schuster, 1979

Gerald Durrell founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (posthumously renamed Durrell Wildlife) and opened the zoo in Jersey, Channel Islands in 1959. In The Stationary Ark, one of Durrell's 37 best selling books, he that argues the need for zoos and their crucial role in wildlife conservation.

The objects of the trust were:

1. To promote interest in wildlife conservation throughout the world.
2. To build up under controlled conditions breeding colonies of varous species of animals that were threatened with extinction in the wild state.
3. To organize special expeditions to rescue serously threatened species.
4. By studying the biology of those species, to amass and correltate data which would help toward protecting those endangered animals in the wild state.
pp 22-23

The Stationary Ark is not, however, a dry academic book. It is chock full of amusing and heart- rending anecdotes about the care of creatures from the obscure West African pouched rat to the magnificent Sumatran orangutans. Durrell's ebullient personality and commitment to conservation shines though.