Endangered Species UPDATE Vol. 19 No. 1 2002 10
Book Review
Discovering Endangered Species
By Nancy Field and Sally Machlis. 1990.
Dog-eared Publications, Middletown WI, 40+ pp. Illustrated
Jennifer Jacobus MacKay
School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan, 430 E. University Avenue, Ann Arbor MI 48109-1115
Our children are our future – and a sustainable future increasingly depends upon a citizenry of ecological stewards. Thus, it is important to educate children about all aspects of conservation biology. Discovering Endangered Species is a comprehensive yet simple introduction to the concept of endangered species and habitat conservation. Geared for children aged 7 to 10, this book is in workbook format and contains a new topic on each page. The topics are presented through exercises, which encourage interaction by provoking thoughts and discussion about species, ecosystems, and the role of human beings in the natural environment. Illustrations are all black and white and are mostly line drawings, which allow for coloring by younger readers.
Discovering Endangered Species is an excellent supplement for environmental education curricula at the primary level. Some of the terminology covered includes biological diversity, endangered versus threatened versus extinct species, captive breeding, migration, and reintroduction. Specific endangered species (e.g., black footed ferret, Hawaiian goose, blue whale, African elephant, Arizona agave) are highlighted throughout the book, and including details such as physical characteristics, habitat requirements, and reasons for endangerment. These reasons for endangered species are also highlighted individually and explained conceptually, such as exotic species introductions, poaching, pollution, and habitat loss. Wetlands are given special attention with a board game called "Wandering Through Wetlands."
The book ends with a large illustration entitled, "What Can We Do," which has specific action items for engaging and empowering young people, such as volunteer at a zoo, plant trees, and visit a wildlife refuge. The last page contains blank lines for students to map out their personal plans for helping endangered species.
Discovering Endangered Species is also part of the Discovering Nature Library, which includes other titles, such as Discovering Wolves, Discovering Salmon, and Leapfrogging Through Wetlands. Discounts for large orders are available for schools, gift sets, fundraising, or other events. For more information contact Dog-Eared Publications at: http://www.dogeared. com, field@dog-eared.com, or call (888) DOG-EARS.