The Earth is marked by thousands of invisible paths, lines across the prairies and sky. These are the tracks of great migrations, migrations that have been repeating themselves for centuries. Now, however, many of these great journeys are in danger of being disrupted by development, technology, and industry. David S. Wilcove's No Way Home is an in-depth investigation into all of the gritty details of protecting these ancient animal traditions. Derek Shetterly's performance is clear and informative. He relates Wilcove's firsthand experiences with excitement and zest uncharacteristic of such a well-researched and informative audiobook.
Animal migration is a magnificent sight: a mile-long blanket of cranes rising from a Nebraska river and filling the sky; hundreds of thousands of wildebeests marching across the Serengeti; a blaze of orange as millions of monarch butterflies spread their wings to take flight. Nature’s great migrations have captivated countless spectators, none more so than premier ecologist David S. Wilcove. In No Way Home, his awe is palpable - as are the growing threats to migratory animals.
We may be witnessing a dying phenomenon among many species. Migration has always been arduous, but today’s travelers face unprecedented dangers. Skyscrapers and cell towers lure birds and bats to untimely deaths, fences and farms block herds of antelope, salmon are caught en route between ocean and river, breeding and wintering grounds are paved over or plowed, and global warming disrupts the synchronized schedules of predators and prey. The result is a dramatic decline in the number of migrants.
Wilcove guides us on their treacherous journeys, describing the barriers to migration and exploring what compels animals to keep on trekking. He also brings to life the adventures of scientists who study migrants. Often as bold as their subjects, researchers speed wildly along deserted roads to track birds soaring overhead, explore glaciers in search of frozen locusts, and outfit dragonflies with transmitters weighing less than one one-hundredth of an ounce.
Scientific discoveries and advanced technologies are helping us to understand migrations better, but alone, they won’t stop sea turtles and songbirds from going the way of the bison or passenger pigeon. What’s required is the commitment and cooperation of the far-flung countries migrating animals cross - long before extinction is a threat. As Wilcove writes, “protecting the abundance of migration is key to protecting the glory of migration.” No Way Home offers powerful inspiration to preserve those glorious journeys.
This is not my first book on the topic of migration, so I found this book short and not comprehensive, which may be the very qualities that would make it a good first book. The book did shed light on several concepts that I hadn't perceived before, like there being migratory and non-migratory populations within the same species, and how each is affected differently by external factors, such as the current expansion of man (who, just to note, I do not see as a 'virus' on earth (which is a bad thing) but as a platform for higher consciousness (which is a good thing).
I found the book to be a loose, and still inconclusive collection, as the author refrained from any specific agenda, such as 'man is categorically bad' as is the current fashion in certain misguided ideological quarters. The author could have pandered to that demograph (and the publisher missed the opportunity), but thankfully the author did not and the publisher had more promising prospects to ruin.