- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Prairie Dog Empire: A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairieby Paul A. Johnsgard
Synopses & Reviews
Driving west from Lincoln to Grand Island, Nebraska, Paul A. Johnsgard remarks, is like driving backward in time. and#8220;I suspect,and#8221; he says, and#8220;that the migrating cranes of a preand#8211;ice age period some ten million years ago would fully understand every nuance of the crane conversation going on today along the Platte.and#8221;
Johnsgard has spent nearly a half century observing cranes, from a yearly foray to Nebraskaand#8217;s Platte River valley to see the spring migration, to pilgrimages to the birdsand#8217; wintering grounds in Arizona and nesting territory in Alaska. In this book he draws from his own extensive experience as well as the latest science to offer a richly detailed and deeply felt account of the ecology of sandhill and whooping cranes and the wetlands in which they live.
Incorporating current information on changing migration patterns, population trends, and breeding ranges, Johnsgard explains the life cycle of the crane, as well as the significance of these species to our natural world. He also writes frankly of the uncertain future of these majestic birds, as cranes and their habitats face the effects of climate change and increasing human population pressures. Illustrated with the authorand#8217;s own ink drawings and containing a detailed guide to crane-viewing sites in the United States and Canada, this book is at once an invaluable reference and an eloquent testimony to how much these birds truly mean.
This book by the renowned naturalist and writer Paul A. Johnsgard tells the complex biological and environmental story of the western Great Plains under the black-tailed prairie dogs reign—and then under a brief but devastating century of human dominion.
An introduction to the ecosystem of the shortgrass prairie, Prairie Dog Empire describes in clear and detailed terms the habitat and habits of black-tailed prairie dogs; their subsistence, seasonal behavior, and the makeup of their vast colonies; and the ways in which their “towns” transform the surrounding terrain—for better or for worse. Johnsgard recounts how this terrain has in turn been transformed over the past century by the destruction of prairie dogs and their grassland habitats. This book also offers a rare and invaluable close-up view of the rich history and threatened future of the creature once considered the “keystone” species of the western plains.
Included are maps, drawings, and listings of more than two hundred natural grassland preserves where many of the regions native plants and animals may still be seen and studied.
About the Author
Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Regents Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the winner of the 2004 National Conservation Achievement Award and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, both sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, and the author of more than five dozen books on natural history, including Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices over Americas Wetlands (available in a Bison Books edition).
What Our Readers Are Saying