Synopses & Reviews
In 1993, Alan Rabinowitz, called "the Indiana Jones" of wildlife science by The New York Times
, arrived for the first time in the country of Myanmar, known until 1989 as Burma, uncertain of what to expect. Working under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, his goal was to establish a wildlife research and conservation program and to survey the country's wildlife. He succeeded beyond all expectations, not only discovering a species of primitive deer completely new to science but also playing a vital role in the creation of Hkakabo Razi National Park, now one of Southeast Asia's largest protected areas.
Beyond the Last Village takes the reader on a journey of exploration, danger, and discovery in this remote corner of the planet at the southeast edge of the Himalayas where tropical rain forest and snow-covered mountains meet. As we travel through this "lost world" a mysterious and forbidding region isolated by ancient geologic forces we meet the Rawang, a former slave group; the Taron, a solitary enclave of the world's only pygmies of Asian ancestry; and Myanmar Tibetans living in the furthest reaches of the mountains. We enter the territories of strange, majestic-looking beasts that few people have ever heard of and fewer have ever seen golden takin, red goral, blue sheep, black barking deer. The survival of these ancient species is now threatened, not by natural forces but by hunters with snares and crossbows, trading body parts for basic household necessities.
The powerful landscape and unique people the author befriends help him come to grips with the traumas and difficulties of his past and emerge a man ready to embrace the world anew. Interwoven with his scientific expedition in Myanmar, and helping to inform his understanding of the people he met and the situations he encountered, is this more personal journey of discovery.
"It feels like Conrad's Heart of Darkness
in reverse, as he escapes the 'civilisation' of a brutal military regime to find peace and light in the farthest lands."
"...often reads like a dispatch not just from a distant place but from a distant time, a letter home from the Age of Discovery that was somehow delayed in transit for a couple of centuries."
The "Indiana Jones of wildlife science" ("New York Times") takes the reader on a journey of exploration, danger, and discovery in Asia's forbidden wilderness at the southeast edge of the Himalayas. Photos & illustrations.
About the Author
Alan Rabinowitz is CEO of Panthera Foundation. Educated at the University of Tennessee, with degrees in zoology and wildlife ecology, Dr. Rabinowitz has traveled the world on behalf of wildlife conservation and has studied jaguars, clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons, and civets.
His work in Belize resulted in the worldandrsquo;s first jaguar sanctuary; his work in Taiwan resulted in the establishment of that countryandrsquo;s largest protected area, its last piece of intact lowland forest; his work in Thailand generated the first field research on Indochinese tigers, Asiatic leopards, and leopard cats, in what was to become the regionandrsquo;s first World Heritage Site; and his work in Myanmar has led to the creation of five new protected areas there: the countryandrsquo;s first marine national park, the countryandrsquo;s first and largest Himalayan national park, the countryand#39;s largest wildlife sanctuary, and the worldandrsquo;s largest tiger reserve.and#160;
Dr. Rabinowitz has authored nearly eighty scientific and popular articles and six books, including Jaguar: One Manandrsquo;s Struggle to Establish the First Jaguar Preserve (1986/2000), Chasing the Dragonandrsquo;s Tail: The Struggle to Save Thailandandrsquo;s Wild Cats (1991/2002), and Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asiaandrsquo;s Forbidden WildernessNew York Times, National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Outside Magazine, Scientific American,and#160;Menandrsquo;s Fitness, GEO, Natural History, andand#160;Audubon. He has been featured in television specials by the National Geographic Society and the BBC, and recently consulted on an IMAX film project about tigers in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India.
Table of Contents
Tarnished Golden Land
Of Rhinos and Sea-Gypsies
Gateway to the North
Last Prayers at Shwedagon
Into the Triangle
For the Love of Salt
In the Shadow of Hkakabo Razi
Lost Tribes of Tibet
Pygmies of the Adung Wang Valley
The Last Village
Touching the Snow
Child of Beyond
Back into the World
The Mysterious Leaf Deer
The Ghost Valley
Through the Looking Glass