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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

43 - Conservation Science: the Need for a New Paradigm Founded on Robust Field Evidence

from Part II - Essays: Inspiring Fieldwork


Fieldwork provides some of my deepest memories, whether exhilarating (being attacked by snowy owls when studying their nests – I still have the multiply ripped jacket), scary (being told the faulty helicopter will probably have to crash land on the pack ice), bizarre (being courted in the dark by a wild, but originally hand-reared, kakapo, who climbed my body and mated with my head), exhilarating (finding the first albatross nest in the North Atlantic – a black-browed albatross courting the gannets in Shetland), satisfying (discovering healthy populations of red-breasted geese when thought to be on the brink of extinction), amusing (being taken for dead by a passing motorist when spread-eagled on a roadside verge, photographing rare plants), disturbing (seeing the all-too-human excitement of chimpanzees nearly killing a red colobus monkey) or breath-taking (the whale shark swimming, mouth-open, directly towards me).

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