Signs of Life: Field Notes from the Frontlines of Extinction

Alpine Books


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What’s to be done when only three spotted owls are left in Canada’s wild? When wolves eat endangered caribou, cormorants kill rare trees, and housing developments threaten a tiny frog?

Environmental journalist Sarah Cox has witnessed what happens when we drive species to the brink of extinction. In Signs of Life, she tags along with the Canadian military, Indigenous guardians, biologists, conservationists, and ordinary people who are racing to save hundreds of species before it’s too late.

Travelling across the country, Cox visits the Toronto Zoo, home of Canada’s only wildlife biobank, where scientists conserve living cells from endangered species in the event of future loss; tours Canada’s military bases, home to some of Canada’s last preserved ecosystems; and travels to Indigenous communities where land stewards are striving to restore the delicate ecological balance that has sustained people for millennia.

Through the eyes and work of individuals who are bringing species back from the precipice, Cox delivers both an urgent message and a fresh perspective on how we can protect biodiversity and begin to turn things around.