In Wild Things, Wild Places actress, author, and conservationist Jane Alexander offers a moving first-hand assessment of what is being done to help the planet’s most at risk animals. In short reflections on her travels to some of the most remote and forbidding areas, she describes the ways in which human incursions into the natural world are destroying wildlife around the globe. With a clear eye and a keen grasp of the issues, Alexander highlights the remarkable work being done in the fields of science and conservation, and introduces readers to the field biologists, zoologists, environmentalists, and conservationists—the “prophets in the wilderness”—who have committed themselves to this essential effort. Inspiring and enlightening, Wild Things, Wild Places is a deeply personal look at the changing face of wildlife on planet Earth.
Veteran actress Alexander's latest offering is an impassioned if measured narrative of her explorations of little-known corners of the Earth with an eye toward celebration and conservation. A longtime nature enthusiast and conservation activist, Alexander (Command Performance) tracks her varied trips to distant locales, describing in intimate detail elements in ecosystems that may have been lost already or may yet be saved. On her adventure in the Andes of Peru, for example, she and her team delivered 5,000 polylepis trees to people who live in the high mountain community of Abra Malaga, answering a desperate need for replenishment of tree growth for heating fires but a secondary motivation included creating a sustainable environment for the disappearing Royal Cinclodes bird, which depends on the polylepis tree for shelter. A tone of alarm at points arises from the otherwise measured cadence of the narration: "We barely have a generation, maybe 20 years, to slow carbon emission... before the results are catastrophic." But the real force of the book resides in the author's articulation of her exhilaration of the wonders of nature (particularly her love of birds) and her willingness to ford streams, slash through jungles, and scale mountains to defend it.