All Things Alive

Magazines on wildlife and wilderness conservation

| July-August 2002 Issue

From my aerie above Minneapolis’ Loring Park I watch red-winged blackbirds in the cattails. Ring-billed gulls dive into the pond and soar against blue sky. Hoodlum crows harass a pigeon, feathers fly as mallards have sex, and a red-tailed hawk awaits its meal. If any of these birds disappeared, a part of me would die.

And birds are disappearing: More than 500 species are now endangered worldwide. I don’t remember the last time I saw a meadowlark or heard a whippoorwill. Having watched suburban "developments" steadily replace woodland habitat over the years, I’m sounding an alarm and urging readers to pay attention to a handful of wilderness conservation magazines.

One of the best is Wild Earth, journal of the nonprofit Wildlands Project, an organization headed by Dave Foreman (founder of Earth First!). In its pages you’ll read clear-thinking articles on biodiversity and conservation strategy, well-reasoned policy debates, essays, and even some poetry. A recent edition focused on "citizen science"—the contribution of amateurs collecting data for conservation scientists. Subscriptions: $35 (4 issues) from Box 455, Richmond, VT 05477; www.wild-earth.org 

Defenders, colorful magazine of the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife, focuses on news about threatened species and what humans are doing on their behalf. A recent issue looks at road kills and the wildlife overpass bridges on the Trans-Canada Highway designed to lessen animal deaths. Defenders also keeps an eye on legislation and anti-ecology corporate lobbyists. Subscriptions: $20 (4 issues) from 1101 14th St. NW, Suite 1400, Washington, DC 20005; www.defenders.org 



Glossy National Wildlife contains beautiful photos, but don’t assume from this that its coverage is superficial. One recent edition of this National Wildlife Federation publication contained a well-researched and engaging article about the damaged Colorado River Delta, a practical report on using rainwater runoff to irrigate gardens, and an alert about toxic antifreeze. Subscriptions: $15 minimum contribution (6 issues) from 11100 Wildlife Center Dr., Reston, VA 20190; www.nwf.org 

Earth First! Journal is downright militant, advocating—sometimes more than a little wildly—for civilly disobedient action and even sabotage on behalf of wildlife. The organization’s motto, after all, is "No compromise in defense of Mother Earth." Put out collectively by people whose legal names are not revealed (they are called, for example, Sky and Turtle), its strong point is not rhetoric, but rather action alerts about logging, road-building, and threats to sensitive habitats around the world. Subscriptions: $30 (8 issues) from Box 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702; www.earthfirstjournal.org