The Wildlife Blog Collection is a compilation of 70 short stories submitted to Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018, celebrating some of the most memorable, entrancing and exciting wildlife moments as told by top nature writers from across the globe.
From the discovery of a clouded leopard in Borneo’s degraded rainforests, to an audience with an African crowned eagle and its unlucky prey in Kenya, to the unexpected wildlife of England after dark, there are incredible moments to uncover.
It includes winning entries as chosen by a panel of 14 judges -including Dr Mark Avery, James Lowen, Dr James Borrell, Ed Drewitt and Lucy McRobert – and uses storytelling to explore humanity’s relationship with wildlife and highlight wildlife conservation issues around the globe.
The competition and eBook was coordinated and run by Terra Incognita who believe that ecotourism can be a powerful force for good in the world. As a social enterprise it seeks to promote the best examples of ecotourism worldwide. It does this by collating lists of amazing tour providers who help conserve the environment, support local people and educate guests.
The book is kindly being sponsored by Global Vision International, and is being dedicated to the memory of Alex Chalkley – with 10% of the proceeds going towards the charity Tusk to advance conservation across Africa.
Praise for Stories from the Judges
“A fabulous tale on the globally important topic of invasive alien species. A surprising take – how killing animals can be good for the environment. Eloquent start – very nice sense of place. Underwater dimension transports reader to a different realm. Clever, insightful and coherent.” – James Lowen of ‘Mulling Over Culling’ by Asiem Sanyal.
“The story that Ben tells reveals his true excitement for seeing the pangolin and how special the sighting is; from a tourist perspective it also reveals the true nature of how many tourists behave. While Ben’s provides context for the pangolin’s plight you are not left feeling depressed – you are left feeling there is hope and with good reason.” – Ed Drewitt of ‘The People and the Pangolin’ by Ben Chapple.
“This entry packs a powerful punch, delivering an important message in an arresting way. I greatly appreciated the author’s compassionate outrage and her deep desire to help achieve change”. – Kate Rawles of The Truth Behind my Lion Selfie by Jess Murray
“Bold use of short paragraphs. Captivating yet disconcerting introduction (poo!), with glorious little touches (‘Aldi’ is a superb juxtaposition of the urban/Western with the rainforest context; ‘bag-for-life’ is a superb way for introducing the broad environmental theme). Serious messages – deforestation – complemented by the unexpected taking of hope from even logged, degraded forest (any semi-natural habitat is better than none). An enticing quest, very well articulated.” – James Lowen of ‘The Rare Jungle Cat That Thrives in Degraded Rainforests’ by Gianluca Cerullo.
“A very rare experience well told. I was gripped and the author put the exciting event in a larger context”. – Mark Avery of ‘On the Trail of Giants – Life and Death in Botswana’ by Kaitlin Flood.
“I think he writes clearly and with humour. His story-telling ability is impressive, particularly considering his age relative to others shortlisted. I liked his piece, it was refreshing to hear a story where the protagonist remained elusive to the last – perhaps how it should be”. – Hendrikus van Hensbergen of ‘The One that Got Away’ by Alex Brickle.
“Tracy’s blog provides both a personal perspective of seeing yellow-eyed penguins and the bigger picture of why this species is so vulnerable. It is an animal we rarely hear about (despite its fellow species in Antarctica and South Africa being feature much more on TV and in magazines). Tracy narrates a good mix of reality, natural history and personal feelings which by the end makes it an interesting and though-provoking piece”. – Ed Drewitt of The Jewel in the Crown: New Zealand’s Yellow-Eyed Penguin by Tracy Brighten.
“I really like the fact that this entry is about an intimate encounter with a relatively common animal. The power of the piece comes not from the rarity or exotic nature of the wildlife but from the author’s reflections on the privilege of entering, however briefly, another creature’s world. I also appreciated her thoughts about viewing wildlife via technology – or not – at the end”. – Kate Rawles of ‘A Brief Encounter – A Lasting Memory’ by Rebecca Gibson.
“An unbelievably broad lexicon and writing ability for someone so young. Insightful and comedic, a wonderful read”. – Justin Lennon of ‘The One that Got Away’ by Alex Brickle.
“Watching wildlife often involves a lot of ‘looking but not finding’ and this captured that very well. And this was more interesting than an account of a fantastic sighting!” – Mark Avery of ‘The one that got away’ by Alex Brickle.
“I think good conservation blogs and stories have a responsibility to tackle controversial issues – and this one does that excellently”. – James Borrell of ‘The Truth Behind my Lion Selfie by Jess Murray.
“The battle of Antarctica had me hooked from the beginning. It was funny, descriptive and tense”. – Eilidh Munro of ‘The Battle of Antarctica’ by Jeremy Duggan.
“A really funny blog that any field conservationist or researcher can relate too”. – Justin Lennon of ‘Do You Have an Inner Swamp Ogre?’ by Carolyn Thompson.
“I love the rawness of this blog and how Nyawira doesn’t shy away from describing the splay of the hyrax on the rock. She tells her story with short, select words that captivate the moment and the energy of the day. Nyawira sets the scene well and by the end I am left with my own, vivid picture of what she witnessed that morning”. Ed Drewitt of ‘Crowned Ruler of the Skies’ by Nyawira Gitaka Esther.
“This story reminded me of my first field internship when I was asked to walk overtop of crocodiles on an untrustworthy wire ramp. But even if you’ve never carried out field research or lived in a swamp, Carolyn made the experience relatable and fun. I love how she made science accessible in the most unpatronising of ways, and how she let readers take their own message away”. Kristi Foster of ‘Do You Have an Inner Swamp Ogre?’ by Carolyn Thompson.
“The dilemma at the heart of this piece – culling animals to achieve conservation goals – is one that would be well worth unpacking and exploring further. It’s hard not to have your interest sparked by the slogan ‘eat them to beat them!’ especially in a conservation context. An unexpected and interesting piece of writing”. Kate Rawles of ‘Mulling Over Culling’ by Asiem Sanyal.
“It was an amazing story that just kept getting better! How do you tops whales, being attacked by killer whales, and a penguin jumping onto the back of a whales… in the Antarctic.” – Nick Askew of ‘The Battle of Antarctica’ by Jeremy Duggan.
“I found her story captivating; for a moment I felt like I was there with her. I liked the role reversal in the water: her clumsy diving mask incident contrasted with a majestic and elegant seal in its natural habitat”. – Hendrikus van Hensbergen of ‘A Brief Encounter – A Lasting Memory’ by Rebecca Gibson.
“I loved the way that Gianluca brought us into his day to day life of working within the Bornean rainforest. He paints a vivid scene that is accessible to many people, not just scientists working in the field, and this is so important for making conservation exciting to a wide audience. His descriptions of wildlife are also stunning, for example the swooping Asian paradise flycatcher. Finally, the subject is important and I like how Gianluca communicates the importance of clouded leopards within the context of conservation”. – Eilidh Munro of ‘The Rare Jungle Cat that Thrives in Degraded Rainforests’ by Gianluca Cerullo.