It is the International Year of Biodiversity and leave it to Sylvia to put together a fun challenge.

The challenge includes choices of reading and a field trip. For the reading I am going with a combo Bye-bye/ Basic. In other words I am going to read two books about endangered or extinct species but include a third book which moves me to the Basic option. Confused? It is confusion of my own making because Sylvia is not at all confusing. Call it Stef is suffering from back to school and back to work after a vacation syndrome. Anyway, the three books I have selected:

  • Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of a Conservation Icon by Henry Nicholls. George is a 5 foot long, 200 pound tortoise somewhere between the age of 60 and 200 years old. He was discovered on the Galapagos island of Pinta where tortoises were thought to have been extinct for years. Since he was the only tortoise on the entire island, he was moved to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz island. This is his story.
  • Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth’s Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina. This book is about the plight of the leatherback turtle. Leatherbacks can weigh as much as a ton and live in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Due to poaching, longline fishing nets, and a depletion of their food supply because of overfishing by humans, they are a species threatened with extinction.
  • The Diversity of Life by Edward O. Wilson. A book about how new species are created and how humans are destroying biodiversity.

For my field trip, if it ever gets warm again, I plan on going to the bird sanctuary by Lake Harriet. Lake Harriet is one of Minneapolis’ downtown lakes and when you are in the bird sanctuary you would never be able to guess that you are in the middle of a big city. It’s a lovely, peaceful place and I haven’t been in ages. Even better, it is a short bike ride of about 6 miles on a beautiful off-street bike path that goes along a creek. C’mon summer!

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