Monday, 23 February 2015

Book Review: Discovering Big Cat Country by Eric Dinerstein

With their elusive and solitary nature, tigers and snow leopards are a challenge for even the most seasoned field biologists to track and study. Yet scientist and conservation leader Eric Dinerstein began his career in the heart of Nepal’s tiger country and the perilous Himalayan slopes of the snow leopard, where he discovered the joys—and frustrations—of studying wildlife in some of the most unpredictable and remote places on Earth. 

In Discovering Big Cat Country, Dinerstein tells the story of two formative journeys from his early days as a biologist: two and a half years as a young Peace Corps Volunteer in the jungles of Nepal and later, as a newly-minted Ph.D., an arduous trek to search for snow leopards in the Kashmir region of India. In these chapters, excerpted from Tigerland and other Unintended Destinations, Dinerstein paints an evocative picture of the homelands and habits of two fascinating predators, and recalls local partners and fellow conservationists who inspired him with their passion for wild places.

I was keen to read this book as I have an interest in animals, and tigers are one of my favourite species. The book was an interesting account of field work undertaken by Eric Dinerstein, with more of an emphasis on the actual location and work than the cats themselves, but I found it truly fascinating, and a wonderful way of vicariously experiencing the kind of conservation work I used to dream of doing myself.

I could clearly imagine each scene as it was described, and I enjoyed this book enormously. As a graduate of Environmental Science, this is clearly a subject I would find interesting, but I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in conservation, animals and nature, or scientific fieldwork.

You can buy a copy of this book on, or your regional Amazon site.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.