Stinging Trees and Wait-a-Whiles: Confessions of a Rainforest Biologist

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 196 pages
The last traces of Australia's tropical rainforest, where the southeasterly winds bring rain to the coastal mountains, contain a unique assemblage of plants and animals, some primitive, many that are found nowhere else on earth. And fifteen years ago, they also contained Bill Laurance, a budding ecologist seduced by the nature of the landscape in north Queensland. Laurance isn't your typical scientist: he wears cut-offs instead of white coats, enjoys the occasional food fight, and isn't afraid to speak his mind, even if it gets him into trouble, as it often did in the Australian rainforest and as he recounts in his marvelous Queensland journal Stinging Trees and Wait-a-Whiles.
The book is his record of the time he spent in this remote area and his run-ins with plant, animal, and human species alike. Laurance lived in a tiny town of loggers and farmers, and he witnessed firsthand the impact of conservation issues on individual lives. He found himself at the center of a bitter battle over conservation strategies and became not only the subject of small-town gossip but also the object of many residents' hatred. Keeping ahead of his high-spirited young volunteers, hounded by the drug-sniffing local policeman, and all the while trying to further his own research amid natural and unnatural obstacles, Laurance offers us a personal and hilarious account of fieldwork and life in the Australian outpost of Millaa Millaa. Stinging Trees and Wait-a-Whiles is a biology lesson, a conservation primer, and an utterly energetic story about an impressionable young man who wound up at the epicenter of an issue that tore a small town apart.
 

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STINGING TREES AND WAIT-A-WHILES: Confessions of a Rainforest Biologist

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If you really think that conducting biological research in the tropics is a glamorous occupation, then here's a reality check.Laurance's account makes for a highly readable introduction to what ... Read full review

Stinging trees & wait-a-whiles: confessions of a rainforest biologist

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Through a series of vividly written vignettes chronicling his 18 months of field study in the Australian rain forest during the mid-1980s, biologist Laurence re-creates his wild and frequently ... Read full review

Contents

Assault from Above
3
Stinging Trees and WaitaWhiles
17
Friendly Leeches
31
The Mystery of the DayGlo Rats
45
Invasion of Millaa Millaa
53
Rainforest Politics
63
Gone Troppo
73
The HigherMammal Crew
81
Right in the Thick of It
137
The Rat Trials
143
Guerilla Warfare
151
New Guinea
159
Missionaries Mercenaries and Misfits
165
The Togobas
171
Return to Oz
179
Postscript
185

Somethings in the Bathtub
89
Old Harry
97
The Wet Season
105
Jenny
115
The World Heritage Controversy
123
Joh Starts His Run
131
Rainforest Conservation Organizations
187
Glossary
189
Species Mentioned in the Text
191
Suggested Readings
195
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

William Laurance is a senior research scientist with the Smithsonian Institution and Brazil's National Institute for Amazonian Research. The recipient of the American Society of Mammalogists Award for his work on tropical forest fragmentation, he is the lead editor of Tropical Forest Remnants.

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