Years back and fresh out of law school I was working a soul-numbing job as an environmental bureaucrat with the North Carolina state government, unhappy in sprawling Raleigh and yearning to breath free. Any time away from the office or my little hutch in that arid "gated community" was a blessing, but one hiking trip, to Pilot Mountain State Park in the rolling western Piedmont, put me back on course, thanks to a totemic friend I'd not seen since leaving school in New England that spring. A feature in this month's Bird Watcher's Digest tells a story of the spiritual renewal that can only be found--with effort--in the natural world.
Earlier this summer an article of mine, on the Africa's only wolf and the world's most endangered canid, was posted to the African Wildlife Foundation's blog. These marvelous predators, under immediate threat of extinction from an exploding human population and diseases spread by domestic dogs, have a remarkable hunting strategy that involves a baboon-like giant monkey called the gelada, about which my colleague wrote in his excellent blog for Scientific America, "Extinction Countdown." I'll be writing about this relationship myself shortly, again for the AWF; the Ethiopian wolf is an absolutely unique species in desperate need of our help. For more information have a look at AWF's website and that of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme.
William H. Funk
I'm a freelance writer focusing on natural history, conservation, and environmental law, policy and politics.