Without ado, the title of Isabelle Groc’s new book, Gone is Gone, sums it up. Once an animal or plant species is extinct, it is GONE. Forever. Not one of us had a chance to glimpse one of 3 billion passenger pigeons, unless you’re over 106 years old!
It’s inconceivable that future generations might never see a polar bear or vulture or cheetah or albatross or caribou or kangaroo or even a bumblebee. According to Groc, “the current rate of extinction is cause for alarm.” Worldwide habitat intrusion, pollution, illegal trafficking, climate change and political legislation are each attributing to “effects we don’t fully comprehend.”
Will any or all of the 26,800 species identified on the 2018 Red List as threatened with extinction (97,000 are endangered) follow the ultimate route of the passenger pigeon or others?
Hopefully not, if we take action.
Gone Is Gone calls for responsible action.
“When you learn about the thousands of species that are in trouble, you may feel sad and powerless … Luckily there are many amazing people around the world who have dedicated their lives to fighting the war against extinction. But more people and more action are needed … Every single action counts.”
This stunning 120-page book is fact-filled and rich in imagery, accessible to young people and adults. Groc aims to inspire youth, in particular, “to carry the torch and fight for the future of wild spaces and species.” Her full-color photographs accompany the narratives.
She shares stories of species that have been helped and others that need our help. Some vulnerable animals featured might come as a surprise … Lions? Giraffes? Bears? Wolves? Koalas? Monarch butterflies? There’s good news too … sea otters are back!
Groc blends disturbing scientific fact with inspiring descriptions and photographs of firsthand wildlife encounters. She instills a passion for her subjects and surroundings before recruiting us to help to save them.
She effectively explains the extinction crisis, highlights specific causes, and explores trial remedies and efforts to avert it. She describes common wildlife encounters where human action does or might change the course of extinction; she offers encouraging examples in Act For The Wild entries which document specific efforts for American badgers, barn swallows, Laysan ducks, Oregon spotted frogs, right whales and more. Again, including photos on every page.
Jane Goodall writes in her foreword: “If human behavior is the cause of the wildlife crisis, it can also be the solution.”
Gone Is Gone brings us pause and heightens our awareness as we look into the eyes of creatures that share our world. It should also motivate us to help our wild neighbors and their neighborhoods.
Isabelle Groc lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is a writer, wildlife photographer and filmmaker who focuses on the environment, wildlife natural history and conservation, endangered species and the changing relationships between people and their world. Gone Is Gone published by Orca Book Publishers, 2019. Available wherever books are sold.
Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2020 issue.
Sandy Ferguson Fuller began her children’s book career over 40 years ago as a student of Maurice Sendak at Yale University. Once introduced, the picture book genre captivated her imagination with its unique blend of story and illustration. She is an international literary agent, editorial consultant, bookseller, author and illustrator. Her life’s work has exposed her to a wealth of ideas and wonder. She hopes that her own books, as well as those she has helped others to publish, will touch many souls, young and old. alparts.com