Owls of the Eastern Ice is a record of Slaght’s four seasons of fieldwork in the remote forests of Primorye, a region of Russia bordering North Korea and the Sea of Japan. The goal of his project was to search for fish owls, trap them, tag them, then trace their movements to find out the precise nature of the habitat they used, so their breeding and hunting sites could be protected from destruction by logging companies. “How hard could it be?” he writes, as he begins his research. Quite hard, it turns out. There are floods, roadblocks, storms, wildfires, vehicles sinking through ice, malfunctioning technologies, night-long subzero vigils on riverbanks, hangovers from drinking industrial ethanol, and a whole cavalcade of fascinating and sometimes criminal associates.
Saturday, August 01, 2020
… Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C Slaght review – an extraordinary quest | Science and nature books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)