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Return of the Gar

Description: In Return of the Gar, Mark Spitzer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services researcher Lindsey Lewis, and University of Central Arkansas biologist discusses the often misunderstood alligator gar.The alligator gar belongs to a family of fish that has remained fundamentally unchanged since the Cretaceous, over 100 million years ago. Its intimidating size and plethora of teeth have made it demonized throughout its range in North America, resulting in needless killing. Massive oil spills in its breeding range have not helped its population either. Interspersing science, folklore, history, and action-packed fishing narratives, Spitzer's empathy for and fascination with this air-breathing, armored fish provides for an entertaining odyssey that examines management efforts to preserve and propagate the alligator gar in the United States. Spitzer also travels to Central America, Thailand, and Mexico to assess the global gar situation. He reflects on what is and isn't working in compromised environments, then makes a case for conservation based on personal experience and a love for wildness for its own sake. This colorful portrait of the alligator gar can serve as a metaphor and measurement for the future of our biodiversity during a time of planetary crisis. The contents include: Introduction -- The gar returns -- The spawn and beyond: a metaphor for sustaining biodiversity as the deepwater horizon spews into the sea -- Gar vs. sewage: a tragedy of waste -- Finding Judas: the true meaning of "fishing support" -- Enter the next generation -- Gar rodeo in the Cajun swamp: judge not, lest y'all be judged yourself! -- Bromancing the gar: in pursuit of Trinity River seven-footers -- After the Florida gar: navigating the glades of "deep connectivity" -- First-world problems in third-world countries: trolling for tropical gar -- Thailand's lake-monster fisheries: investigating gator gar and arapaima -- Long live the pejelagarto! a culture ...
Date: March 2015
Creator: Spitzer, Mark
Partner: UNT Press

Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places

Description: Although spare, sweeping landscapes may appear “empty,” plains and prairies afford a rich, unique aesthetic experience—one of quiet sunrises and dramatic storms, hidden treasures and abundant wildlife, infinite horizons and omnipresent wind, all worthy of contemplation and celebration. In this series of narratives, photographs, and hand-drawn maps, Tyra Olstad blends scholarly research with first-hand observation to explore topics such as wildness and wilderness, travel and tourism, preservation and conservation, expectations and acceptance, and even dreams and reality in the context of parks, prairies, and wild, open places. In so doing, she invites readers to reconsider the meaning of “emptiness” and ask larger, deeper questions such as: how do people experience the world? How do we shape places and how do places shape us? Above all, what does it mean to experience that exhilarating effect known as Zen of the plains?
Date: May 2014
Creator: Olstad, Tyra A.
Partner: UNT Press

Morning Comes To Elk Mountain Dispatches From The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Description: Organized as a series of monthly journal entries, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is Lantz’s response to ten years of exploring the rough and unexpected beauty of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. A combination of memoir, natural history, Native American history, and geology, this book is enriched by 20 color photos and a map to appeal to the seasoned visitor as well as the newcomer to the refuge. The national wildlife refuge that’s the focus of the book was among the first established by President Theodore Roosevelt. He helped save the Wichitas from miners and land speculators, and instead the harsh yet scenic area became the nation’s first bison refuge, established to keep this American icon from slipping into extinction. Today the refuge hosts more than a million visitors a year, most of them coming to hike the trails, climb the rocks, photograph bison and prairie dogs, or simply commune with a beautiful, wild area that remains a spiritual landscape for the Kiowa and Comanche Indians who call it home.
Date: October 15, 2013
Creator: Lantz, Gary
Partner: UNT Press