Chadwick, Douglas H. 1948-
Chadwick, Douglas H. 1948-
Born 1948; married Karen Reeves; children: two. Education: University of Washington, B.S.; University of Montana, M.S., 1974.
Wildlife biologist and science writer. Has worked as a seasonal biologist in Glacier National Park, MT; Vital Ground (wildlife conservation group), Missoula, MT, founding board member and trustee, 1991—.
The Fate of the Elephant, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1992.
Enduring America, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 1995.
The Company We Keep: America's Endangered Species, photographs by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 1996.
Yellowstone to Yukon, photographs by Raymond Gehman, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 2000.
Exploring America's Wild & Scenic Rivers, National Geographic Society (Washington, DC), 2001.
True Grizz: Glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and Other Real Bears in the Modern World, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 2003.
The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 2006.
Growing Up Grizzly: The True Story of Baylee and Her Cubs, photographs by Amy Shapira, Falcon (Guilford, CT), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Audubon, Sierra, Defender, and the New York Times Book Review.
Wildlife biologist Douglas H. Chadwick is the author of several books about natural history, including The Company We Keep: America's Endangered Species and True Grizz: Glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and Other Real Bears in the Modern World. A frequent contributor to the National Geographic, he has explored ecosystems around the world, traveling to such nations as Zimbabwe, Japan, and Malaysia.
In The Fate of the Elephant, Chadwick explores the relationship between the majestic creatures and humans. He examines the devastating effect of the ivory trade on elephant populations and studies conservation efforts in Africa and Asia. The author spent some two years researching his book, visiting India's Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, where mahouts run an elephant training center; Kenya's Tsavo National Park, where poachers have slaughtered thousands of elephants over the decades; and Hong Kong, where carvers fashion ivory into trinkets. "In addition to telling many fascinating stories, Chadwick reminds us that the elephant's future is bleak," observed a critic in Publishers Weekly. Calling The Fate of the Elephant "a splendid and much-needed introduction to elephants," New York Times Book Review critic Vicki Hearne stated that Chadwick "displays a remarkable amount of knowledge and moral good taste," adding that the author "is willing to acknowledge losses on all sides of the game wars, not just losses of elephants." American Scientist contributor John F. Eisenberg similarly noted that "Chadwick's reporting of the facts appears to be accurate, objective and fair." Eisenberg continued: "What I love about this book is not only its factual information but also its accuracy and brutal honesty. Out of all the books I've read in the past few years on the ‘elephant problem,’ this is one of the best."
In The Company We Keep, Chadwick focuses on endangered species in the United States and the rise of the conservation movement. He profiles a number of species that are protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the California condor, the vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and the El Segundo blue butterfly. Focusing on the Pacific Northwest, the desert Southwest, and Florida, Chadwick "looks at three major ecosystems under siege, emphasizing the role of habitat protection," according to Booklist contributor Nancy Bent. In his examination of the issues surrounding the ESA, the author presents "a balanced and realistic discussion that is neither overly optimistic nor pessimistic," wrote Library Journal reviewer Bruce D. Neville.
A founding member of Vital Ground, a group dedicated to protecting America's grizzly bear population, Chadwick turns his attention to that threatened species in True Grizz, "a fascinating look at part of the quickly disappearing natural world," a contributor to Publishers Weekly stated. In the work, Chadwick chronicles efforts by a team of wildlife managers in Montana who use negative reinforcement, such as rubber bullets and chemical repellents, to train grizzlies to avoid human habitats. "According to Chadwick," remarked Paddy MacDonald in the Montanan, "averse conditioning … is far superior to relocating, since [in the latter case] the grizzly will either return to its original scavenging ground or find a new area, equally close to humans." Chadwick also describes the personalities of the bears the team encountered, including Stahr, a troublesome sow with an appetite for sacks of dog food left outside by homeowners. The author claims that bears "have become a nuisance because of human encroachment on their traditional habitat, not vice versa," commented Alvin Hutchinson in Library Journal. Bent remarked that Chadwick "writes as much about educating humans as he does about educating bears."
Chadwick details his encounters with the world's largest mammals in The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales. The author concentrates on five species: humpbacks, which are well known for their complex songs; bottlenose whales, which feature a distinctive bulbous forehead; orcas, the social animals misnamed the "killer whale" minkes, which display a white band on each flipper; and blue whales, which can grow up to 150 tons. "The author's enthusiasm for these extraordinary creatures effectively draws the reader into the whales' underwater environment," observed a Publishers Weekly critic. "The awe engendered by these magnificent mammals, their intelligence, and their adaptations to ocean life shines through" the work, concluded Bent in Booklist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Scientist, July 1, 1994, John F. Eisenberg, review of The Fate of the Elephant, p. 384.
Booklist, February 15, 1997, Nancy Bent, review of The Company We Keep: America's Endangered Species, p. 984; October 1, 2003, Nancy Bent, review of True Grizz: Glimpses of Fernie, Stahr, Easy, Dakota, and Other Real Bears in the World, p. 279; June 1, 2006, Nancy Bent, review of The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales, p. 15.
Denver Post, April 22, 2007, Claire Martin, review of Growing Up Grizzly: The True Story of Baylee and Her Cubs.
Library Journal, January 1, 1997, Bruce D. Neville, review of The Company We Keep, p. 137; September 15, 2003, Alvin Hutchinson, review of True Grizz, p. 87.
Montanan, fall, 2003, Paddy MacDonald, review of True Grizz.
New York Times Book Review, February 21, 1993, Vicki Hearne, "Wise Men and Elephants," review of The Fate of the Elephant; July 9, 2006, Florence Williams, review of The Grandest of Lives.
Publishers Weekly, September 7, 1992, review of The Fate of the Elephant, p. 88; July 28, 2003, review of True Grizz, p. 89; April 10, 2006, review of The Grandest of Lives, p. 57.