Labastille, Anne 1938–

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Labastille, Anne 1938–

(Anne LaBastille Bowes)

PERSONAL: Born November 20, 1938, in New York, NY; daughter of Ferdinand Meyer (a professor) and Irma (a pianist and writer; maiden name, Goebel) LaBastille; divorced. Education: Attended University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL; Cornell University, B.S., 1955, Ph.D., 1969; Colorado State University, M.S., 1958.

ADDRESSES: Office—West of the Wind Publications Inc., P.O. Box 36C, Eagle Bay, NY 13331. Agent—Julian Bach, Julian Bach Literary Agency, 747 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10017.

CAREER: Ecologist, consultant, and writer. National Audubon Society, wildlife tour leader, Palm Beach, FL, 1955–56; Caribbean Wildlife Tours, Miami, FL, organizer and co-leader, winters, 1956–63; Covewood Lodge, Big Moose, NY, owner, co-manager, and naturalist, summers, 1956–64; Everglades National Park, FL, ranger-naturalist, 1964; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, assistant professor, 1969–71, research associate in Laboratory of Ornithology, 1971–73; freelance wildlife ecologist, consultant, writer, and photographer, 1971–; Adirondack Parks Agency, commissioner, 1976–93; West of the Wind Publications, Inc., Eagle Bay, NY, owner. Has also worked as an activist and field biologist and director for wildlife conservation projects.

MEMBER: Society of Women Geographers, American Women in Science, Association for Tropical Biology, Wildlife Society, Outdoor Women Writers of America, Explorer's Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: World Wildlife Fund Gold Medal for conservation, 1974; Literature award, New York State Outdoor Education Association, 1977; Citation of Merit, Explorers Club, 1987; Chevron Conservation Award, 1988; Jade Chief's Award, Outdoors Writer Association of America; research grants from International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Caribbean Research Institute, World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and other agencies; L.I.D., Union College, 1980.


(And illustrator; as Anne LaBastille Bowes) Birds of the Mayas (folk tales and wildlife guide), West of the Wind Publications (Westport, NY), 1964, reprinted under name of Anne LaBastille, 1993.

(As Anne LaBastille Bowes) Bird Kingdom of the Mayas (folklore), Van Nostrand Reinhold (New York, NY), 1967.

(Author of appendix material) Life of the Jungle, McGraw (New York, NY), 1970.

An Ecological Survey of the Proposed Volcano Baru National Park, Republic of Panama: Report of an Investigation Carried Out between 9 February and 9 March 1972 on Behalf of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and the World Wildlife Fund for the Departamento de Servicio Forestal y de 'RENARE,' Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganade-ria, Panama, IUCN (Morges, Switzerland), 1973.

Ecology and Management of the Atitlan Grebe, Guatemala (monograph), Wildlife Society (Bethesda, MD), 1974.

Assignment: Wildlife, Dutton (New York, NY), 1980.

Women and Wilderness, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1980.

Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species, Norton (New York, NY), 1990.

The Wilderness World of Anne LaBastille, West of the Wind Publications (Westport, NY), 1992.

Jaguar Totem, West of the Wind Publications (Westport, NY), 1999.


Woodswoman, Dutton (New York, NY), 1976.

Beyond Black Bear Lake, Norton (New York, NY), 1987, published as Woodswoman II: Beyond Black Bear Lake, 2000.

Woodswoman III: Book Three of the Woodswoman's Adventures, West of the Wind Publications (West-port, NY), 1997.

Woodswoman IIII: Book Four of the Woodswoman's Adventures, West of the Wind Publications (West-port, NY), 2003.


White-Tailed Deer, National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC), 1973.

The Seal Family, National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC), 1974.

Wild Bobcats, National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC), 1974.

The Opossums, National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC), 1974.


Also contributor to books, including Wildlife Country, National Wildlife Federation, 1977; Wildlife '78, Danbury Press, 1978; and Orbits and Opportunities, Ginn, 1980. Contributor to journals, juvenile magazines, and newspapers, including Nature, Travel, Reader's Digest, Historia Natural y Pro Natura, Outdoor Life, Audubon, National Geographic, New York Times, Fauna, Chicago Tribune, Caribbean Journal of Science, Auk, and Biological Conservation. Contributing editor in ecology, Today's Girl, 1971–72.

SIDELIGHTS: Following her divorce, Anne LaBastille bought twenty-two acres of lakefront forest land in New York State's Adirondack Park and built a log cabin there that has since been her home. An ecologist and nature writer, she is well known for her book Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species and the "Woodswoman" series of books about the nature that surrounds her home. Mama Poc recounts LaBastille's time as a nature tour guide in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as her efforts to save a flightless bird called the giant pied-billed grebe, or "poc" by the Guatemalan Indians. LaBastille earned the name of "Mama Poc" from the natives for her intensive studies of the bird. Although initially successful in increasing the number of birds from eighty-two to two hundred, the "pocs" eventually became extinct because of development and other factors. "This is an extraordinary story, the only instance I know of where a deeply involved, expert eyewitness has been able to chronicle, in painful, step-by-step detail, the extinction of a species," wrote Donald Dale Jackson in the Smithsonian. "LaBastille does it in a commendably even-toned way, with little stridency or moralism."

The author's "Woodswoman" series began in 1976 with an account of her adventures living in the Adirondacks. In Woodswoman III: Book Three of the Woodswoman's Adventures, the author continues her stories about nature. Reviewing this book, New York State Conservationist contributor Andrea S. Bergstrom commented on the "almost palpable descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells and textures of her beloved Adirondacks through the story of the third decade of her life centered on her primitive cabin at Black Bear Lake."

The Wilderness World of Anne LaBastille is a collection of the author's writings that provides "a congenial trip through poems, photographs and stories about places and people one would like to visit," noted Ellen Donovan in the Conservationist.



Conservationist, June, 1993, Ellen Donovan, review of The Wilderness World of Anne LaBastille, p. 43.

New York State Conservationist, August, 1997, Andrea S. Bergstrom, review of Woodswoman III: Book Three of the Woodswoman's Adventures, p. 30.

Smithsonian, March, 1993, Donald Dale Jackson, review of Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species, p. 155.