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.
Return of the Gar
by Mark Spitzer
University of North Texas Press, 2015
The Nature Pages
discuss this title with the Outrider