The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawai'i's Endangered Ecosystems by Pamela FriersonThe Last Atoll: Exploring Hawai'i's Endangered Ecosystems by Pamela Frierson

The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawai'i's Endangered Ecosystems

byPamela Frierson

Paperback | June 15, 2012

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Far from the beach-towel?covered sands of Waikiki there is a hidden Hawai'i: remote islands and atolls that are some of the wildest-and at the same time most vulnerable-places on earth.InThe Last Atoll, Pamela Frierson chronicles a decade of travels to this wildlife-teeming outback of the Hawaiian archipelago. Spanning 1200 miles, the Northwestern Islands are home to some of the world's rarest species, including the Hawaiian monk seal, the Laysan duck, and the Nihoa millerbird. The vast surrounding reefs are one of the last intact Pacific ecosystems, dominated by the big predators: giant jacks, groupers, and sharks.But according to Frierson this far-flung region is 'both pristine and plundered.' In a series of arduous journeys she uncovers a history of use and abuse. At Midway Atoll she watches the politics of clean-up as a naval facility shuts down, and learns about clandestine Cold War activities. At Laysan Island she finds a legacy of guano mining and bird feather hunting that led to the extinction of three endemic landbirds. In a compelling adventure tale, this award-wining Pacific writer explores lives both human and wild at one of the extreme edges of the world.
Title:The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawai'i's Endangered EcosystemsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.76 inPublished:June 15, 2012Publisher:Trinity University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1595341307

ISBN - 13:9781595341303

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

It's wonderful to have another book from Pam Frierson about her beloved Hawaii-this time about its farthest Northwestern atolls-fragile, contaminated, and plundered worlds unchronicled and previously ignored in our letters. She lives among its monk seals, short-tailed albatrosses, rails, petrels, and Laysan ducks, hopping island to atoll, lagoon to fringing reef over the course of ten years of patient exploration and research. From this, an inspiring personal odyssey, she brings us a book in the ecological tradition of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring that is also like a piece of extended war reportage-for these islands were once indeed a combat zone and its dear creatures victims of our cold and riotous pillage. Homage to Ms. Frierson and homage to this living, precious world she brings to us." - Garrett Hongo, author of Coral Road"As with her previous book, The Burning Island, Pamela Frierson again takes readers to one of the most remote and ecologically fragile places on the planet. Gracefully written in the tradition of Rachel Carson, The Last Atoll is a personal trek to a chain of tiny, northwest Hawaiian islands, where Frierson brings us nose-to-nose with endangered Hawaiian monk seals, coral polyps, green sea turtles, and golden gooneys-alongside the fossils of long-extinct species, the bones of animals on the edge of vanishing, and the ravages of guano mining, coal dredging, and military bases. The Last Atoll skillfully travels through myth, culture, and history, and arrives at present-day attempts to preserve islands that are as biologically significant as the Galapagos." - Frank Stewart"The Last Atoll draws a vivid portrait of what might just be my favorite place on Earth (and that's saying something), the secret islands Northwest of Hawaii. It's a place that still feels like the original world, like Earth before us. There the nations are of seabirds, the world is almost entirely ocean, and the air roars with the calls of them in their millions. It feels like Life at full burn. But as Pamela Frierson's work shows, there is much more, even, than first greets the eye." - Carl Safina"It took author Pamela Frierson more than a decade to work her way up the jewels in the necklace of the Northwestern Hawaiian archipelago and write up her experiences, but the end result was worth it. Frierson, who is a lifelong Hawaii resident, is not just an elegant wordsmith, but also a dedicated environmentalist who has spent years volunteering in the remote atolls. Her toils ? painstaking (and often painful) weeding, tagging, counting, chasing seals ? are recounted in The LastAtoll, giving readers an unvarnished picture of the challenges faced by the animals and humans alike who dwell on and around these tiny 'water-girt worlds,' to use Frierson's felicitous phrase." - Environment Hawaii"