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The Most Biologically Diverse Place on Earth?
 

The Most Biologically Diverse Place on Earth?

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A Window on Eternity is a stunning book of splendid prose and gorgeous photography about one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps the world. Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique ...

A Window on Eternity is a stunning book of splendid prose and gorgeous photography about one of the biologically richest places in Africa and perhaps the world. Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique was nearly destroyed in a brutal civil war, then was reborn and is now evolving back to its original state.

As he examines the near destruction and rebirth of Gorongosa, Wilson analyzes the balance of nature, which, he observes, teeters on a razor’s edge. Loss of even a single species can have serious ramifications throughout an ecosystem, and yet we are carelessly destroying complex biodiverse ecosystems with unknown consequences. The wildlands in which these ecosystems flourish gave birth to humanity, and it is this natural world, still evolving, that may outlast us and become our leg­acy, our window on eternity.

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    The Most Biologically Diverse Place on Earth? The Most Biologically Diverse Place on Earth? Presentation Transcript

    • A Window into One of the World’s Most Diverse Habitats Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
    • From Edward O. Wilson, one of the world’s leading naturalists, A Window on Eternity is the remarkable story of how one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world was destroyed, restored, and continues to evolve.
    • “It is one thing to draw a line around a beautiful area, declare it a national park, then add the amenities necessary to serve the public. It is entirely another thing, at a higher order of magnitude, to restore a damaged park to its original health and vibrancy.”
    • “Might it be that the smartest animals learn more quickly how to deal with humans, in clever and opportunistic ways?”
    • “Those untrained in such matters, which includes almost all the rest of us, think of animal dung, if we think about any of it at all (as when scraping it off our shoes), as just a smell mess to be avoided. But for countless small animals [it] is a treasure, a source of life.”
    • “Crocodiles and hippopotamus congregate close together. The adults of both species are formidable giants, each capable of mortal danger to the other. Perhaps the almost intimate coexistence of the two giants illustrates a principle of evolutionary biology: size counts.”
    • “Elephants are highly intelligent animals, and relationships among the members of the clans are intimate and long remembered. With natural lifespans of half a century or longer, and legendary memories, they remember the horrors inflicted by humans on foot and from motor vehicles.”
    • “People are mostly safe amid what remains of the living nature. We conquered all the man-eaters long ago by destroying almost all of the big predators willing and able to hunt humans.”
    • “Social insects are the most spectacular in all the great faunas on the land. Their species variously build cities, raise gardens, and conduct endless wars to acquire territory or capture slaves. The wars they conduct are worthy of Homer.”
    • “Given that we have scarcely begun to understand the origin and meaning of our own species, how can we hope by any easy means to master the rest of the living world?”
    • “The balance of nature in every ecosystem is thus an equilibrium teetering on a razor’s edge. Even small changes in the environment can tip it enough to extinguish species.”
    • “Humans come first, of course. But shouldn’t the rest of life and the quality of human life dependent on the rest of life be entered into the equation? Put another way, do we wish future generations to think we were insane or perhaps criminally stupid?”
    • “I believe that the 10 billion people expected to be present at the end of the century would enjoy a far better quality of life if we considered half of the planet for nature than if we consumed nature entirely.”
    • Learn more & connect EOWilsonFoundation.org EOWilsonFoundation @EOWilsonFndtn Get a copy of A Window on Eternity