The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small, and Why They Matter
This story is a quest for an animal so rare that a sighting has never been recorded. The Somali golden mole was first described in 1964, but the sole evidence for its existence is a tiny fragment of jawbone found in an owl pellet. Intrigued by this elusive creature, and what it can tell us about extinction and survival, Richard Girling embarks on a hunt to find the animal and its discoverer - an Italian professor who he thinks might still be alive...Richard's journey comes at a time when one species - our own - is having to reconsider its relationship with every other. He delves into the history of exploration and cataloguing and the tall tales of the great hunters, traces the development of the conservation movement and addresses central issues of extinction and biodiversity.
'Natural history at its funniest, most curious, enlightening and heartfelt...like going on safari with Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson and Redmond O'Hanlon' Nicholas Crane
"That rarest of delights: a roaring book of huge importance written by a master storyteller exploring our fragile relationship with the animal kingdom, offering insights into how a hopeful future could yet be snatched from the jaws of despair. Not a hint of preaching, not a whiff of worthiness. A great story written not by an idealist but by a pragmatist with a heart of gold with a clear eyed view of the world." Tim Smit "The Hunt for the Golden Mole is a wonderful book. At one level it is a detective story in which Richard Girling is on the hunt for a very rare creature. But it is much more than that: an understated but passionate advocacy for the biodiversity of the planet which combines lightly worn scholarship with a compelling argument. Overall it is a tour de force" Jonathan Dimbleby "An informed and informative, provocative and rousing work" -- Caspar Henderson Sunday Telegraph "This is a book that bursts into life from the first page... Rousing, fascinating... Utterly engaging" -- Camilla Cavendish Sunday Times "This book is a sobering, riveting read: part quest, part travelogue, part scientific debate and part much-needed environmental call-to-arms" -- Sarah Barrell National Geographic Traveller
Richard Girling is an award-winning environmental journalist. For his work in the Sunday Times he was named Specialist Writer of the Year in the UK Press Awards in 2002, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2005 and 2006. He was Journalist of the Year at the Press Gazette Environmental Press Awards in 2008 and 2009. This is his seventh book.