'A tautly strung adventure ... this book has changed me' Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
'Remarkable. If only every endangered species had a guardian angel as impassioned, courageous and pragmatic as Jonathan Slaght' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
Primorye, a remote forested region near to where Russia, China and North Korea meet in a tangle of barbed wire, is the only place where brown bears, tigers and leopards co-exist. It is also home to one of nature's rarest birds, the Blakiston's fish owl. A chance encounter with this huge, strange bird was to change wildlife researcher Jonathan Slaght's life beyond measure.
This is the story of Slaght's quest to safeguard the elusive owl from extinction. During months-long journeys covering thousands of miles, he has pursued it through its forbidding territory. He has spent time with the Russians who struggle on in the harsh conditions of the taiga forest. And he has observed how Russia's logging interests and evolving fortunes present new threats to the owl's survival. Preserving its habitats will secure the forest for future generations, both animal and human - but can this battle be won? Exhilarating and clear-sighted, Owls of the Eastern Ice is an impassioned reflection on our relationship with the natural world, and on what it means to devote one's career to a single pursuit.
'Excellent' The Times
'Gripping' Dave Goulson, author of A Sting in the Tale
'True epic' Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
Slaght has a rare gift for startling evocations of the natural world...A refreshingly old-school, tautly strung adventure
Excellent...The brutality of human habitation is counterpoised with the brutality of the natural world. The reader becomes, like the author, "stunned by the quiet violence of this place."
From the very first pages, Slaght grips readers with vivid language and tight storytelling ... The cast of characters he brings to life - both human and avian - illuminate the delicate symbiosis of the natural world and shed a welcome light on the remarkable creatures that are too little known. Top-notch nature writing in service of a magnificent, vulnerable creature.
A detailed and thrilling account of efforts to conserve an endangered species. . . Slaght evinces humor, tirelessness, and dedication in relating the hard and crucial work of conservation. Readers will be drawn to this exciting chronicle of science and adventure, a demonstration that wilderness can still be found.