Mongabay is pleased to announce that senior correspondent Jeremy Hance’s feature, The great rhino U-turn, has been published in ‘The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019,” a highly regarded annual anthology that celebrates the best writing from the genre. This marks the first time that a Mongabay feature has been selected.
When he heard the news earlier this year, Hance exclaimed, “The news that my article on Sumatran rhinos was going to be included [came] totally out of the blue, it’s a huge honor and I’m over the moon about it!” He added that, “I think it’s especially exciting since wildlife conservation writing sometimes takes a back seat to other environmental and hard science stories when it comes to recognition in the field.”
The selected feature is part three of a four-part series on Sumatran rhino conservation, and details how researchers at the Cincinnati Zoo finally unlocked the mysteries of the species’ reproduction. This is key because there are very few of the animals left in the world, and captive breeding and reintroduction is one of the most viable strategies for saving the species. But it took 17 years of work to make captive breeding work, so Jeremy’s fascinating chronicle of this herculean effort serves as a valuable and inspiring example of dedication and good science in service to conservation.
“My hope is that inclusion in this anthology will bring greater attention to the plight of Sumatran rhinos, a species that desperately needs the Indonesian government and conservationists to act, and act quickly if we’re not to lose the singing rhino,” he continued, referring to the creature’s charming habit of vocalizing musically, sounds which he likens to whale songs.
The timing of all this is important, since a recent effort to breed one of the last remaining Sumatran rhinos looks unlikely to succeed again due to ‘bureaucratic quibbling’ on Indonesia’s part, as Mongabay’s Basten Gokkon recently reported.
The book also features essays that first appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, New York Times Magazine, and others, and is now in bookstores around the U.S. Order a copy from an independent bookstore near you here.
Banner image: a calf born in 2016 in Indonesia’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay