Mongabay feature selected for ‘best science and nature writing’ anthology

Mongabay is pleased to announce that senior correspondent Jeremy Hance’s feature, The great rhino U-turn, has been selected for inclusion in 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.

“The news that my article on Sumatran rhinos was going to be included in ‘The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019′ came totally out of the blue, it’s a huge honor and I’m over the moon about it!” Hence exclaimed. “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.”

Mongabay Founder and CEO Rhett A. Butler said, “It is a tremendous honor for Mongabay that Jeremy’s story was selected as one of the best science and nature pieces. We’re very proud of him and grateful for his reporting for Mongabay. We’re also very pleased that the piece focused on the Sumatran rhino, which is on the verge of extinction in the wild.”

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,” Jeremy continued, referring to the creature’s charming habit of vocalizing musically, sounds which he likens to whale songs. “Also, a hat tip to Isabel Esterman, the stellar editor of this piece, without whom neither of my series on Sumatran rhinos would have ever happened.”

The book will also feature essays that appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, New York Times Magazine, and others, and will be in bookstores this October. One can pre-order a copy here.

Read Jeremy’s story here and follow the links from there to parts one, two, and four. Mongabay’s entire series on Asian rhinos can be found here.

Banner image: A Sumatran rhino calf, born in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo, displays the species’ characteristic shaggy fur. Transferring rhinos to zoos in the West was a controversial move, but one that proved critical for the program’s success. Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo.