NPR

The Science And Art Of Mapping Animal Movements

Technology allows mapping of wildlife movements with new precision — and a fresh approach to conservation — as evidenced by Where the Animal Go, released Tuesday in the U.S., says Barbara J. King.
A map in Where the Animals Go shows how baboons move near the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya, as tracked by anthropologist Margaret Crofoot and her colleagues in 2012. Source: Margaret Crofoot, University of California, Davis; Damien Farine, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

Have you spent quiet time poring over a set of maps? Maybe of a region halfway around the world that you've always wanted to visit — or even the mountains or coastlines of your home area?

Maps transport us. They "make the landscape fit indoors, make us masters of sights we can't see and spaces we can't cover," in the words of Robert Harbison.

An award-winning book published in the U.S. Tuesday makes the monumental journeys taken by wild animals fit indoors, too. Where the Animals Go: by and is an enthralling volume, downright gorgeous in its illustrations and text. Its double intent is brilliant, too — to bring each of us closer to the animal world and to highlight fresh ways to think about conservation.

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