The Best Wildlife Books

By Laurel Robbins

By Laurel Robbins

Check out some of the best wildlife books that I’ve enjoyed reading and think you will too if you like wildlife as much as I do.  

In the Shadow of Man

Jane Goodall

$16.99 $15.63

Synopsis: World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behaviour ever written.

Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd

Karsten Heuer

$15.00 $13.80

Synopsis: For eons, female members of the Porcupine caribou herd have made the 2,800-mile journey from their winter feeding grounds to their summer calving grounds. They once roamed borderless wilderness; now they trek from Canada, where they’re protected, to the United States, where they are not. What’s more, beneath the calving grounds lay vast reserves of oil. Determined to convey both the enormity of the Caribous’ migration and the delicacy of their habitat, Karsten Heuer and his wife spent their honeymoon following the herd.

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence

$18.99 $17.47

Synopsis: Lawrence Anthony devoted his life to animal conservation, protecting the world’s endangered species. Then he was asked to accept a herd of “rogue” wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand. His common sense told him to refuse, but he was the herd’s last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn’t take them.

Gorillas in the Mist

Dian Fossey

$16.99 $15.63

Synopsis: One of the most important books ever written about our connection to the natural world, GORILLAS IN THE MIST is the riveting account of Dian Fossey’s thirteen years in a remote African rain forest with the greatest of the great apes. Fossey’s extraordinary efforts to ensure the future of the rain forest and its remaining mountain gorillas are captured in her own words and in candid photographs of this fascinating endangered species.

Never Cry Wolf

Farley Mowat

$16.99 $15.63

Synopsis: Hordes of bloodthirsty wolves are slaughtering the arctic caribou, and the government’s Wildlife Service assigns naturalist Farley Mowat to investigate. Mowat is dropped alone onto the frozen tundra, where he begins his mission to live among the howling wolf packs and study their ways. Contact with his quarry comes quickly, and Mowat discovers not a den of marauding killers but a courageous family of skillful providers and devoted protectors of their young.

Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide

Peter Allison

$18.95 $17.43

Synopsis: A hilarious, highly original collection of essays based on the Botswana truism: “only food runs!” With a new introduction and new material from the author In the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide’s view of living in the bush, confronting the world’s fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists.

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

John Vaillant

$16.95 $15.59

Synopsis: Outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East a man-eating tiger is on the prowl. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s murdering them, almost as if it has a vendetta. A team of trackers is dispatched to hunt down the tiger before it strikes again. They know the creature is cunning, injured, and starving, making it even more dangerous.

Cry of the Kalahari

Mark Owens and Delia Owens

$16.95

Synopsis: The story follows two young Americans, Mark and Delia Owens who carrying little more than a change of clothes and a pair of binoculars, caught a plane to Africa, bought a thirdhand Land Rover, and drove deep into the Kalahari Desert. There they lived for seven years, in an unexplored area with no roads, no people, and no source of water for thousands of square miles. In this vast wilderness, the Owenses began their zoology research, working alongside animals that had never before been exposed to humans.

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

Nate Blakeslee

$17.00 $15.64

Synopsis: With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with grey fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story

Daphne Sheldrick

$19.00 $17.48

Synopsis: The first person to successfully raise newborn elephants, Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved countless African animals from certain death. In this indelible and deeply heartfelt memoir, Daphne tells of her remarkable career as a conservationist and introduces us to a whole host of orphans―including Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope, and the majestic elephant Eleanor.

The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures

Graham Spence and Lawrence Anthony

$19.99 $18.39

Synopsis: When Lawrence Anthony, author of The Elephant Whisperer, cared for not only elephants but other types of wildlife, including rhinos, on his nature reserve. So when he learned that there were only a handful of northern white rhinos left in the wild, living in an area of the Congo controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, he was determined to save them from extinction.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness

Sy Montgomery

$16.99 $15.63

Synopsis: In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls, and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques.

Saving Fiona: The Story of the World's Most Famous Baby Hippo

Thane Maynard

$19.99 $18.39

Synopsis: On a cold January day in 2017, nearly two months before due date, Nile hippopotamus Bibi gave her keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden a big (little) surprise—a tiny newborn hippo, no bigger than a football. The first premature hippo born and raised in captivity, baby Fiona was an underdog from the start: she couldn't nurse, she couldn't stay hydrated, and she wasn't thriving. But the staff at the zoo knew they could save her. It would take creative thinking and teamwork.

A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River

Aldo Leopold

$7.99 $7.35

First published in 1949 and praised in the New York Times Book Review as "full of beauty and vigor and bite", A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land. As the forerunner to such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago.

Wild Encounters: Iconic Photographs of the World's Vanishing Animals and Cultures

David Yarrow

$80.00 $72.00

Synopsis: From big cats to elephants and indigenous communities, Wild Encounters is a must-have for nature lovers, conservationists, and anyone who is inspired by all that remains wild. David Yarrow travels from pole to pole and continent to continent to visit frozen Arctic tundras, vast African deserts, primordial rain forests, and remote villages, inviting us to truly connect with subjects we mistakenly think we have seen before.

The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife (How to Create a Sustainable and Ethical Garden That Promotes Native Wildlif

Nancy Lawson

$24.95 $22.46

Synopsis: In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards.

National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More!

Lucy Spelman

$24.95 $22.46

Featuring 2,500 species and packed with stunning color photographs, amazing animal facts, maps, and more, the new National Geographic Kids Animal Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive on the market today, amazing and entertaining readers, while providing them with authoritative information about the animal kingdom.

Wildlife of the World

DK

$50.00 $45.00

Wildlife of the World takes you on a journey through some of the most scenic and rich animal habitats — from the Amazon rain forests to the Himalayas, the Sahara to the South Pole — meeting the most important animals in each ecosystem along the way. In Wildlife of the World truly spectacular portrait-style photography brings you "face-to-face" with individual animals in up-close and engrossing profiles on how the animals interact with their environments, mate, survive, and even play.

Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking

Rachel Love Nuwer

$28.00 $25.20

Our insatiable demand for animals - for jewelry, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur - is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic, threatening the continued existence of countless species. Illegal wildlife trade now ranks among the largest contraband industries in the world, yet compared to drug, arms, or human trafficking, the wildlife crisis has received scant attention and support, leaving it up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure that elephants, tigers, rhinos, and more are still around for future generations.

Elephant Dawn: The Inspirational Story of Thirteen Years Living with Elephants in the African Wilderness

Sharon Pincott

$19.95

In 2001, Sharon Pincott traded her privileged life as a high-flying corporate executive to start a new one with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe. She was unpaid, untrained, self-funded, and arrived with the starry-eyed idealism of most foreigners during early encounters with Africa. For 13 years - the worst in Zimbabwe's volatile history - this intrepid Australian woman lived in the Hwange bush fighting for the lives of these elephants, forming an extraordinary and life-changing bond with them.

Torn Trousers: A True Story of Courage and Adventure: How A Couple Sacrificed Everything To Escape to Paradise

Gwynn White and Andrew and Gwynn St Pierre White

$15.99

In 2001, Sharon Pincott traded her privileged life as a high-flying corporate executive to start a new one with the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe. She was unpaid, untrained, self-funded, and arrived with the starry-eyed idealism of most foreigners during early encounters with Africa. For 13 years - the worst in Zimbabwe's volatile history - this intrepid Australian woman lived in the Hwange bush fighting for the lives of these elephants, forming an extraordinary and life-changing bond with them.

Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Isabella Tree

$19.95 $18.35

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

$18.00 $16.56

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

H Is for Hawk

Helen MacDonald

$16.00 $14.72

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk.

The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman

$18.00 $16.56

As the author travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research, Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent.

The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal about Being Human

Noah Strycker

$18.00 $16.56

Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds

Bernd Heinrich

$16.99 $15.63

In Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich, award - winning naturalist, finds himself dreaming of ravens and decides he must get to the truth about this animal reputed to be so intelligent.

The Life of Birds

David Attenborough

$29.95 $26.96

Over 9,000 species, the most widespread of all animals: on icebergs, in the Sahara or under the sea, at home in our gardens or flying for over a year at a time. Earthbound, we can only look and listen, enjoying their lightness, freedom and richness of plumage and song.

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird

Bruce Barcott

$18.00 $16.56

As a young woman, Sharon Matola lived many lives. She was a mushroom expert, an Air Force survival specialist, and an Iowa housewife. She hopped freight trains for fun and starred as a tiger tamer in a traveling Mexican circus. Finally she found her one true calling: caring for orphaned animals at her own zoo in the Central American country of Belize.

Jaguar: One Man's Struggle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve

Alan Rabinowitz

$39.00

In 1983, zoologist Alan Rabinowitz ventured into the rain forest of Belize, determined to study the little-known jaguar in its natural habitat and to establish the world's first jaguar preserve. Within two years, he had succeeded. In Jaguar he provides the only first-hand account of a scientist's experience with jaguars in the wild. Jaguar presents an irresistible blend of natural history and adventure; intensely personal, it is a portrait of an elusive, solitary predator and the Mayas with which it shares the jungle.

Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo

Biruté M F Galdikas

$19.99

From the first, it was an adventure. In 1971, at age twenty-five, Galdikas left the placid world of American academia for the remote jungles of Indonesian Borneo. Living with her husband in a primitive camp, she became surrogate mother to a "family" of ex-captive orangutans - and gradually adjusted to the blood-sucking leeches, swarms of carnivorous insects, and constant humidity that rotted her belongings in the first year.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Frans de Waal

$16.95 $15.59

What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future - all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet's preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have been eroded - or even disproved outright - by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame.

No Word for Wilderness: Italy's Grizzlies and the Race to Save the Rarest Bears on Earth

Roger Thompson

$18.95

In Italian, there is no word for wilderness. Yet in the mountains of Italy, brown bears not only exist, they are fighting to survive amid encroaching development, local and international politics, and the mafia. This meticulously researched and eye-opening book tells the incredible stories of two special populations of bears in Italy--one the last vestige of a former time that persists against all odds, the other a great experiment in rewilding that, if successful, promises to change how we see not only Italy but all of Europe.

Jellyfish: A Natural History

Lisa-Ann Gershwin

$40.00 $36.00

The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit

$39.99 $35.99

The Natural History of Canadian Mammals (Revised)

Donna Naughton and Canadian Museum of Nature

$76.00

The Truth about Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife

Lucy Cooke

$16.98 $15.62

Synopsis: Mary Roach meets Bill Bryson in this uproarious tour of the basest instincts and biggest mysteries of the animal world. Whether we’re seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins “holding hands,” it’s hard for us to think of animals as anything but playful paragons of innocence and virtue. So you’ve probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do–and that’s just for starters.

The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild

Craig Childs

$16.99 $15.63

Synopsis: The Animal Dialogues tells of Craig Childs’ own chilling experiences among the grizzlies of the Arctic, sharks off the coast of British Columbia and in the turquoise waters of Central America, jaguars in the bush of northern Mexico, mountain lions, elk, Bighorn Sheep, and others.

Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo

Vanessa Woods

$16.00

Synopsis: In 2005 Vanessa Woods accepted a marriage proposal from a man she barely knew and agreed to join him on a research trip to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Settling in at a bonobo sanctuary in Congo’s capital, Vanessa and her fiancé entered the world of a rare ape with whom we share 98.7 percent of our DNA and who live in a peaceful society in which females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake.

How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species

Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth

$40.80

Cheney and Seyfarth enter the minds of vervet monkeys and other primates to explore the nature of primate intelligence and the evolution of cognition.