'Books such as this must be published and reach a wide audience'. George Schaller, author and world-renowned conservation biologist
'A very-well written meditation on all aspects of travel in Africa'. Peter Matthiessen, American novelist and non-fiction writer, twice winner of the National Book Award
The Storm Leopard is an alchemic blend of travel and nature writing that explores the primary dilemma of the 21st century - the conflict of modern lifestyles with the natural environment.
This is an account of the author's journey from the Cape to the Serengeti Plains and his search for an answer to the Old Timer, a Kenyan who foretold the end of the wild. Martyn decided on one more trip, but this time without an agenda, without a timetable and without preconceptions: with no purpose other than to know, to feel and to understand. The book is filled with insights of African elephants and antelope, and with portraits of a natural world inhabited by Bushmen, game wardens and scientists. Running through it is an outspoken and highly ethical regard for humankind's relationship with nature.
From his first contact with Bushman rock art in the Western Cape, the author is drawn into a spiritual journey as he grapples with the quandary of balancing our lifestyles with protecting the environment. His travelling companion, Stu, a fellow scientist and arch cynic, is nettled by this lack of rationality. Marooned together in their 4x4, the friction, humour and hardship of their journey carry the reader across the continent from one adventure to another, to the final revelation atop an isolated kopje in the heart of the Serengeti Plains.
The Storm Leopard is a unique book that emanates from the author's passionate affair with nature and many years of experience in the field as an ecologist and consultant in conservation - nothing deals with today's environmental issues in the same way.
The Storm Leopard will be essential reading and a perfect companion for travellers, adventurers and for those visiting the wildlife areas of southern and eastern Africa. Anyone with an interest in indigenous people, conservation, wildlife management and today's environmental debate will find this book of great appeal. It will also be of especial interest to professionals, academics and students in environmental ethics, conservation biology, natural resources management and animal ecology.
'Martyn Murray, author of a new book, The Storm Leopard, is an ecologist who learnt his trade in Africa. He went back to assess the truth of the prediction made by an old Kenyan in the 1970s: "You mark my words, the will all disappear one day. Every single place." What drives modern agriculture and modern development, says Murray, is the foraging strategy adopted by man in the Pleistocene era: killing more than we need to survive. This part of human nature sees biodiversity as a pest. Recently another force has emerged - the human imagination responding to nature, which can both heal the wilderness and make it pay.' The Sunday Times
'Martyn Murray tells an attention-grabbing story. I enjoyed his account of the journey and his comments on conservation, management, hunting and exploitation in the six countries he traversed. ...it is of great interest to those - including laypersons - who would like to know more of the ethics of conservation and it is especially relevant to forest managers in eastern and southern African countries.' International Forestry Review
'...there is something in this book for everyone and it should evoke a response... ...it will appeal most to the generalist reader, especially those new to conservation biology.' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
'It will give the reader an enjoyable trip across southern Africa, meeting up with other conservationists, rangers and African wildlife.' South African Journal of Wildlife Research
'The narrative is rich in detail and often beautifully descriptive...' Sawubona
'The book is a personal odyssey filled with nostalgia and insights into African wildlife, with portraits of Bushmen, game wardens and scientists interacting with the natural world. ... This book comes highly recommended to anyone interested in Africa's wild places and their continued protection. The cover blurb says it is especial interest to professionals and academics in environmentla ethics, conservation biology, natural resources management and animal ecology. It is all of that, and a damn good read as well.' Environment
'This thought-provoking book... ...the descriptive prose brings to life the landscape and animals surrounding the journey, and gives flavour to the message that Martyn is trying to put across to the reader. It's easy to feel immersed within the text, and develop a desire to see the places described. Primate Eye
'I enjoyed the book; at times, it was difficult to put down. The descriptions of landscapes, people and animals are evocative and sincere. The book is suitable for readers of all backgrounds; I would particulary recommend it to any individual with an interest in the ethical implications of wildlife research and management.' Ecological Management & Restoration
'The Storm Leopard is an enthralling book. Martyn Murray journeys from the Cape of South Africa to the Serengeti Plains, sampling the mudane and especially the extreme places, and immersing the reader in the richness of Africa. ... Whether researching the dynamics of impala, camping with his soulmates, haggling for a roadworthy jeep, or holding forth on elephant welfare with a wildlife reserve director, Martyn Murray captures the vibes of Africa, its customs and its moods. The Storm Leopard is a sheer joy to read. Congratulations to the publishers Whittles for discovering Martyn Murray - this is nature writing at its finest.' ECOS
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