Rise of the Lioness: Restoring a Habitat and its Pride on the Liuwa Plains

Rise of the Lioness: Restoring a Habitat and its Pride on the Liuwa Plains
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Release Date
September 13, 2016
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Poaching and war damaged an isolated wilderness in West Zambia, reducing its lion population to just one: Lady, the last lioness. Witness Lady's fight for survival in this evocative narrative on the decline, fall, and rebirth of the Liuwa Plains. Follow Lady as she grapples with a landscape altered by human hands and discover how both Lady and humankind restore balance to the environment.

More than a story about one brave lion, The Lioness offers a great introduction to life science by looking at the workings of an ecosystem, the methods of scientists and environmentalists, and explaining the interconnection between the plant, animal, and human systems.

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Born Free for the New Millenium
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Learning Value
From the point of view of one lioness, whom researchers called Lady, the devastation of an African habitat and its eventual restoration is painstakingly covered. The Liuwa Plain National Park is perfect for a variety of animals, but have been damaged due to war, poaching and other human interventions.
Good Points
Both history and science are well-represented in this title. We learn how social upheaval in Africa over an extended period of time has affected this preserve, and the damages to the ecosystem are explained quite well. Scientists went in to study the environment and to assess how it might be repaired, and then set out to put measures in place to return the area to a sustainable level. Since the damage took place over a period of time, positive changes also took a while.

There are some nice human interest moments as well-- there is an explanation of how lonely Lady was when she was first photographed in 2004. The lioness followed the crew back to camp, flopping down and purring in order to find companions!

Like most National Geographic titles, this is well formatted. There are many high quality pictures that support each facet of the story. New terms are printed in bold font, and pictures are captioned. There is a glossary at the end of the book, as well as a nice pictorial table of indigenous animals and a very complete index. This book is not only an interesting pleasure read, but would make an excellent resource for researching endangered animals or the environmental impact of humans.
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