Cover Image: The Ecological Buffalo

The Ecological Buffalo

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Member Reviews

To be 100% honest, I wanted to read this book for the beautiful pictures. They certainly did not disappoint, but the real gem of this book is the information it provides. I didn't realize what an integral part buffalos are to their environments and how important it is that we protect them. 

As someone who lives in the Southeast, I never see buffalo and rarely think about them. I can't imagine what life was like when they roamed the Southeast and how amazing it would be if they someday do again!

Thank you, NetGalley and University of Regina Press for the ARC!
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I received a digital ARC of this book and was not able to read it. So, I purchased the Kindle version. I downloaded that on three devices: a Kindle, an Android tablet, and a laptop computer. On all devices and all versions, the text of this book is completely illegible. The words are run together on all pages except for the cover. I cannot read it in any digital format in which it is offered. (It is not offered as an ePUB).. There is also no option to change the font on any of the devices, so I cannot see the text. I had high hopes for this book because it looked like it was going to be good. Unfortunately, I cannot read it unless the publisher fixes the issue with the text not displaying correctly. The words overlap each other, so I can't decipher it. If the issue ever gets fixed, I will update my review. I really, really want to read this book. I hope the text display issues can be resolved.
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I learned a lot reading this book.  The buffalo is a keystone species and the authors present a history of how the environment changes when there are changes in the population.  There is a lot of information but the authors do a good job of explaining the science.  There are drawings included that are also helpful.  The photographs are beautiful. I did find the book to be slow going at times and there was some information overload.  Enjoy this informative book
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I posted thoughts on Storygraph and GoodReads, with links to Twitter and a graphic sent to IG stories, saved to a highlight reel. Here's my GoodReads review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4883437192
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The Ecological Buffalo provides a good overview of the impacts of the removal of a key species from an environment. As with the wolves of Yellowstone, the buffalo has a wide impact on the habitats in which it historically ranged. As man attempts to undo the ill-advised removal of key species, the book highlights the vast good that reintroduction will bring to their native rangelands. Owen has done an impeccable job in imparting the balancing act between man and nature occurs with reintroduction of large key species.
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Lots of gorgeous photos and great information on the bison 🦬 , their environment and the ecosystem and the inter connectivity of the varies species of animals and insects
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The Ecological Buffalo is a wonderful resource about bison and their environments. I really love all the beautiful photographs of the bisons and their surroundings. I also learned a TON about how bisons are part of the larger ecosystem.
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I honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this book other than, hopefully, lots of lovely photos. I lucked out. I not only got the lovely photos but a very readable, intriguing look at the role of the buffalo in the ecological system. While I won't pretend to be an expert, I found it not only understandable but a relatively easy read, even when statistics were tossed at us. I won't even try to detail all the information within. This book is the culmination of decades of observation and study of the buffalo. Instead, I will settle for explaining the use of the term "keystone".

For me, having had a killer good humanities teacher, it took me back to the classroom when we were discussing Roman architecture. Think about the giant stone arches of which you've surely seen pictures. The central stone, the one atop the arch at the top center is called the keystone. Take that stone away and the rest of the arch will collapse. Without the keystone, the strongest of arches can't stand. In the ecological world, the buffalo served much the same role in its environment.

As someone who grew up watching countless westerns, I've of course heard stories and read about the buffalo and its importance to the Native Americans. Every part was somehow utilized, right down to the tongue. What I hadn't thought about was how non-human species, or even the, say, grass growing on the plains was impacted by the near complete destruction of the once enormous buffalo herds in the late-1800s. Did you know how even gophers and woodpeckers and other birds were impacted by the loss of the herds? For instance, the buffalo grazed in the areas the gophers dug their holes. Since the buffalo grazing kept the grasses and brush down around the gopher colonies, there was less chance of a predator sneaking up on them. As for the woodpecker, I was startled to discover how much they seemed to have enjoyed feasting on the ant colonies that were built in, hmm, let's say bison dung, and the disappearance of the buffalo of course lead to there being fewer ant colonies and, thus, fewer birds. An ornithologist, a US Army surgeon, kept records of birds seen and noted the loss of the Sprague's lark but didn't make the connection at the time to the relatively sudden disappearance of the vast buffalo herds.

That sort of fascinating information is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. All illustrated by lovely photos of both the buffalo and other ecological neighbors. Author Harvey Locke does a great job of connecting the dots, pulling all the facts together and showing how they are related and had an impact on a wide variety of species as well as the land. The photos are a bonus. I'm certainly not a student of the buffalo but have enjoyed observing them at one of the wildlife centers as well as following the release of the bison to the Alaskan wilds. This book make me understand not just the animal itself but the importance of their continued survival to humans and the world we share with a wide variety of species. if you have any interest in ecological systems and how the work in unison, history, wildlife, or simply like looking at pretty pictures, this book should be on your bookshelf. Well written, clearly written, and informative without talking down to us, it's a winner.

Thank you #NetGalley and the #UniversityOfReginaPress for allowing me to spend such an enjoyable time getting to know the amazing creature better. We ARE all interconnected.
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