My Backyard Jungle by James Barilla
The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard into Habitat and Learned to Live with It

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A naturalist's account of how turning his backyard into a certified wildlife habitat inspired him to explore "the limits of coexistence" more globally...Intelligent and quietly provocative.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, South Carolina, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by day and fireflies at night, of digging up potatoes and picking strawberries. When they signed up with the National Wildlife Federation to certify their yard as a wildlife habitat, it felt like pushing back, in however small a way, against the tide of bad news about vanishing species, changing climate, dying coral reefs. Then the animals started to arrive, and Barilla soon discovered the complexities (and possible mayhem) of merging human with animal habitats. What are the limits of coexistence, he wondered? To find out, Barilla set out across continents to explore cities where populations of bears, monkeys, marmosets, and honeybees live alongside human residents. My Backyard Jungle brings these unique stories together, making Barilla’s yard the centerpiece of a meditation on possibilities for coexistence with animals in an increasingly urban world. Not since Gerald Durrell penned My Family and Other Animals have readers encountered a naturalist with such a gift for storytelling and such an open heart toward all things wild.
 

About James Barilla

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James Barilla is assistant professor in the MFA program of the University of South Carolina, where he teaches creative nonfiction and environmental writing. He has held a variety of posts in wildlife research and management, both in the United States and in England. He lives in Columbia, SC.
 
Published April 22, 2013 by Yale University Press. 376 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.
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Kirkus

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on Feb 18 2013

A naturalist's account of how turning his backyard into a certified wildlife habitat inspired him to explore "the limits of coexistence" more globally...Intelligent and quietly provocative.

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