19 April 2012

THE POWER OF ONE: UPDATE RASA ISLAND

Elegant terns, Rasa Island, Mexico. Credit: © Julia Whitty.
  
I posted here a year ago on my trip back to Rasa Island to catch up with my old friend Enriqueta Velarde and her lifelong efforts to save the birds of Rasa Island in Mexico's Gulf of California. (This amazing place is also the setting of the first third of my book Deep Blue Home.)
  
My article from last year's trip is now out in the May/June issue of Mother Jones. It posted online today, open-access here. Read to the end and you'll learn of some tremendously exciting developments on Rasa, what Enriqueta calls the best news of her career.
  
Enriqueta Velarde, Rasa Island, Mexico. Credit: © Julia Whitty.
  
Accompanying the article is a short sidebar, also online today: Keystone Ladies
  
In ecology-speak, a keystone species is one with a disproportionate effect on its environment relative to its biomass. These six women are keystone humans.
  
Jane Goodall. Credit: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr.
    
And I've posted a bunch of charts on MoJo Blue Marble to show you the remarkable cumulative effects of many keystone humans working on a radical idea: That nature is not only worth preserving but vital to our own survival too.
  
Credit: World Database on Protected Areas.
  
That revolutionary concept is only 164 years old. But it's already led to more than 120,000 awesomely good works... Check it out.
  
Enriqueta Velarde weighing Heermann's gulls' eggs, the casita where she lives above. Rasa Island, Mexico. Credit: © Julia Whitty.  

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