Where the Animals Go

James Cheshire & Oliver Uberti / W. W. Norton & Company / 192 pages

Where the Animals Go is a unique book that contains full-color maps with detailed tracking information for one after another animal species—from whales, elephants, and orangutans to turtles, ants, and plankton. The material is presented in the most beautiful and fascinating manner. Technology such as GPS, drones, satellites, and digital acoustic recording tags are benefiting animals and the people who study them by allowing the collection of data that may not have been possible before.

Individual animal movements and other behaviors are revealed: A loggerhead turtle who, despite almost 10 years in captivity, managed to migrate across the Atlantic to Cape Verde. Five Dutch terns who made the longest migration ever recorded—a 90,000 kilometer journey—from the Netherlands to Antarctica and back. A gray wolf in Croatia who traveled 1,000 kilometers, eventually settling in Verona, Italy, with a female, with whom he had multiple litters. The book follows the vertical updraft spirals made by griffon vultures, shows how crocodiles and pythons thwart forced relocation, and tracks the movement of individual elephants—identifying those who have been harmed or killed or others whose behavior demonstrates their efforts to avoid being poached.

The window Where the Animals Go offers into these animals’ lives is intriguing, as are the technologies used to open that window. Ultimately, it remains to be seen how this increasing wealth of information can (or will) be used to help ensure the animals’ survival.