My special guest is author and researcher Dan Flores who's here to discuss the onslaught to wipe out millions of animals that once lived in the American Great Plains. Get his book American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains on Amazon.
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America's Great Plains once possessed one of the grandest wildlife spectacles of the world, equaled only by such places as the Serengeti, the Masai Mara, or the veld of South Africa. Pronghorn antelope, gray wolves, bison, coyotes, wild horses, and grizzly bears: less than 200 years ago these creatures existed in such abundance that John James Audubon was moved to write "it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals". In a work that is at once a lyrical evocation of that lost splendor and a detailed natural history of these charismatic species of the historic Great Plains, veteran naturalist and outdoorsman Dan Flores draws a vivid portrait of each of these animals in their glory - and tells the harrowing story of what happened to them at the hands of market hunters and ranchers and, ultimately, a federal killing program in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Dan Flores is a writer and Professor Emeritus of the History of the American West at the University of Montana. A native of Louisiana and currently a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous magazines. He is the author of ten books, most recently American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, which received the Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize in 2017, and Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, a New York Times Bestseller, winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and a 2017 Finalist for PEN America’s E. O. Wilson Prize in Literary Science Writing. His current project, “Wild New World: America’s Animals Confront Humanity” is a big history of the human/wild animal story and will be published by W. W. Norton in 2022.