Last Chance To See by Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine

I knew I would like this book long before I read it. Firstly, I have a real love for animals and am interested in what people do to help conserve wildlife around the world. Secondly, it's Douglas Adams! The greatest Sci-Fi comedy writer the world has ever known wrote a book about animals? Yes! And it's really hard to find, like the animals in the book.

The book begins when Douglas first meets Mark Carwardine, a British naturalist, on Madagascar and together they decide to make a radio show about severely endangered animals. A few years later, they start their journey, looking for everything from the Baiji River Dolphin (now extinct, unfortunately) to the wonderful Kakapo (a flightless parrot which has forgotten that it can't fly!). Some species proved very hard to find, or even impossible, in the wild, and yet others have started to recover.

As I read, I laughed and I was shocked. These are all species which we, human beings, have pushed to the very brink of disappearance and the way Douglas Adams describes them is with his typical humour.

On a more serious not, this book has made me want to do something to help. My wife and I have both decided to help as much as we can, for now with donations, to the Kakapo, a species which has endeared itself to us both. In the book, I found out that their population on islands near New Zealand, their last refuge, was just 40 birds. When Mark visited them again with Stephen Fry, (see here) they were up to 90, and then to 124. It is a real positive thing to have help, especially as they would otherwise go the same way as the Baiji and the Dodo. Long may they last!

You can find out more about the Kakapo here, where you can also donate money or apply to volunteer.

The sad thing is, we will never have a last chance to see Douglas Adams again. Perhaps his greatest achievement was introducing these amazing yet sad creatures to the world.

Star rating: 5 from 5, but how can anyone put a lower rating on life!

To find out more about this amazing book, please follow the link for more information: