LaBastille, Anne. Mama Poc: An Ecologist's Account of the Extinction of a Species.
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1990. First Edition, stated.
Octavo, tan cloth & olive green boards (hardcover), gilt letters, 313 pp. Near-Fine, with a touch of foxing to page edges; in a Near-Fine dust jacket. From dust jacket: Anne LaBastille, author of the best-selling Woodswoman, may be one of the few ecologists to follow the decline of a creture from well-balanced population to extinction. Twenty-five years ago, she became fascinated by a flightless diving bird found only in the highlands of Guatemala. Called the giant grebe, it had a call that sounded like Poc. From the 1960s to the late 1980s, the noted ecologist -- known affectionately as Mama Poc -- saw the bird's decline and the poisoning of its volcano-rimmed setting, once pristine Lake Atitlan. This is the story of the assaults, both natural and man-made, on one small ecosystem. The introduction of large-mouth bass nearly destroyed the food chain. Earthquakes, rampant development, and the murder of a game warden all contributed to the decline of the “most beautiful lake on earth.” Valiantly, Anne LaBastille mobilized the local people to conservation, but the depredation was too great. FInally, rescue efforts had to come to an end as one of earth's creatures became extinct. This compelling adventure is about a self-reliant woman working in the field alone, at a time when independent women scientists were few and far between. It is also about a crusade that almost succeeded, about warm friendships formed, and about a special love that came into Anne LaBastille's life. Here is a poignant, contained account of what is happening to wildlife and nature all over the world. Mama Poc's message is urgent and clar. The waterbird is gone, the lake is dying. All of us, everywhere, must take care of our planet.