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The Tapir Scientist (Scientists in the Field)

by Sy Montgomery
Photographed by Nic Bishop

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2013
80 pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-81548-0

Ages 10-14

Found in South America, tapirs have remained unchanged since the Miocene era. This engaging “Scientists in the Field” offering follows a research group led by Brazilian scientist Pati Medici, who is tagging and studying tapirs in the Pantanal of southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Author Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop accompanied Medici on the research trip, giving readers an eyewitness, firsthand account chronicling excitement, frustrations (especially early on), and eventual successes. Montgomery brings the many different roles (and personalities) of research team members into focus, from the specialist in tracking, the (dart gun) shooter, and the two vets, to Pati herself, who manages to remain optimistic even when things are looking doubtful. Her genuine love and appreciation for tapirs, and for her work, are obvious. Information on the Pantanal ecosystem, and the understanding of at least some local farmers that working in partnership with native plants and animals is critical to the long-term health of the ecosystem and to their own success, place the work of the researchers in broader context.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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