NONFICTION

The Great Shark Rescue: Saving the Whale Sharks

Lerner. (Sandra Markle’s Science Discoveries). Oct. 2019. 48p. chron. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781541510418.
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Gr 4-6–Whale sharks are one of the most mysterious creatures of the oceans. Little has been known about their habits and existence. Declared endangered in 2016, they have dropped in number precipitously due to killing, climate change, and encounters with large boats and seine nets. Two juvenile whale sharks caught in a mile-long purse seine net set the stage for an exploration of the species. Whale sharks are not whales, and the author explains the differences between them. The feeding patterns, migration, and very unusual gestation of this fish are shown through full-color photographs, maps, and charts. Scientists and marine biologists studying whale sharks have made advances in monitoring their migration and life patterns and are working to protect these magnificent creatures. A time line lays out the growing information available to scientists involved in the conservation of whale sharks. The juveniles caught in the net are shown to be rescued and released with the help of divers from a whale shark rescue program. The author also makes a plea for the protection of the much-maligned great white shark. Using clear language, interesting data, and exciting photographs, the author presents information on an otherwise little-studied subject.
VERDICT Well organized, clearly written, and excitingly illustrated, this highly enlightening work is an excellent addition for any nature collection as well as for the study of the environment and endangered species.

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