From esteemed naturalist Trevor Herriot and acclaimed nature photographer Branimir Gjetvaj, Islands of Grass is a beautiful, well-researched call-to-action and a passionately wrought love letter to the prairie grasslands that are rapidly disappearing in the wake of modernity’s relentless push.
Before the arrival of settlers, the Great Northern Plain sprawled across the centre of the continent and rivalled the African savannah for wildlife, with herds of bison and pronghorn antelope numbering in the millions. It was also the home for species of birds and animals that lived nowhere else.
Today that range is threatened by human incursion and in some areas there are only pockets of unadulterated prairie grassland left, small islands of a unique environment. In those small plots of grasslands species cling to survival, unable to thrive in any other environment.
In presenting the irreplaceable beauty and the complexity of the grasslands, Trevor and Branimir ask the reader to both admire its majesty and consider its value. Full of extraordinary photos supported by the thought-provoking prose of Trevor Herriot, this book will bring the wonder of the grasslands to a wider audience.
About the authors
TREVOR HERRIOT is a grassland conservationist and naturalist who writes about human and natural history on the northern Great Plains. His last book, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds was a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and one of Quill & Quire's 15 Books That Mattered Most in 2009, and it was shortlisted for the Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (Nonfiction).
His first book, River in a Dry Land: a Prairie Passage (2000), received several national awards and a nomination for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. His second book, Jacob’s Wound: a Search for the Spirit of Wildness (2004), was nominated for several awards, including a short-listing for the Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
Trevor's writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Geographic, as well as in several anthologies. He has written two radio documentaries for CBC's Ideas and is a regular guest on CBC Radio Saskatchewan’s Blue Sky.
He and his wife, Karen, have four children and live in Regina.
Dr. Branimir Gjetvaj is a biologist, photography instructor and internationally published environmental photographer specializing in natural history and western Canadian landscapes. He has participated in numerous nature conservation initiatives and frequently contributes his photographic skills to local environmental organizations. One of his photography projects culminated in the award-winning book The Great Sand Hills: A Prairie Oasis. In 2013 Branimir was recognized by the Canadian Environmental Law Association for extensive participation in several key environmental NGOs, and for using his photography to advance environmental conservation. He is the current President (2016-2018) of Nature Saskatchewan, a provincial conservation organization.