Jonathan Slaght is considered one of the world's foremost experts on the Blakiston's fish owl. He is the Russia and Northeast Asia Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society and has spent more than 20 years travelling and living in the Russian Far East. He translated Across the Ussuri Kray- Travels in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains (1921) by Russian explorer and naturalist Vladimir Arsenyev, and his writings, research, and photographs have been featured in the The New York Times, in the BBC World Service, Smithsonian Magazine, and Audubon Magazine. Slaght currently spends about three months of each year in Primorye and the rest of the time with his wife and two children in Minneapolis.
This is an epic tale of hangovers, violence and obsessive ornithology. It is a superb depiction of a far-flung corner of the world where bears, tigers and men battle with relentless environment and each other. It is a powerful antidote to saccharine nature writing; Slaght encounters such a host of pickled gritty characters that you could imagine the Coen brothers adapting it for the screen. -- The Times Nature Book of the Year A thoroughly engaging read which will appeal both to those specifically interested in owls, as well as those with a wider interest in the natural world. Will make armchair and keyboard conservationists envious and uncomfortable in equal measures -- John Gray, The International Owl Society A detailed and thrilling account of efforts to conserve an endangered species. . . Slaght evinces humor, tirelessness, and dedication in relating the hard and crucial work of conservation. Readers will be drawn to this exciting chronicle of science and adventure, a demonstration that wilderness can still be found. * Publishers Weekly * From the very first pages, Slaght grips readers with vivid language and tight storytelling ... The cast of characters he brings to life - both human and avian - illuminate the delicate symbiosis of the natural world and shed a welcome light on the remarkable creatures that are too little known. Top-notch nature writing in service of a magnificent, vulnerable creature. * Kirkus * A fascinating account of one man's quest to conserve the magnificent fish owl of Eastern Asia, this is a book that feels both urgent and relevant. -- Christopher Skaife, author of The Ravenmaster True epic. A powerful, passionate and highly readable reflection on the wildness both inside us and out there in the forest. -- Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast Slaght's story reveals the patience and determination of a true conservationist. And the ears and eyes of a poet. Above all, he makes the people, wildlife and landscape of the Russian Far East come alive for armchair travellers. I haven't enjoyed a book on remote Russia as much as this since Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia -- Sophy Roberts, author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia A vivid dispatch from the front line of conservation, Owls of the Eastern Ice is engrossing and uplifting; an inspiring story of vital work undertaken with utter determination in wild and distant places. -- Horatio Clare, author of Orison for a Curlew A gripping account of the author's obsessive quest to save one of the world's most magnificent birds. -- Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex and author of A Sting in the Tale The remarkable story of one man's heroic quest to save the astonishing fish owl. If only every endangered species had a guardian angel as impassioned, courageous and pragmatic as Jonathan Slaght. -- Isabella Tree, author of Wilding Excellent...The brutality of human habitation is counterpoised with the brutality of the natural world. The reader becomes, like the author, stunned by the quiet violence of this place. -- Clement Knox * The Times * Slaght has a rare gift for startling evocations of the natural world...A refreshingly old-school, tautly strung adventure -- Helen Macdonald * Guardian *