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THE MONK SEAL CONSPIRACY

Reviews

‘The Mediterranean Monk Seal has been recently classified as one of the 12 most endangered animals in the world. Urban growth, industrial poisons, mass tourism and over-fishing are destroying its natural habitat. The Monk Seal has found its last refuge in the Eastern Aegean, a region where the hostile powers of Greece and Turkey confront each other across a few kilometres of sea. For three years William Johnson led an international project to save the Monk Seal by creating a network of sanctuaries, centred on the island of Samos. But after increasing harassment by the Greek security forces he was expelled from the country as persona non grata. This is a sad and poignant account of the insanity of a world which allows such a delightful animal to become extinct, for "with every dying animal and plant, every dying forest, river and lake, a part of our humanity is also dying."’ — The Sunday Times

‘A passionately written and entertaining book… we need books like this to remind us how easy it is to believe that complacency is really pragmatism.’ — New Scientist

‘…this is an important story well told: it is interesting and easy to read, and, when describing the author’s brushes with bureaucracy is informative, and eye-opening…’ — Environment Now

‘…In his new book, Johnson accuses the Greek government of allowing territorial disputes with Turkey to interfere with attempts to set up reserves to save the seals…’ — Gemini, International News Syndication

‘William Johnson was looking down the wrong end of a fidgety soldier’s sub-machinegun. He was being roughly booted out of the country… branded as a spy. Three years before his car had been expertly booby-trapped. This is no plot for a thriller novel. It’s the real-life world of [nature conservation on the front line]…’ — Sunday Mercury

‘Both books [The Monk Seal Conspiracy and The Rose-Tinted Menagerie] are obviously works of wide knowledge and of integrity… I see these books as a valuable contribution to this growing tendency to recognise that we have to share the world with wild animals rather than exploit them for petty and trivial purposes. I am proud to add these books to my already quite extensive collection…’ — Richard Adams