Although biodiversity loss continues globally, many countries are significantly slowing the rate of loss by shoring up protected natural areas and the services they provide, and in expanding national park systems with tighter management and more secure funding.
I got to Africa. I got the opportunity to go and learn, not about any animal, but chimpanzees. I was living in my dream world, the forest in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. It was Tanganyika when I began.
If you drive to, say, Shenandoah National Park, or the Great Smoky Mountains, you'll get some appreciation for the scale and beauty of the outdoors. When you walk into it, then you see it in a completely different way. You discover it in a much slower, more majestic sort of way.
I grew up on the edge of a national park in Canada - timberwolves, creeks, snow drifts. I really did have to walk home six miles through the snow, like your grandparents used to complain.
The park lies directly downwind from a slew of coal plants. Virtually all of the major contaminants in the local air and water are direct results of coal emissions. Coal produces ozone, which kills trees. Coal produces sulfates, which kill fish. No other park in the country has more ozone or sulfates than Shenandoah National Park.