Save the Muntjacs; Great Minds; Exclusive Online Issues; by Marguerite Holloway; 2 Page(s)
There are few sounds in the forest this late afternoon: only branches up high being lifted by an almost absent wind and the cracking of twigs as Alan R. Rabinowitz, director of science and exploration at the Wildlife Conservation Society, hikes down a slope and through a flat section of forest. There are no animals in sight. We are talking about the pleasure of wandering in woods, of discovery, when Rabinowitz finds an empty shotgun shell. "They won't stay off," he fumes. Hunters have been sneaking onto the posted land, and no amount of discussion or threat has deterred them. "They feel they have a right to it because they have been coming here forever," Rabinowitz says, glowering.
Here could well be a forest in Myanmar or Laos or Thailand or Belize or any of the many countries where Rabinowitz has worked for the past two decades to protect wildlife from poachers, among other threats. Indeed, just up the hill sits a cabin filled with some of the items unique to a Rabinowitz-style field station, no matter how remote: weight-lifting equipment and a punching bag. And although we are standing in a mere 25 acres of temperate woods on a small mountain in Putnam County, an hour north of New York City, the issues that excite Rabinowitz-and infuriate him-are the same ones that consume him when he is in real wilderness.