Bears, Bison, Moose & Wolves

Profiles of North America’s Grandest Wild Animals

by Bill Yenne

The largest of the earth’s wildlife are a perpetual object of fascination and admiration for humans, because they represent both a primal connection with the earth itself, and a powerful sense of freedom. Like the continual cycle of the seasons, they embody the timelessness and the permanence of our natural environment.

In this book, we have profiled the bear, the bison, the moose, and the wolf, species that have played monumental roles within their respective ecosystems, but which have also played important roles in the history and folklore of North America since humans first walked this continent. They are a commanding presence in legends of both the continent’s native people and those interlopers who arrived on these shores half a millennium ago. Even today, there is hardly a person alive who has seen one of these mammals in the wild and not done a double take. Indeed, even today (especially today), such a sighting is an event to be remembered for most of us.

We have provided raw statistical data, and we have retold stories that are part of wilderness legend. We have charted the course of wildlife on a collision course with extinction, and we have celebrated the recovery of species. In these great mammals, we glimpse both the wildness and timelessness of nature, but the wildness and timelessness of ourselves as a minute part of the natural world in which we live.