Obituaries (June 2011)

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2011:

“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The
evil that men do lives after them. The good is
oft interred with their bones.” –William

Nina Leopold Bradley, 93, died on May
25, 2011 at her home in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
The third of five children born to Sand County
Almanac author Aldo Leopold and his wife Estella,
Nina Leopold in 1941 married zoologist William
Elder (1913-2006), who was among her father’s
students. She raised two daughters while
accompanying Elder on field expeditions, and
assisted him in projects including developing an
oral contraceptive for birds. Divorcing Elder,
Nina Leopold married Charles Bradley in 1973.

They went on to create the Aldo Leopold Nature
Center, including the 2,000-acre Leopold
Reserve, which grew out of Aldo Leopold’s
experiments in restoration ecology, and has
influenced several generations of ecological
theorists. Nina Leopold prefaced her web page
with a famous passage in Sand County Almanac in
which her father regretted shooting a wolf as a
young forester in New Mexico, but–like her
father–she discussed the wolf’s death only as a
loss to the ecosystem, endorsed recreational
hunting, and closely managed the Leopold Reserve
birdlife according to a “hierarchy of
priorities,” rather than respecting natural
Isabel Minguez-Tudela, 55, died on
April 16, 2011. Trained as a veterinarian in
Madrid, Minguez-Tudela was for 20 years a senior
scientific officer for the European Commission in
Brussels, Belgium, directing research on
zoonotic diseases. “She was an enthusiastic
supporter of the One Health vision,” which views
animal and human health as a continuum, wrote
colleagues J.M. Sanchez-Vizcaino and Illaria

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his
wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, were
shot from ambush on May 24, 2011 near their home
in Nova Ipixuna, Para state, Brazil.
“According to a local newspaper, Diário do Pará,
the couple had not had police protection despite
getting frequent death threats because of their
battle against illegal loggers and ranchers,”
reported Guardian correspondent Tom Phillips from
Rio de Janiero. Their murders came six years
after the similar assassination of U.S. nun
Dorothy Stang and 23 years after the murder of
rubber-tapper Chico Mendes, who both also fought
to protect Amazon habitat. The da Silva killings
came two days before the Brazilian House of
Deputies voted 410-63 in favor of a bill to ease
restrictions on logging in the Amazon region.
Another anti-rainforest logging activist,
Adelino Ramos, was killed on May 29. Altogether
1,150 rural activists have been killed in Brazil
during the past 20 years, reported Bradley
Brooks of Associated Press. “Of all those
killings, fewer than 100 cases have gone to
court. About 80 hired gunmen have been
convicted. Only 15 or so of the people who
ordered killings faced charges. And just one of
them is known to be in prison,” Brooks wrote.

Edward H. Harte, 88, died on May 18,
2011 at his home in Scarborough, Maine.
Succeeding his father as publisher of the Corpus
Christi Caller-Times, Harte promoted the
creation of Mustang Island State Park and Padre
Island National Seashore. He and his brother
also donated a 66,000-acre ranch to Big Bend
National Park. Harte served for 13 years on the
National Audubon Society board, including five
years as chair, and established a $46 million
endowment to fund the Harte Research Institute
for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M
University. “In our family, we share a love of
birds, animals, anything wild–whether it is on
the family ranch in Texas or on the Maine coast,”
Harte said in 2003. “We also share the belief
that being involved in a cause is the way you
should live your life.”

Don Merton, 72, died on April 11,
2011. A longtime ornithologist for the New
Zealand Department of Conservation, Merton
directed the programs that are credited with
saving the kakapo flightless parrot, Chatham
Island black robin, Abbot’s booby, and New
Zealand saddleback from extinction. A fierce foe
of non-native predators, Merton also “championed
a technique known as ‘close order management’
that sought to think in terms of individuals, not
just populations, a distinction that is key to
helping to reconcile two environmental camps that
don’t always see eye-to-eye: animal rights and
conservation biology,” recalled film maker
Alison Balance. “Without individuals, Don told
me and many others,” Balance continued, “there
could be no populations. This might seem
obvious, but in the field such reconciliation
can take on extraordinarily complicated
dimensions, all of which Don endured and worked
to overcome.”

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