An optimistic call-to-action about climate change and humanity's influence on the natural world

Wilder: How Rewilding is Transforming Conservation and Changing the World  

Millie Kerr 

Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma 

Hardcover, 978-1472990389, 368 pages 

September 13, 2022  


Rewilding seeks to restore natural orders, processes and rhythms.” 


Planet Earth is always in a state of flux, but human interactions and interventions throughout the ages have accelerated the natural course of environmental change, to the detriment of global flora and fauna. 


Wilder: How Rewilding is Transforming Conservation and Changing the World by Millie Kerr is a comprehensive view of how humans have impacted and continue to alter both plant and animal species worldwide, spanning generations, geographies, and cultural divides. No region can be immune to wildlife endangerment and extinction if homo sapiens remain avaricious and ignorant or indifferent to the ramifications of their actions and destructive imprint on ecosystems. 


Wilder is both a history lesson and a call to action for everyone to learn how and why humans and climate change transform and often destroy ecological communities. Although it is a non-fiction work about preserving and reviving nature, Wilder is in no way dry or droning. The author injects a positive outlook and sometimes even humor amidst the historical and current damaging behaviors, highlighting the many extraordinary, altruistic humans who have chosen to step up and rebuild, repopulate, and rebalance the natural world. 


“If conservation seeks to maintain what is left and stave off further declines, rewilding goes a step further by attempting to revive entire ecosystems and the species they lost.” 


The chapters in Wilder focus on specific locations (such as Africa, Asia, and even San Antonio, Texas) and issues, presenting many terms and practices along the way that relate to rewilding efforts, such as keystone species, trophic (active) rewilding, and even environmentally friendly shade-grown coffee. Kerr covers a significant amount of ground in Wilder and touches on several salient points to spark curiosity, anger, and an interest in rewilding, in terms of both effecting personal change and restoring natural environs. Rewilding does not occur in a vacuum; it is actually a lengthy and far-reaching exchange across communities, governments, corporations, and, of course, environments. Moreover, as Kerr points out, rewilding is a meticulously phased process of reintroducing native plants and wildlife so that both land and life can heal and thrive once again. Kerr also indicates that to achieve any level of success, rewilding projects need funding, long-term commitment and patience, and local acceptance. 


Kerr’s passion for global conservation and rewilding efforts shines brightly across the pages of Wilder. While the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 curtailed some of the author’s plans to travel and garner additional in-person experience and interviews, Millie Kerr smartly used remote methods of communication and research to supplement her own germane conservational knowledge and background to flesh out Wilder, all with a sense of urgency. The informative and engaging result is a clarion call to as many people as possible to mobilize and make a difference, rewilding and hopefully keeping more fauna and flora from landing on the endangered and extinction lists. 


Millie Kerr grew up in Texas but spent considerable time in England. Taking the leap from lawyer to conservation journalist at age 30 no doubt took courage and a strong appetite to bring conservation and rewilding even further into the limelight. Through Wilder, Kerr encourages readers to understand that while many conservation and rewilding projects have been ongoing for decades, more still needs to happen, beginning now. Repairing natural habitats and reintroducing all forms of species take time, which is a commodity no one can afford to waste if the planet and future generations of all living entities are to survive and flourish. 

Millie Kerr is a lawyer-turned-writer focused on wildlife conservation. After some time in legal practice, Millie decided to instead pursue her passions of storytelling, travel, and wildlife conservation. She has spent the last ten years working as a freelance journalist and conservation communicator and has also become an award-winning wildlife photographer. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including The Economist, the Guardian, National Geographic, The New York Times, Popular Science, and Wall Street Journal. Millie has also worked for Panthera and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and has been retained by African Parks, Elephant Family, and Fauna & Flora International as an external consultant. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Millie now lives in London.