Skip to the content

Tom Lathan

Nine species have become extinct in the 21st Century, and THE GOAT AND THE TREE is their story. It will be published by Picador in 2022.

Today, we stand with both feet firmly planted inside what many scientists believe to be the sixth mass-extinction event. Human activity, from our time as hunter gatherers and later as farmers, to our continued industrialisation, is said to have led to the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and 50% of all wild plants. Nine species have become extinct in the 21st Century: this is their story. From Celia the stumpy, eponymous Pyrenean Ibex, the first species of the millennium to leave us on 6th January 2000, to the cherished western black rhinoceros (on which more money was spent on the conservation of this subspecies than was spent on protecting all the other species/subspecies in this book, combined), to the St Helena Olive, the only plant known to have become extinct this century, THE GOAT AND THE TREE is a remarkable and moving portrait of loss, what it says about humanity, our relationship with nature, what we ourselves lose when a species dies out. It is, of course, a powerful clarion call for environmentalism.

Tom Lathan is a freelance writer living on the North East Kent coast. In a previous incarnation he worked in the film and TV industry. Now he writes on books about ecology, the environment and conservation for various publications, including The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. Since moving from London to the coast several years ago, Tom has become increasingly involved with conservation and ecology projects and is currently responsible for a reptile survey site on a nature reserve near Dover, where he creates artificial habitats and catalogues visiting reptiles, on behalf of Kent Wildlife Trust. He also performs marshland plant surveys for the trust and is training to take part in ocean surveys, which monitor the numbers of invasive species in UK waters.

Tom Lathan Titles