About The O’Reilly Animals

Most of the engravings we use on our covers were created in the 18th and 19th centuries, when wildlife was plentiful. Few people at the time were engaged in protecting wildlife; to them, the supply seemed endless. As commercial hunting, trade in exotic animals, and the practice of converting forests into fields for grazing and cash crops became more widespread, animal populations rapidly declined, some to the point of extinction.

Although there are now hundreds of organizations around the globe working to preserve and restore wildlife populations and habitats, the downward trend largely continues. In places like Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot in which over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth, the animals are losing ground, literally and figuratively, at an alarming rate. In the U.S., there are ongoing battles about land use and snail darters, spotted owls, grey wolves, buffalo, elk—the list is endless, in places all over the world.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

— Robert Swan, polar explorer and environmentalist

There are many ways to get involved, from making donations to conservation organizations to volunteering your time in the field and/or bringing your technical expertise to bear on the problems, using technology solutions to make it easier to track populations, detect poachers, or help the conservation organizations achieve their goals in other ways.

For more information, please contact us at animals@oreilly.com.

When I designed the first Animal covers for O'Reilly, I had no idea how popular the animals would become; 25 years later, the brand continues to flourish.Unfortunately, the same is not true of the real-life animals whose images appear on many of the book covers.

— Edie Freedman Creative Director