Thursday, June 20, 2019

New Titles


1) Still, Robert et al.. Europe's Sea Mammals Including the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde: A field guide to the whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals. 2019. Princeton University Press. Flexibound: 208 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: A state-of-the-art photographic identification guide to Europe’s whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals.
     This cutting-edge photographic identification guide to Europe’s sea mammals―the only such guide of its kind―covers the 39 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and 9 species of seals found in the region, which spans the eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean, Caspian and Baltic seas. Written and illustrated by a team of professional tour guides with extensive experience presenting the region’s sea mammals, the guide features more than 180 color photographs, maps and graphics, highlights key identification features and includes information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species. Produced with the marine conservation charity ORCA, the book presents mapping data from a decade of surveys, which shows both current distribution and changes over time.
     Europe’s Sea Mammals is an essential companion for whale watchers and anyone else who is interested in this enigmatic group of mammals.
  • The only photographic guide dedicated to this popular whale-watching region
  • Features more than 180 color photos, maps and graphics
  • Highlights key identification features and provides essential information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in European marine mammals.


2) Haddad, Nick. The Last Butterflies: A Scientist's Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature. 2019.  Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 250 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: A remarkable look at the rarest butterflies, how global changes threaten their existence, and how we can bring them back from near-extinction.
     Most of us have heard of such popular butterflies as the Monarch or Painted Lady. But what about the Fender’s Blue? Or the St. Francis’ Satyr? Because of their extreme rarity, these butterflies are not well-known, yet they are remarkable species with important lessons to teach us. The Last Butterflies spotlights the rarest of these creatures―some numbering no more than what can be held in one hand. Drawing from his own first-hand experiences, Nick Haddad explores the challenges of tracking these vanishing butterflies, why they are disappearing, and why they are worth saving. He also provides startling insights into the effects of human activity and environmental change on the planet’s biodiversity.
     Weaving a vivid and personal narrative with ideas from ecology and conservation, Haddad illustrates the race against time to reverse the decline of six butterfly species. Many scientists mistakenly assume we fully understand butterflies’ natural histories. Yet, as with the Large Blue in England, we too often know too little and the conservation consequences are dire. Haddad argues that a hands-off approach is not effective and that in many instances, like for the Fender’s Blue and Bay Checkerspot, active and aggressive management is necessary. With deliberate conservation, rare butterflies can coexist with people, inhabit urban fringes, and, in the case of the St. Francis’ Satyr, even reside on bomb ranges and military land. Haddad shows that through the efforts to protect and restore butterflies, we might learn how to successfully confront conservation issues for all animals and plants.
     A moving account of extinction, recovery, and hope, The Last Butterflies demonstrates the great value of these beautiful insects to science, conservation, and people.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in butterfly conservation.