Monday, November 29, 2010

Carnivorous Plants Books

Today I received 6 books by Stewart McPherson, published by Redfern Natural History Productions, of Dorset, England. They deal with the carnivorous plants of the World and are must have titles for those interested in carnivorous plants. They are:

1 & 2) Carnivorous Plants and their Habitats (2 volumes). 2010. Hardbound: 1442 pages total. Price: 34.99 GBP each (about $54.44 U.S. each plus shipping).
SUMMARY: Carnivorous Plants and their Habitats comprises 1,441 pages and includes 799 images. Six years in the making, this work profiles the distribution, botanical history, morphology, diversity, ecology, traditional uses, associated life, cultivation requirements and conservation status of all recognised carnivorous plant genera of the world.

3 & 4) Pitcher Plants of the Old World (2 volumes). 2009. Hardbound: 1399 pages. Price: 34.99 GBP each (about $54.44 U.S. each plus shipping).
SUMMARY: Pitcher plants include the largest and most spectacular of all carnivorous plants. So-called because they produce highly specialised foliage that takes the form of hollow, water-filled “pitchers”, these extraordinary plants lure and prey upon arthropods and other small animals. The pitcher plants of the Old World also trap the largest prey of all carnivorous plants, including on rare occasions, vertebrates as large as frogs, mice and even rats. This two volume work examines both genera of Old World pitcher plants (Nepenthes and Cephalotus) and documents the ecology and natural diversity of every known species for the first time and in unparalleled detail.
      This 1399 page work contains 751 spectacular images. 120 species of Nepenthes, plus 5 incompletely
diagnosed taxa are recognised, along with Cephalotus follicularis.

5) Glistening Carnivores: The Sticky-Leaved Insect-Eating Plants. 2008. Hardbound: 392 pages. Price: 29.99 GBP (about $46.66 U.S. plus shipping).

SUMMARY: The seven genera of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants are uniquely beautiful and captivate the interest of all who behold them. Each produces shimmering leaves lined with glistening droplets of glue that attract, trap and kill insects and other small animals. Complimented by 279 spectacular images, this work examines all seven genera of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants (Byblis, Drosera, Drosophyllum, Ibicella, Pinguicula, Roridula and Triphyophyllum) and documents their wild ecology and natural diversity in full detail and in many cases, for the very first time.

6) Lost Worlds of the Guiana Highlands. 2008. Hardbound: 388 pages. Price: 29.99 GBP (about $46.66 U.S. plus shipping).
SUMMARY:  The tablelands of the Guiana Highlands are among the most spectacular yet least explored mountains of our world. Each is an immense sandstone plateau known locally as a ‘tepui’ that is encircled on all sides by gigantic vertical cliffs up to 1,000 metres tall. The summits of these unique mountains have remained isolated for millions of years, and today harbour plants, animals and landscapes that occur nowhere else on Earth. This work examines the story of the discovery and exploration of these remarkable mountains and considers the unique plants, animals and landscapes atop of these mysterious lost worlds.

You can visit their website here:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Title

1) Holldobler, Bert and Edward O. Wilson. The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct. 2010. W.W. Norton. Paperback: 160 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants comes this dynamic and visually spectacular portrait of Earth's ultimate superorganism.

     The Leafcutter Ants is the most detailed and authoritative description of any ant species ever produced. With a text suitable for both a lay and a scientific audience, the book provides an unforgettable tour of Earth's most evolved animal societies. Each colony of leafcutters contains as many as five million workers, all the daughters of a single queen that can live over a decade. A gigantic nest can stretch thirty feet across, rise five feet or more above the ground, and consist of hundreds of chambers that reach twenty-five feet below the ground surface. Indeed, the leafcutters have parlayed their instinctive civilization into a virtual domination of forest, grassland, and cropland—from Louisiana to Patagonia. Inspired by a section of the authors' acclaimed The Superorganism, this brilliantly illustrated work provides the ultimate explanation of what a social order with a half-billion years of animal evolution has achieved.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the authors earlier works will want this book!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Title

1) Ballance, Alison. Kakapo: Rescued From the Brink of Extinction. 2010. Craig Potton Publishing. Hardbound: 215 pages. Price: $49.99 NZ (about $38.13 U.S. plus shipping).
SUMMARY: The Kakapo is one of New Zealand's most charismatic yet mysterious birds. It is also one of the world's most threatened species and a New Zealand conservation success story.
     Kakapo is a book that embraces science, conservation, ingenuity and personal dedication. Through an informative and entertaining mix of hard facts, history and accounts of the daily and seasonal routines of kakapo and their minders, Alison Ballance brings together these threads to tell the inspiring story of this remarkably eccentric bird.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone interested in parrots, endangered species and the birds of New Zealand! This book is available here:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Title

1) Colwell, Mark A.. Shorebird Ecology, Conservation, and Management. 2010. University of California Press. Hardbound: 328 pages. Price: $60.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: Shorebirds are model organisms for illustrating the principles of ecology and excellent subjects for research. Their mating systems are as diverse as any avian group, their migrations push the limits of endurance, and their foraging is easily studied in the open habitats of estuaries and freshwater wetlands. This comprehensive text explores the ecology, conservation, and management of these fascinating birds. Beginning chapters examine phylogenetic relationships between shorebirds and other birds, and cover shorebird morphology, anatomy, and physiology. A section on breeding biology looks in detail at their reproductive biology. Because shorebirds spend much of their time away from breeding areas, a substantial section on non-breeding biology covers migration, foraging ecology, and social behavior. The text also covers shorebird demography, population size, and management issues related to habitat, predators, and human disturbances. Throughout, it emphasizes applying scientific knowledge to the conservation of shorebird populations, many of which are unfortunately in decline.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in shorebird biology.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Titles

1) Chandler, David and Ian Llewellyn. Kingfisher. 2010. New Holland. Hardbound:128 pages. Price: GBP 12.99 (about $21 U.S.).

SUMMARY: Usually encountered as a flash of blue or orange seen from the riverbank, most people are aware of the (Common) Kingfisher, but few are familiar with the intricacies of its day-to-day life.
     Here its remarkable existence is celebrated through a series of stunning chapters with images depicting courtship, nesting, fishing, winter survival and other important events in the lives of Kingfishers, which are further brought to life through the eloquent accompanying text which is enlivened by personal anecdotes from the author and photographer.
RECOMMENDATION: The color photography highlight this book!

2) Das, Indraneil. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. 2010. New Holland. Hardbound: 376 pages. Price: GBP 35.00 (about $56.00 U.S.).

SUMMARY: South-East Asia is one of the richest parts of the world in terms of reptiles. The first comprehensive guide to the reptiles of this region, A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia covers all the reptiles recorded from mainland South-East Asia, from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia to Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, as well as the islands of the Great Sundas (including Sumatra, Java, Borneo and Bali). A detailed account with key identification characteristics, habitat and behaviour is included for each species, from crocodiles, tortoises and turtles, to lizards and snakes. Every recognized species is described, and 74 magnificent specially commissioned colour plates by top wildlife artists depict nearly 700 major species in meticulous detail. Where useful, details such as plastrons (for turtles and tortoises), juveniles, variants and head patterns are also shown on the plates.
RECOMMENDATION: A very nice field guide, but it does lack range maps though!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Titles

1) Ash, Patricia J. and David J. Robinson. The Emergence of Humans: An Exploration of the Evolutionary Timeline. 2010. Wiley-Blackwell. Paperback: 324 pages. Price: $65.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: The Emergence of Humans is an accessible, informative introduction to the scientific study of human evolution. It takes the reader through time following the emergence of the modern human species Homo sapiens from primate roots. Acknowledging the controversy surrounding the interpretation of the fossil record, the authors present a balanced approach in an effort to do justice to different views.
     Each chapter covers a significant time period of evolutionary history and includes relevant techniques from other disciplines that have applications to the field of human evolution. Self-assessment questions linked to learning outcomes are provided for each chapter, together with further reading and reference to key sources in the primary literature.The book will thus be effective both as a conventional textbook and for independent study.
     Written by two authors with a wealth of teaching experience The Emergence of Humans will prove invaluable to students in the biological and natural sciences needing a clear, balanced introduction to the study of human evolution.
RECOMMENDATION: Would make a good undergraduate level textbook.

2) Harrap, Simon and Nigel Redman. Where to Watch Birds in Britain (second edition). 2010. Helm. Paperback: 671 pages. Price: 19.99 GBP (about $32.00 U.S.).

SUMMARY: This guide covers the very best birding sites in Britain. In a format familiar to readers of this popular series, each site is considered in terms of 'Habitat', Access' and 'Birds', allowing birders of all levels to plan successful birding trips anywhere in Britain, and to maximise the chances of getting the best out of each site and each region. The book includes detailed maps of the larger sites, plus general maps of the regions covered, and it is illustrated with attractive line drawings. This book has been extensively revised, with several new sites added for this edition, together with information on disabled access for most sites.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those birding in Britain!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Titles

1) Davies, Alan and Ruth Miller. The Biggest Twitch: Around the World in 4,000 birds. 2010. Helm. Paperback: 301 pages. Price: 12.99 GBP (about $21.00 U.S.).

SUMMARY: Most people dream of packing in their humdrum city life, selling up and heading off into the unknown for a life of adventure. For Ruth Miller and Alan Davies this dream became a reality, albeit with a twist; they decided to pack in their jobs, sell their house and take on the ultimate birder's challenge - to smash the world record for the number of species seen in one calendar year.
     This book is the story of their great expedition, searching for birds from Ecuador to Ethiopia via Argentina, Australia and Arizona. We follow this birding odyssey as they rachet up the species and the stamps in their passports, sharing in amazing birding experiences such as monkey-hunting Harpy Eagles in the Brazilian rain forest, seedsnipes in the Peruvian highlands and lekking bustards in South Africa, all leading to the ultimate question - will they break the magic 4,000?
     Written in an accessible style, this book will be of great interest to birders, readers of travel literature, and to people who simply enjoy a good adventure!
RECOMMENDATION: Birders and eco-tourists will enjoy this book! This title is available here:

2) Donald, Paul F. et al.. Facing Extinction: The World's Rarest Birds and the Race to Save Them. 2010. T & A D Poyser. Hardbound: 312 pages. Price: 45.00 GBP (about $72.50 U.S.).
SUMMARY: Almost two hundred species of birds have become extinct in the past 400 years, and a similar number today are in imminent danger of following them. The world’s conservationists are leading the fight to prevent the demise of these remaining critically endangered birds, with a fair degree of success. This new book examines the process and issues concerning extinction – how and why it happens and what can be done about it. Whilst man is to blame for many of the causes, such as persecution and habitat loss, species have become extinct on a regular basis since life began. After several thought-provoking introductory chapters, the book showcases about 20 species on the brink of extinction from around the world and describes the work that is being undertaken to save them. Some are success stories, but a few are not. This is a subject close to the hearts of all birders and ornithologists and this book, written by a team of leading conservationists, will strike a chord in most of them.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in bird conservation. This title is available here:

3) Laurin, Michel. How Vertebrates Left the Water. 2010. University of California Press. Hardbound:199 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: More than three hundred million years ago—a relatively recent date in the two billion years since life first appeared—vertebrate animals first ventured onto land. This usefully illustrated book describes how some finned vertebrates acquired limbs, giving rise to more than 25,000 extant tetrapod species. Michel Laurin uses paleontological, geological, physiological, and comparative anatomical data to describe this monumental event. He summarizes key concepts of modern paleontological research, including biological nomenclature, paleontological and molecular dating, and the methods used to infer phylogeny and character evolution. Along with a discussion of the evolutionary pressures that may have led vertebrates onto dry land, the book also shows how extant vertebrates yield clues about the conquest of land and how scientists uncover evolutionary history.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in vertebrate paleontology.


1) Kennerley, Peter and David Pearson. Reed and Bush Warblers. 2010. Helm Identification Guides. Hardbound: 712 pages. Price: 65 GBP (about $105.00 U.S.).
SUMMARY: This detailed and comprehensive identification guide follows in the mo(u)ld of Sylvia Warblers and Pipits and Wagtails. It primarily covers the genera Acrocephalus, Locustella, Cettia and Bradypterus, together with a few smaller related genera. To the uninitiated, these are the archetypal ‘little brown jobs’ and as if they weren’t hard enough to identify anyway, many of them are hard to see as well! This authoritative handbook covers their identification in breathtaking detail, illustrated with line drawings, sonograms, wonderful colour plates and photographs. It is destined to become the ultimate reference for these challenging birds.
RECOMMENDATION: Brian Small's artwork highlight this book! A must have for all World birders!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Titles

1) Benson, Etienne. Wired Wilderness: Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife. 2010. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 251 pages. Price: $55.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: American wildlife biologists first began fitting animals with radio transmitters in the 1950s. By the 1980s the practice had proven so useful to scientists and nonscientists alike that it became global. Wired Wilderness is the first book—length study of the origin, evolution, use, and impact of these now—commonplace tracking technologies.
     Combining approaches from environmental history, the history of science and technology, animal studies, and the cultural and political history of the United States, Etienne Benson traces the radio tracking of wild animals across a wide range of institutions, regions, and species and in a variety of contexts. He explains how hunters, animal—rights activists, and other conservation—minded groups gradually turned tagging from a tool for control into a conduit for connection with wildlife. Drawing on extensive archival research, interviews with wildlife biologists and engineers, and in—depth case studies of specific conservation issues -- such as the management of deer, grouse, and other game animals in the upper Midwest and the conservation of tigers and rhinoceroses in Nepal -- Benson illuminates telemetry's context—dependent uses and meanings as well as commonalities among tagging practices.
     Wired Wilderness traces the evolution of the modern wildlife biologist's field practices and shows how the intense interest of nonscientists at once constrained and benefited the field. Scholars of and researchers involved in wildlife management will find this history both fascinating and revealing.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the history of wildlife biology.

2) Dyson, Freeman (editor). The Best American Science and Nature Writing: 2010. 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Paperback: 385 pages. Price: $14.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Freeman Dyson, renowned physicist and public intellectual, edits this year’s volume of the finest science and nature writing. This edition contains 28 essays that cover topics such as astronomy and cosmology, neurology, nature writing, and the environment.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone interested in good writing!

Monday, November 8, 2010


1) Porter, Richard and Simon Aspinall. Birds of the Middle East (second edition). 2010. Princeton University Press/Helm. Paperback: 384 pages. Price: $39.50 U.S.

SUMMARY: Birds of the Middle East is now the most field-ready and comprehensive guide to the fantastic birds of this region. This fully revised and updated second edition covers all species--including vagrants--found in the Arabian Peninsula (including Socotra), Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Cyprus. It features 176 superb color plates depicting more than 800 species, as well as 820 color distribution maps that show the breeding range for almost every species. In this upgraded edition, maps and detailed species accounts are now located opposite the plates, making this stunningly illustrated field guide easier to use than ever.
-The most comprehensive field guide to the birds of the Middle East
-Covers more than 800 species--including 100 not covered in the first edition
-Features 176 color plates depicting all species
-Includes detailed species accounts and 820 color distribution maps
-Text and maps now located opposite the color plates.
RECOMMENDATION: Anyone interested in the birds of the Middle East will want this book!

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Titles

1) Beccaloni, George. Biggest Bugs (life-size!). 2010. Firefly Books. Hardbound: 84 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Biggest Bugs Life-size is a veritable jump-off-the-page spectacle for bug enthusiasts. It is the first book to include color photographs of 38 of the world's biggest, heaviest, longest and mightiest bugs reproduced at their actual size. Concise text gives all of the essential facts, including the bug's size, what it eats and who discovered it. Maps show where the bugs live.
     The book's dramatic gatefold shows the world's longest bug -- at 22-inches, the Chan's megastick is almost as long as an adult's arm. There is also the gargantuan cockroach, with the longest wingspan in the world, and the potentially pesky gigantea beefly, which is as big as a human eyeball. Even the names are big: giant hawker dragonfly, colossus earwig, giant tarantula hawk wasp, goliath bird-eating spider, Amazonian giant centipede, titan longhorn beetle.
Biggest Bugs Life-size shows the bugs as they are in real life, in brilliant color and in enormous photographs that readers won't soon forget.
RECOMMENDATION: For ages 9-12.

2) Phillips, Roger. Mushrooms and other Fungi of North America. 2010. Firefly Books. Paperback: 384 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: For amateur collectors or professional mycologists working in the field, this guidebook is quite simply the best North American mushroom reference ever published. Each of the 1,000 specimens is shown in full color on a neutral background to eliminate distractions, and specimens are arranged to show the cap, stem, gills, spines and a cross section, usually in various stages of growth.
     Roger Phillips identifies all regional varieties of Basidiomycetes, which include chanterelles, puffballs and fungi, and Ascomycetes, which include morels and cup fungi. Detailed descriptive information on each mushroom variety includes:
-Dimensions of cap, gills and stem
-Color and texture of flesh
-Odor and taste
-Habitat and growing season
-Distribution and appearance of spores
-Edibility and poison warnings
     There is also helpful advice on collecting specimens plus an illustrated beginner identification key and a generic key for the more advanced collector.
Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America is at once the ideal introduction to mycology and an essential reference for the experienced collector -- the definitive book in its category.
RECOMMENDATION: A very useful guide to the fungi of North America.

3) Bevis, John. Aaaaw to Zzzzzd: The Words of Birds. 2010. The MIT Press. Hardbound: 143 pages. Price: $12.95 U.S.
SUMMARY:  Birds sing and call, sometimes in complex and beautiful arrangements of notes, sometimes in one-line repetitions that resemble a ringtone more than a symphony. Listening, we are stirred, transported, and even envious of birds’ ability to produce what Shelley called “profuse strains of unpremeditated art.” And for hundreds of years, we have tried to write down what we hear when birds sing. Poets have put birdsong in verse (Thomas Nashe: “Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo”) and ornithologists have transcribed bird sounds more methodically. Drawing on this history of bird writing, in Aaaaw to Zzzzzd, John Bevis offers a lexicon of the words of birds. For tourists in Birdland, there could be no more charming phrasebook.

     Consulting it, we find seven distinct variations of “hoo” attributed to seven different species of owls, from a simple hoo to the more ambitious hoo hoo hoo-hoo, ho hoo hoo-hoo; the understated cheet of the tree swallow; the resonant kreeaaaaaaaaaaar of the Swainson’s hawk; the modest peep peep peep of the meadow pipit. We learn that some people hear the Baltimore oriole saying “here, here, come right here, dear” and the yellowhammer saying “a little bit of bread and no cheese.”
     Bevis, a poet, frames his lexicons—one for North America and one for Britain and northern Europe—with an evocative appreciation of birds, birdsong, and human attempts to capture the words of birds in music and poetry. He also offers an engaging account of other methods of documenting birdsong—field recording, graphic notation, and mechanical devices including duck calls and the serinette, an instrument used to teach song tunes to songbirds.
     The singing of birds is nature at its most sublime, and words are our medium for expressing this sublimity. Aaaaw to Zzzzzd belongs in the bird lover’s backpack and on the word lover’s bedside table, an unexpected and sui generis pleasure.
RECOMMENDATION: An interesting introduction to bird vocalizations.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Title

1) Ulin, David L.. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time. 2010. Sasquatch Books. Hardbound: 151 pages. Price: $12.95 U.S.

SUMMARY: Reading is a revolutionary act, an act of engagement in a culture that wants us to disengage. In The Lost Art of Reading, David L. Ulin asks a number of timely questions — why is literature important? What does it offer, especially now? Blending commentary with memoir, Ulin addresses the importance of the simple act of reading in an increasingly digital culture. Reading a book, flipping through hard pages, or shuffling them on screen — it doesn’t matter. The key is the act of reading, the seriousness and depth. Ulin emphasizes the importance of reflection and pause allowed by stopping to read a book, and the focus required to let the mind run free in a world that is not one's own. Far from preaching to the choir, The Lost Art of Reading is a call to arms, or rather, pages.
IAN RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the lost art of reading.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Titles

1) Lebbin, Daniel J. et al.. The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation. 2010. University of Chicago Press. Hardbound: 446 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: Whether we live in cities, in the suburbs, or in the country, birds are ubiquitous features of daily life, so much so that we often take them for granted. But even the casual observer is aware that birds don’t fill our skies in the number they once did. That awareness has spawned conservation action that has led to notable successes, including the recovery of some of the nation’s most emblematic species, such as the Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon. Despite this, a third of all American bird species are in trouble—in many cases, they’re in imminent danger of extinction. The most authoritative account ever published of the threats these species face, The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation will be the definitive book on the subject.
     The Guide presents for the first time anywhere a classification system and threat analysis for bird habitats in the United States, the most thorough and scientifically credible assessment of threats to birds published to date, as well as a new list of birds of conservation concern. Filled with beautiful color illustrations and original range maps, the Guide is a timely, important, and inspiring reference for birders and anyone else interested in conserving North America’s avian fauna. But this book is far more than another shout of crisis. The Guide also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. Ultimately, it is an argument for hope. Whether you spend your early weekend mornings crouched in silence with binoculars in hand, hoping to check another species off your list, or you’ve never given much thought to bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those interested in bird conservation of the Americas!

     A) Winker, Kevin and Susan M. Haig, editors. Avian Subspecies. 2010. American Ornithologists' Union. Paperback: 200 pages. Price: $40.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: The 13 papers in this monograph on avian subspecies were delivered at the meeting of the A.O.U., the Cooper Ornithological Society and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists in Portland, Oregon during 4-9 August 2008.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in avian subspecies.
     B) Martinez-Sanchez, Juan C. and Tom Will, editors. Thomas R. Howell's Check-list of the Birds of Nicaragua as of 1993. 2010. American Ornithologists' Union. Paperback: 107 pages. Price: $40.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: A previously unpublished checklist to the birds of Nicaragua by the late Thomas R. Howell.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the avifauna of Nicaragua. These titles can be ordered here:

3) Wilson, Robert M.. Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway. 2010. University of Washington Press. Hardbound: 245 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: Each fall and spring, millions of birds travel the Pacific Flyway, the westernmost of the four major North American bird migration routes. The landscapes they cross vary from wetlands to farmland to concrete, inhabited not only by wildlife but also by farmers, suburban families, and major cities. In the twentieth century, farmers used the wetlands to irrigate their crops, transforming the landscape and putting migratory birds at risk. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responded by establishing a series of refuges that stretched from northern Washington to southern California.
     What emerged from these efforts was a hybrid environment, where the distinctions between irrigated farms and wildlife refuges blurred. Management of the refuges was fraught with conflicting priorities and practices. Farmers and refuge managers harassed birds with shotguns and flares to keep them off private lands, and government pilots took to the air, dropping hand grenades among flocks of geese and herding the startled birds into nearby refuges. Such actions masked the growing connections between refuges and the land around them.
     Seeking Refuge examines the development and management of refuges in the wintering range of migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway. Although this is a history of efforts to conserve migratory birds, the story Robert Wilson tells has considerable salience today. Many of the key places migratory birds use - the Klamath Basin, California's Central Valley, the Salton Sea - are sites of recent contentious debates over water use. Migratory birds connect and depend on these landscapes, and farmers face pressure as water is reallocated from irrigation to other purposes. In a time when global warming promises to compound the stresses on water and migratory species, Seeking Refuge demonstrates the need to foster landscapes where both wildlife and people can thrive.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the history of wildlife management along the Pacific flyway.