Monday, April 20, 2015

New Titles


1) Baicich, Paul J., Margaret A. Barker, and Carrol L. Henderson. Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and Conservation. 2015. Texas A&M University Press. Paperback: 306 pages. Price: $27.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Today, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, more than fifty million Americans feed birds around their homes, and over the last sixty years, billions of pounds of birdseed have filled millions of feeders in backyards everywhere. Feeding Wild Birds in America tells why and how a modest act of provision has become such a pervasive, popular, and often passionate aspect of people’s lives.
      Each chapter provides details on one or more bird-feeding development or trend including the “discovery” of seeds, the invention of different kinds of feeders, and the creation of new companies. Also woven into the book are the worlds of education, publishing, commerce, professional ornithology, and citizen science, all of which have embraced bird feeding at different times and from different perspectives.
     The authors take a decade-by-decade approach starting in the late nineteenth century, providing a historical overview in each chapter before covering topical developments (such as hummingbird feeding and birdbaths). On the one hand, they show that the story of bird feeding is one of entrepreneurial invention; on the other hand, they reveal how Americans, through a seemingly simple practice, have come to value the natural world. 
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone with an interest in the history of wild bird feeding.


2) Chan-ard, Tanya, Jarujin Nabhitabhata, and John W. K. Parr. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand. 2015. Oxford University Press. Paperback: 314 pages. Price: $39.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Thailand is home to over 350 species of reptiles, consisting of many kinds of turtles and tortoises, lizards, snakes and crocodiles. With its extensive network of protected areas, Thailand is one of the richest and most ecologically diverse countries in the world. However, many of these species are being threatened more than ever before, including habitat loss caused by agricultural expansion and intensification, and from wildlife trade. For herpetologists and naturalists, understanding the reptiles of Thailand is now more important than ever before.
     With A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand, Tanya Chan-ard, John Parr, and Jarujin Nabhitabhata present the definitive resource for identifying and understanding all known species of reptile in the region. It is the only updated and complete guide to the country's reptilian life in existence. The book contains an account of every species, complete with nomenclature, color illustrations, and range maps of known locations. The accounts include discussion of behavior, morphological measurements, and habitat, as well as the most current information on each species' conservation status. The authors explain the current system of classifying the threat level of endangerment, making the presented information and terminology understandable and useful. The introduction to the book discusses the history of herpetology in Thailand, as well as its climate, physiography, and zoogeography. A section on how to use the guide most effectively has also been included to make the book accessible to a wide range of both scientists and nature enthusiasts. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand is the definitive and most comprehensive resource for herpetologists, naturalists, and conservationists working in Thailand. 
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with an interest in the reptiles of the region.

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