Saturday, August 11, 2018

New Title


1) Peterson, Merrill A. Pacific Northwest Insects. 2018. Seattle Audubon Society. Paperback: 520 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This field guide sets a new standard for insect identification, making it an indispensable resource to naturalists, educators, gardeners, and others. Engaging and accessible, Pacific Northwest Insects features detailed species accounts, each with a vivid photograph of a living adult, along with information for distinguishing similar species, allowing the reader to identify more than 3,000 species found from southern British Columbia to northern California, and as far east as Montana. The book features most of the commonly encountered insects, spiders, scorpions, millipedes, centipedes, and kin in the Pacific Northwest, as well as representatives of an amazing variety of unusual and interesting insects living in the area. After more than a decade of research, reviewing hundreds of thousands of museum specimens and scouring the technical entomological literature, Merrill Peterson has brought together for the first time in a single volume a wealth of information on the region's insect life.

     Detailed identifying information on over 3,000 species
     Complete description of 1,200 species
     Organized by insect group for easy identification
     Up-to-date taxonomy
     1,725 color photos, 50 line drawings, and 2 maps

RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for all naturalists in the region!

Friday, August 10, 2018

New Titles



1) Arlott, Norman. Birds of the Greater Sundas, the Philippines, and Wallacea. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 416 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Birds of the Greater Sundas, the Philippines, and Wallacea is a comprehensive illustrated guide to the varied and fascinating avian population inhabiting these Southeast Asian islands, which include Indonesian territories, the Philippine archipelago, and Borneo, the third-largest island in the world. Covering more than 1,900 species, this volume contains 179 beautiful color plates and 476 maps. The accompanying text provides detailed information about plumage, voice, range, distribution, status, and habitat. This accessible and much-needed guide will be essential for all bird enthusiasts traveling to this unique region.
  • A comprehensive look at the more than 1,900 bird species of the Greater Sundas, the Philippines, and Wallacea
  • Lavishly illustrated with 179 stunning color plates
  • Gives detailed information about plumage, voice, range, distribution, status, and habitat
  • Handy and easy to use
RECOMMENDATION: This compact guide is best suited for ecotourists or for birders who  want to travel lightly. 


2) Stevens, Guy et al.. Guide to the Manta and Devil Rays of the World. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 144 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Manta and devil rays are some of the most intriguing creatures in the ocean. Driven forward by powerful beats of wing-like pectoral fins, these filter feeders search the waters for prey, their horn-like head fins giving rise to ancient mariners’ tales of fearsome devilfish dragging boats into the ocean depths. Beloved by scuba divers and marine biologists alike, these impressive animals have never had a comprehensive field guide dedicated to them―until now.
     Guide to the Manta and Devil Rays of the World includes detailed information on the identification, characteristics, threats, and distribution for each species in this family. Illustrated with more than 200 color photos, drawings, and plates, this guide also contains an expansive introduction to the general taxonomy, biology, and behavior of these iconic animals. This book will be an essential resource for fisheries management and international trade enforcement, and for anyone involved in ongoing manta and devil ray research and conservation.

  • The first dedicated field guide for manta and devil rays
  • Exhaustive treatment of every aspect related to their identification and biology
  • Filled with 200+ color drawings, photos, and diagrams
 RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in these rays.





Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New Title


1) Brazil, Mark. Birds of Japan. 2018. Bloomsbury/Helm. Paperback: 416 pages. Price: $40.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Japan is home to a spectacular and diverse range of birds, and this up-to-date text covers the identification, voice, habitat, behavior, and range of all the species and subspecies found across the beautiful and fascinating Japanese archipelago.
     The authoritative text is accompanied by superb full-color plates painted by an expert artist and covers all major plumage variations. Birds of Japan will ensure that this top birding destination is made accessible to all.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those birding Japan!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

New Title


1) Treesucon, Uthai and Wich'yanan Limparungpatthanakij. Birds of Thailand. 2018. Lynx and Birdlife International. Hardbound: 452 pages. Price: $89.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This new field guide will help you identify all 1049 species to have been recorded in the country to date, including the 20 species endemic or near-endemic to Thailand. Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behavior, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species. Almost 2200 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for those birding Thailand!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

New Title


1) van Grouw, Katrina. Unnatural Selection. 2018. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 284 pages. Price: $45.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Unnatural Selection is a stunningly illustrated book about selective breeding--the ongoing transformation of animals at the hand of man. More important, it's a book about selective breeding on a far, far grander scale―a scale that encompasses all life on Earth. We'd call it evolution.
     A unique fusion of art, science, and history, this book celebrates the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's monumental work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, and is intended as a tribute to what Darwin might have achieved had he possessed that elusive missing piece to the evolutionary puzzle―the knowledge of how individual traits are passed from one generation to the next. With the benefit of a century and a half of hindsight, Katrina van Grouw explains evolution by building on the analogy that Darwin himself used―comparing the selective breeding process with natural selection in the wild, and, like Darwin, featuring a multitude of fascinating examples.
     This is more than just a book about pets and livestock, however. The revelation of Unnatural Selection is that identical traits can occur in all animals, wild and domesticated, and both are governed by the same evolutionary principles. As van Grouw shows, animals are plastic things, constantly changing. In wild animals the changes are usually too slow to see―species appear to stay the same. When it comes to domesticated animals, however, change happens fast, making them the perfect model of evolution in action.
     Suitable for the lay reader and student, as well as the more seasoned biologist, and featuring more than four hundred breathtaking illustrations of living animals, skeletons, and historical specimens, Unnatural Selection will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in natural history and the history of evolutionary thinking.
RECOMMENDATION: If you have the author's The Unfeathered Bird, you will want this book!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Title


1) Nowak, Ronald M.. Walker's Mammals of the World: Monotremes, Marsupials, Afrotherians, Xenarthrans, and Sundatherians. 2018. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 757 pages. Price: $99.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Since its first publication in 1964, Walker's Mammals of the World has become a favorite guide to the natural world for general readers and professionals alike. This new Walker’s volume is a completely revised and updated compendium of information on five of the earliest clades to diverge from ancient mammal stock. Uniquely comprehensive in inimitable Walker’s style, it incorporates a full account of every genus that has lived in the past 5,000 years. Every named species of each genus is listed in systematic order and accompanied by detailed descriptions of past and present range.
    This new edition includes
• 500+ full-color images throughout
• citations to more than 2,200 new references
• extensive bioconservation data, with discussion of every species in an IUCN Red List threatened category
    This volume’s thorough updates reflect 20 years of advances in our knowledge of taxonomy, ecology, behavior, life history, and conservation. Substantive changes to 100% of previously existing generic accounts, plus the addition of 17 entirely new generic accounts, double the information in the last edition on the 19 orders covered. The black-and-white illustrations of earlier editions have been replaced by over 500 superb new color images.
     Remaining true to Ernest P. Walker’s vision, the text smoothly combines in-depth scholarship with a popular, readable style to preserve and enhance what the Washington Post called a "landmark of zoological literature."
RECOMMENDATION: If you have other titles in the Walker's Mammals of the World series, you'll want this one!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

New Title


1) Birkhead, Tim. The Wonderful Mr Willughby: The First True Ornithologist. 2018. Bloomsbury. Hardbound: 353 pages. Price: $27.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Francis Willughby lived and thrived in the midst of the rapidly accelerating scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Traveling with his Cambridge tutor John Ray, they decided to overhaul the whole of natural history by imposing order on its messiness and complexity. It was exhilarating, exacting, and exhausting work. Yet before their first book, Ornithology, could be completed, Willughby died in 1672. Since then, Ray's reputation has grown, obscuring that of his collaborator. Now, for the first time, Willughby's story and genius are given the attention they deserve.
     In his too-short life, Francis Willughby helped found the Royal Society, differentiated birds through identification of their distinguishing features, and asked questions that were, in some cases, centuries ahead of their time. His discoveries and his approach to his work continue to be relevant--and revelatory--today. Tim Birkhead describes and celebrates how Willughby's endeavors set a standard for the way birds--and indeed the whole of natural history--should be studied. Rich with glorious detail, The Wonderful Mr Willughby is at once a fascinating insight into a thrilling period of scientific history and an authoritative, lively biography of one of its legendary pioneers.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in ornithological history.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Title


1) Wheeler, Brian K.. Birds of Prey of the East/West: A Field Guide. 2018. Princeton University Press. Flexibound: 296/360 pages (respectively). Price: $27.95 U.S. each.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Birds of Prey of the East and its companion volume, Birds of Prey of the West, are the most comprehensive and authoritative field guides to North American birds of prey ever published. Written and lavishly illustrated with stunning, lifelike paintings by leading field-guide illustrator, photographer, and author Brian Wheeler, the guides depict an enormous range of variations of age, sex, color, and plumage, and feature a significant amount of plumage data that has never been published before. The painted figures illustrate plumage and species comparisons in a classic field-guide layout. Each species is shown in the same posture and from the same viewpoint, which further assists comparisons. Facing-page text includes quick-reference identification points and brief natural history accounts that incorporate the latest information. The range maps are exceptionally accurate and much larger than those in other guides. They plot the most up-to-date distribution information for each species and include the location of cities for more accurate reference. Finally, the guides feature color habitat photographs next to the maps. The result sets a new standard for guides to North America's birds of prey.
  • Lavishly illustrated with stunning, lifelike paintings
  • Written and illustrated by a leading authority on North American birds of prey
  • Depicts more plumages than any other guide
  • Concise facing-page text includes quick-reference identification points
  • Classic field-guide layout makes comparing species easy
  • Large, accurate range maps include up-to-date distribution information
  • Unique color habitat photographs next to the maps
 RECOMMENDATION: These guides are a must have for all raptorphiles!

New Titles


1) Howell, Steve and Fabrice Schmitt. Birds of Chile: A Photo Guide. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 240 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This is the first modern-style photographic field guide to the birds of Chile, an increasingly popular destination with birders and naturalists. Compact and easy to carry, pack, and use, Birds of Chile is ideal for curious naturalists and experienced birders alike, providing everything anyone needs to identify the birds they see. Clear photographs and brief, facing-page species accounts highlight what to look for and how to quickly identify species. The photos include both close-ups and birds-in-habitat images to further aid real-life identification. An introduction and maps provide an overview of Chile's geographic regions and their distinctive birdlife. Birds of Chile is also a great resource for birding in nearby countries, especially Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru.
  • The first field-friendly photographic guide to the birds of Chile
  • More than 1,000 real-life photos and brief, facing-page text make bird identification easy
  • Overview and maps describe the distinct bird regions of Chile
  • Perfect for curious naturalists and experienced birders alike
  • Compact and easy to carry and pack
  • Also a great resource for birding in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru
RECOMMENDATION: I see this guide as a useful supplement to Alvaro Jaramillo's 2003 Birds of Chile (Princeton Field Guides).



2) Bowler, John. Wildlife of Madeira and the Canary Islands. 2018. Princeton University Press. Flexibound: 224 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This beautifully illustrated photographic field guide is the first to focus on the identification of the fascinating, diverse and unique wildlife of Madeira and the Canary Islands--featuring the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies that are most likely to be seen. Richly illustrated introductory sections cover the key wildlife sites to visit on each of the islands and provide an overview of the islands' geography, climate, habitat types and current conservation efforts. Stunning colour photographs highlight the key identification features of each species, and the accompanying text covers status, habitat preference, behaviour and, where appropriate, calls. The guide also features an up-to-date distribution map for each species. Complete with an attractive, user-friendly design, this is a must-have guide for all visitors to these magical islands.
  • A beautifully designed and illustrated photographic field guide to the wildlife of Madeira and the Canary Islands
  • Highlights the islands' unique native species and their conservation status
  • Covers all birds, land and marine mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies that are likely to be seen
  • Features richly illustrated introductory sections on key sites to visit on each of the islands, covering their geography, climate, habitats and conservation
  • Includes distribution maps for all species, as well as information on occurrence, status, habitat preference, behaviour and calls
 RECOMMENDATION: A must have for naturalists with an interest in these islands.



3) Geniez, Philippe and Tony Williams. Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East: A Photographic Guide. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 379 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This is a fully up-to-date and comprehensive photographic field guide to the snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Lavishly illustrated with 387 color photographs, it includes coverage of all 122 snake species found in these regions.
     The guide's detailed introduction discusses snake anatomy, biology, habitats and taxonomy. It also explores the health of snakes in captivity and conservation measures, and provides a succinct explanation of the chemical composition, physical effects and cultural uses of snake venom. Species accounts are arranged taxonomically and provide identification features, a description of the species' habitat and behavior and information about whether a snake is venomous. Abundant distribution maps describe each species' geographic variation and usual habitats. Clear photos aid identification and are supplemented with illustrations highlighting key anatomical features. A table of all species, country by country, is included at the back of the book.
     The first dedicated field guide on snakes to appear in many years, Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will be indispensable for anyone interested in learning more about these unique reptiles.
  • Highlights all 122 snake species found in the region
  • Features 387 excellent photos supplemented with diagrams
  • Reflects most recent classification and scientific research
  • Provides each species' identification details, habitat, behavior and much more
  • Includes distribution maps for all species


RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with an interest in the snakes of the region.