Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Title

1) Jones, Richard. Beetles (Collins New Naturalist Library). 2018. William Collins. Paperback: 480 pages. Price: $50.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Beetles are arguably the most diverse organisms in the world, with nearly half a million beetle species described and catalogued in our museums, more than any other type of living thing. This astonishing species diversity is matched by a similar diversity in shape, form, size, life history, ecology, physiology and behaviour.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in British beetles and/or collect the New Naturalist series.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Title

1) Graham, Sean P.. American Snakes. 2018. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 293 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: 125 million years ago on the floodplains of North America, a burrowing lizard started down the long evolutionary path of shedding its limbs. The 60-plus species of snakes found in Sean P. Graham’s American Snakes have this ancestral journey to thank for their ubiquity, diversity, and beauty. Although many people fear them, snakes are as much a part of America’s rich natural heritage as redwoods, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. Found from the vast Okefenokee Swamp to high alpine meadows, from hardwood canopies to the burning bottom of the Grand Canyon, these ultimate vertebrates are ecologically pivotal predators and quintessential survivors.
     In this revelatory and engaging meditation on American snakes, Graham, a respected herpetologist and gifted writer,
• explains the everyday lives of American snakes, from their daily routines and seasonal cycles to their love lives, hunting tactics, and defensive repertoires
• debunks harmful myths about snakes and explores their relationship with humans
• highlights the contribution of snakes to the American wilderness
• tells tales of "snake people"―important snake biologists with inspiring careers

     Neither a typical field guide nor an exhaustive reference, American Snakes is instead a fascinating study of the suborder Serpentes. Brimming with intriguing and unusual stories―of hognose snakes that roll over and play dead, blindsnakes with tiny vestigial lungs, rainbow-hued dipsadines, and wave-surfing sea-snakes―the text is interspersed with scores of gorgeous full-color images of snakes, from the scary to the sublime. This proud celebration of a diverse American wildlife group will make every reader, no matter how skeptical, into a genuine snake lover.

RECOMMENDATION: An overview of the natural history of the snakes of the region.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Title

1) Gejl, Lars. Waders of Europe. 2018. Helm. Hardbound: 368 pages. Price: $50.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Covering 44 species of nesting shorebirds and 38 other rare visitors from North America and Asia, Waders of Europe offers information on identification, ecology, and biology accompanied by a fantastic range of the authors own photography.
     With over 670 individual, flight, and group photographs and 189 illustrated silhouettes, this book is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in determining species in the field and learning more about these birds.
RECOMMENDATION: A useful and well illustrated overview of the waders/shorebirds of Europe.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Title

1) Forshaw, Joseph M. and Frank Knight. Vanished and Vanishing Parrots: Profiling Extinct and Endangered Species. 2017. Cornell University Press. Hardbound: 323 pages. Price: $95.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Joseph M. Forshaw, one of the world’s leading authorities on parrots, calls attention to the threats they face: They are one of the most endangered groups of birds, with a growing number of species nearing extinction. The main threats arise from habitat loss through deforestation and agricultural development and from the taking of birds for the international live-bird trade.
     Vanished and Vanishing Parrots brings together information on species that have become extinct in historical times with information on species that are in danger of becoming extinct to increase public awareness of the plight of these magnificent birds. Vivid color plates by the wildlife artist Frank Knight draw attention to the spectacular species that we have lost or that could be lost. Forshaw’s work gives us fascinating insight into these endangered and extinct parrots.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in parrot biology and conservation.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Title

1) Debus, Stephen. Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds. 2017. CSIRO Publishing. Paperback: 167 pages. Price: about $40.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: An illustrated record of sea-eagles, harpy eagles, booted eagles and eagle-like hawks in Australasia.Eagles are awe-inspiring birds that have influenced much human endeavour. Australia is home to three eagle species, and in Melanesia there are four additional endemic species. A further three large Australian hawks are eagle-like. Eagles, being at the top of the food chain, are sensitive ecological barometers of human impact on the Earth's ecosystem services, and all of the six Australian species covered in this book are threatened in at least some states (one also nationally). Three of the four Melanesian tropical forest endemics are threatened or near-threatened.In Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds, Dr Stephen Debus provides a 25-year update of knowledge on these 10 species as a supplement to the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB) and recent global treatises, based partly on his own field studies. Included are the first nest or prey records for some Melanesian species. This book places the Australasian species in their regional and global context, reviews their population status and threats, provides new information on their ecology, and suggests what needs to be done in order to ensure the future of these magnificent birds.Australasian Eagles and Eagle-like Birds is an invaluable resource for raptor biologists, birdwatchers, wildlife rescuers and carers, raptor rehabilitators and zookeepers.
RECOMMENDATION: A good overview of these raptors.