Rigor Vitae: Life Unyielding

Monday, December 15, 2008

URBAN HERPETOLOGY

Implementing effective conservation policies and techniques is impossible without first understanding wildlife population trends and how they're affected by anthropogenic factors. The third and just-released book in the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles' (SSAR) Herpetological Conservation Series represents an important step toward this goal. Consisting of 40 technical papers and 13 case studies, Urban Herpetology features sections on habitat loss and alteration, effects of roads, trails and railroad tracks, chemical and light pollution, anthropogenic water bodies and introduced species, ubanophiles and urbanophobes, among others. Like the previous books in the series, Urban Herpetology is North America-heavy in scope, but unlike them contains additional research from Australia, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, the West Indies and elsewhere.
Reptiles and Amphibians are important ecological components throughout most of the planet. Unfortunately, though, they have little direct impact on the economies of industrialized nations, and so receive comparatively little of the sort of attention this welcome volume offers. Urban Herpetology deserves a place in the library of anyone with a deep interest in herps or conservation, and especially those who care about both. 11 ½ inches x 9 inches; 590 pages.
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illustration: LEATHERBACK HATCHLING/CITY LIGHTS (2008) pen & ink; one of 50 from URBAN HERPETOLOGY

5 Comments:

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Thanks for your nice remarks, David, and for the introduction to your fine work.

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