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A hiking trail through majestic mountains. A raw, unpeopled wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. These are the settings we associate with our most famous books about nature. But Gavin Van Horn isn't most nature writers. He lives and works not in some perfectly remote cabin in the woods but in a city-a big city. And that city has offered him something even more valuable than solitude: a window onto the surprising attractiveness of cities to animals. What was once in his mind essentially a nature-free blank slate turns out to actually be a bustling place where millions of wild things roam. He came to realize that our own paths are crisscrossed by the tracks and flyways of endangered black-crowned night herons, Cooper's hawks, brown bats, coyotes, opossums, white-tailed deer, and many others who thread their lives ably through our own. With The Way of Coyote, Gavin Van Horn reveals the stupendous diversity of species that can flourish in urban landscapes like Chicago. That isn't to say city living is without its challenges. Chicago has been altered dramatically over a relatively short timespan-its soils covered by concrete, its wetlands drained and refilled, its river diverted and made to flow in the opposite direction. The stories in The Way of Coyote occasionally lament lost abundance, but they also point toward incredible adaptability and resilience, such as that displayed by beavers plying the waters of human-constructed canals or peregrine falcons raising their young atop towering skyscrapers. Van Horn populates his stories with a remarkable range of urban wildlife and probes the philosophical and religious dimensions of what it means to coexist, drawing frequently from the wisdom of three unconventional guides-wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, and the North American trickster figure Coyote. Ultimately, Van Horn sees vast potential for a more vibrant collective of ecological citizens as we take our cues from landscapes past and present. Part urban nature travelogue, part philosophical reflection on the role wildlife can play in waking us to a shared sense of place and fate, The Way of Coyote is a deeply personal journey that questions how we might best reconcile our own needs with the needs of other creatures in our shared urban habitats.
Since his rise to fame in 1967 when his work "The Peregrine" was awarded the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, J A Baker has captured the popular imagination with his vivid descriptions of British landscapes and native wildlife. Compelling, strange and at times both startlingly funny and cruel, Baker's prose is at one with his image as a writer, which has, since the publication of his first work, been characterized as an obsessive recluse.Next to nothing was known about Baker, who died in 1987, until an archive of his materials and those related to him was gifted to the University of Essex in 2013. Only now has it been possible to piece together an accurate view of the life and unpublished work of the man whose writing has been described as "the gold standard for all nature writing" (Mark Cocker), and whose work has influenced naturalists such as Richard Mabey and Simon King, as well as film-makers David Cobham and Werner Herzog.This new book showcases the most compelling parts of the Baker Archive, containing previously unknown elements of his life, many photographs and unpublished poems.It provides an invaluable new insight into both his sensitive and passionate character, and late twentieth century Britian, a country experiencing the throes of agricultural and environmental change.
Following on from Extinct Boids and Nextinction, Critical Critters is the third in this epic trilogy of books dedicated to extinct and critically endangered animals from cartoonist Ralph Steadman and film-maker Ceri Levy - the GONZOVATIONISTS. Expect plenty more of what made the first two books so successful - unpredictable nonsense beasts, irreverent jokes, a diary-style record of the creative mayhem, and around 100 spectacular illustrations by Ralph of critically endangered mammals, insects, fish, lizards and trees - a stunning collection, with a serious conservation message. Ceri's humorous but meaningful message accompanied by Ralph's sensational paintings will satisfy art-lovers and conservationists alike.
This long-standing, trusted field guide to the wildlife of southern Africa has been comprehensively updated and now includes distribution maps. It describes over 2,000 plants and animals, each accompanied by accurate illustrations in full colour. This book has been a trusted field companion for many years. Comprehensively updated, it now features range maps for most groups. The chapters are colour-coded for easy reference, and diagnostic features appear in bold type within the descriptions. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field.
Mainland Ecuador's spectacular wildlife makes it a magnet for nature tourists, but until now there hasn't been a go-to, all-in-one guide geared to the general reader. With this handy and accessible guide, visitors now have everything they need to identify and enjoy the majority of birds and animals they are likely to see. Written and illustrated by two of Ecuador's most experienced nature guides and photographers, this book covers more than 350 birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. It features over 400 stunning color photographs and includes a range map for each species, as well as a brief account of the country's natural history and biogeography. With its extensive coverage, attractive and easy-to-use layout, beautiful photographs, and nontechnical text, this is an essential guide for anyone who wants to explore the natural wonders of Ecuador. * An essential all-in-one guide to mainland Ecuador's amazing wildlife* Unique and attractive layout with more than 400 stunning color photographs* Covers more than 350 of the most frequently seen birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians* Uses a habitat-based approach to aid identification* Accessible text provides key information on identification, behavior, biology, and conservation* Photos, maps, and text are presented together for ease of use
Highly portable, concise, and informative, this is the essential guide for identifying Southern Africa's most visible wildlife. Featuring full-color photos of more than 400 species of birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, and insects, "Wildlife of Southern Africa" provides a spectacular sense of what travelers can see in the major game reserves and national parks of South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and southern Mozambique. Each species in this guide is accompanied by at least one full-color photograph plus a full textual description. Tips on wildlife photography as well as information on how to make the most of a safari are also included. This is a must-have guide for anyone planning or dreaming about a visit to this fascinating part of the world.Highly portable and informative guide to the wildlife of Southern Africa Hundreds of full-color photos detail more than 400 species At least one full-color photograph and full textual description for each species Tips on wildlife photography and making the most of a safari
Bear Encounters is a collection of more than 90 stories about the run-ins everyday people have with bears. From the one about the black bear at the cabin that was chased away by the fifteen-pound family dog, to the bear that harmlessly wandered through a Boy Scout camp, these brief and often funny encounters capture the true nature of bears. The stories were collected from fans of the North American Bear Center and are grouped into sections that debunk common bear myths.
"An utter delight" - Jennifer Tetlow. Renowned nature writer Jim Crumley gets up close and personal with some of Britain's most iconic and loved animals - here, the fox. With his inimitable passion and vision, Jim describes some of his most memorable encounters with British wildlife - and reveals the startling ways they continually adapt to the relentless encroachment of humans on their habitats. The Encounters in the Wild series not only offers insights into their extraordinary lives, but also considers the conservation efforts to protect them and how the future looks for these much loved animals.
Birds of Texas has something for anyone with an interest in birds, from the casual backyard observer to the keen naturalist. Full page accounts w. color illustraions and maps for 401 birds Quick Reference Guide and much more
Appalachian Trail Trees & Wildflowers is the go-to resource for anyone interested in the plants found along the 2,175-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species and also includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent botanical sanctuaries along the trail. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by hikers of all ages. Made in the USA.
More than sixty species of snakes are found in the eastern United States, the region of highest biodiversity of all reptiles and amphibians in North America. In this brand new guide, stunning photographs, colourful geographic range maps, and comprehensive written accounts provide essential information about each species including detailed identification characteristics, general ecology and behaviour, and conservation status. Carefully researched and written by two expert herpetologists, the guide is directed toward a general audience interested in natural history. Additional information supports the already fact filled snake species profiles. A chapter on urban and suburban snake ecology focuses on species most commonly found in some of the country's largest cities and residential settings. A chapter on snake conservation includes information on threats faced by native species in many regions of the eastern United States. Another chapter provides the latest updates on the status of invasive species of pythons and boa constrictors that have now become naturalised permanent residents in certain areas of the country. This is the most accessible and informative guide to snakes of the eastern United States available anywhere.
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
A beautifully lyrical collection of essays on the natural world in Britain by the Guardian's country diary writer Paul Evans.
With a title taken from the 1940 Batsford book, this is nature writing for the modern reader. It is a book both for those that live in the country and those that don't, but experience nature every day through brownfield edge lands, transport corridors, urban greenspace, industrialised agriculture and fragments of ancient countryside. Evans weaves historical, cultural and literary references into his writing, ranging from TS Eliot to Bridget Riley, from Hieronymus Bosch to Napoleon.
The essays include the The Weedling Wild, on the wildlife of the wasteland: ragwort, rosebay willowherb, giant hogweed and the cinnabar moth; Gardens of Light, about the creatures to be found under moonlight: pipistrelle bats, lacewings and orb-weaver spider; The Flow, with tales from the riverbank, estuaries and seas, including kingfisher, minnow, otter and heron. The Commons looks at meadowland with a human footprint, with the Adonis blue butterfly, horseshoe vetch, skylark, black knapweed and the six-belted clearwing moth. Other chapters look at the wildlife returned to Britain, such as wild boar and polecats, and finds nature in and around landscapes as varied as a domestic garden or a wild moor. The book ends with an alphabetical bestiary, an idiosyncratic selection of British wildlife based on the author's personal encounters.
'Kindness and co-operation have played a crucial role in raising humans to the top of the evolutionary tree ... We have thrived on the milk of human kindness.' Observer BY THE AUTHOR OF ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE? 'There is a widely-held assumption that humans are hard-wired for relentless and ruthless competition ... Frans de Waal sees nature differently - as a biological legacy in which empathy, not mere self-interest, is shared by humans, bonobos and animals.' Ben Macintyre, The Times Empathy holds us together. That we are hardwired to be altruistic is the result of thousands of years of evolutionary biology which has kept society from slipping into anarchy. But we are not alone: primates, elephants, even rodents are empathetic creatures too. Social behaviours such as the herding instinct, bonding rituals, expressions of consolation and even conflict resolution demonstrate that animals are designed to feel for each other. From chimpanzees caring for mates that have been wounded by leopards, elephants reassuring youngsters in distress and dolphins preventing sick companions from drowning, with a wealth of anecdotes, scientific observations, wry humour and incisive intelligence, The Age of Empathy is essential reading for all who believe in the power of our connections to each other.
The biological functions of coloration in animals are sometimes surprising. Color can attract mates, intimidate enemies, and distract predators. But color patterns can also conceal animals from detection. Concealing coloration is unusual because it is an adaptation not only to the visual features of the environment but also to the perceptual and cognitive capabilities of other organisms. Judy Diamond and Alan Bond bring to light the many factors at work in the evolution of concealing coloration. Animals that resemble twigs, tree bark, stones, and seaweed may appear to be perfect imitations, but no concealment strategy is without flaws. Amid the clutter of the natural world, predators search for minute, telltale clues that will reveal the identity of their prey. Predators have remarkable abilities to learn to discriminate the fake from the real. But prey have their own range of defensive tactics, evolving multiple appearances or the ability to change color at will. Drawing on modern experimental evidence of the functional significance of animal color strategies, Diamond and Bond offer striking illustrations of how the evolution of features in one organism can be driven by the psychology of others. Concealing Coloration in Animals takes readers on a scientific adventure that explores creatures inside mats of floating seaweed, mice and lizards on desert rocks and sand, and rare parrots in the rainforest of New Zealand. Color photographs extensively document the mind-boggling array of deceptive strategies animals use to blend in, mislead, or vanish from view.
This detailed and comprehensive guide to the 151 snakes indigenous to southern Africa covers all essential aspects of snake biology and behavior. Now in its second edition, A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa has been updated, revised and expanded to include at least 11 newly discovered and 30 re-classified species and sub-species.
New information based on international scientific research has been included in the species accounts relating to behavior, identification, reproduction and snake venom.
This readable and user-friendly guide will be invaluable to herpetologists, snake collectors, hikers, gardeners, campers and householders, or anyone who may encounter or want to know more about these fascinating and widely misunderstood reptiles.
Put the world's richest and most diverse ecosystem in your pocket Ecotravellers now have a simplified pocket guide to the stunning wildlife of this exotic region including toucans and parrots, monkeys and anteaters, frogs and toads, crocodiles and snakes. It is the perfect pocket reference that is easy to use while hiking or floating through this amazing region and ideal for field use by novices and experts alike. Printed on an innovative waterproof, rip-proof paper, these 1 oz. guides are built to last and can take a beating in a pack or a boat in all kinds of weather.
Darkness has shaped the lives of humans for millennia, and in Dark Skies, Tiffany Francis travels around Britain and Europe to learn more about nocturnal landscapes and humanity's connection to the night sky. For a year, Tiffany travels through different nightscapes across the UK and beyond. She experiences 24-hour daylight while swimming in the Gulf of Finland and visits Norway to witness the Northern Lights and speak to people who live in darkness for three months each year. She hikes through the haunted yew forests of Kingley Vale and embarks on a nocturnal sail down the River Dart. As she travels, Tiffany explores how our relationship with darkness and the night sky has changed over time. In this personal and beautifully written nature memoir, Tiffany Francis investigates how our experiences of the night-time world have permeated our history, folklore, science, geography, art and literature.
From mice to manatees, identifying mammals can be simple, informative and fun. Award-winning author Stan Tekiela's famous field guide includes all 77 of Florida's mammals, organized by family (from small to large). Each type of species gets a full-page photograph and three pages of information including size, habitat, range and more. Track patterns and other signs that an animal might leave behind aid in ensuring correct identification. Professional photos and Stan's naturalist notes help you to discover all of Florida's diverse species.
Spiders, snakes, sharks and gators - they're out there, but there's no reason to fear them. Things That Bite takes a matter-of-fact look at more than 30 creatures found in the states that border the Gulf of Mexico. Detailed information includes fascinating facts, environmental benefits of each species, discussion of why some might bite, bite prevention and myths about each creature. Be aware, not afraid.
365 inspirational suggestions for enjoying nature. These 'Random Acts of Wildness' will encourage you to fall in love with, learn about or even help wildlife and wild places near you. A Random Act of Wildness is any little thing that you can do as part of your day, to enjoy nature. It can take a few seconds - like smelling a wildflower on the way to work; or a few hours - like creating a whole area for wildlife in your garden. Some Random Acts of Wildness don't take any time at all, but instead are little changes to your daily routine that will ultimately be better for wildlife, like buying a reusable coffee cup. The best Random Acts of Wildness immerse you (if only for a few seconds) in nature, setting your senses alight. Smelling freshly fallen rain, tasting the sweet explosion of a fresh blackberry as you pop it in your mouth, wriggling your toes in the icy waters of a stream, waking up to bird song. It's not just about seeing, but experiencing the wild in every way possible. Let this beautifully photographed adventure guide inspire you and help you to discover your 'wildest' life.
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