464 pages, 39 plates with colour illustrations; 250 colour photos, colour distribution maps
This is the ideal guidebook to the wildlife of the Arctic, which is undergoing such a perilous change. Polar expert Richard Sale describes the ecological and human dynamics of the Arctic as a whole, with detailed information about the peoples of the region and their history. He also discusses the future for the region and its wildlife, severely threatened by both climatic change and the overwhelming pollution created by humankind.
Following sections on Arctic geology, geography, speciation and biogeography, A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife provides extensive field coverage of all the region's mammals and birds. In-depth information on each species includes notes on identification, size, voice, distribution, diet, breeding, taxonomy and more.
A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife is packed with stunning photographs and features range maps of the entire circumpolar ranges – including oceans and seas – of the various polar creatures. This beautifully illustrated and authoritative book will provide a renewed understanding of the Arctic and its unique challenges.
"[...] I think that this book will be of limited value as a field guide to birds, mostly due to the limitations previously mentioned in this review. The lack of illustrations for all the forms that may be encountered (especially females) would alone necessitate having another field guide handy. Thankfully, there are plenty of good field guides available for most, if not all, of the Arctic regions. I’m much less qualified to pronounce judgment on the merits of the mammal field guide, but it appears adequate for that purpose.
However, its usefulness as a reference is unquestionable. Moreover, the introduction to the region provided here should be mandatory reading for any first time travelers to the Arctic, or anyone even slightly interested in this region. Thus, despite the issues and outright errors this book is recommended and will accompany me on my first journey to the Arctic (whenever that might be)."
- Grant McCreary (27-03-2008), read the full review at The Birder's Library
Defining the Arctic
The Arctic climate
Humans in the Arctic
Adaptations for Arctic life
Speciation and biogeography
The fragile Arctic
How to use the field guides Field guide to Arctic birds
Albatrosses, petrels and allies
Stints and sandpipers
Snipes and dowitchers
Curlews, godwits and allies
Pipits and wagtails
Thrushes and chats
Warblers, tits and chickadees
New World warblers
New World sparrows and buntings
Field guide to Arctic mammals
A visitor's guide to the Arctic
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Richard Sale is the author of Polar Reaches: The History of Arctic and Antarctic Exploration. He lives in the UK. Per Michelsen frequently photographs the northern reaches of the globe. He lives in Norway.