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This complex, diverse yet compact book is the outcome of the Pasco Pantera project, an international conservation effort dedicated to fostering a system of interconnected and protected natural corridors throughout the Central American isthmus. Written by eminent authorities in the field it discusses the geological origins of the isthmus; the mosaic of landscapes that make it such a diverse and complex region; the differences that contrast the Pacific and Caribbean; the importance of Central American corridors and barriers for terrestrial organisms (including humans) and marine life; native peoples and cultures during pre-Colombian and colonial times; colonisation; the postcolonial period and independence; the current status of the native Indian peoples and their lands; and regional conservation issues for the twenty-first century. An important text.