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Field Guides & Natural History  Mammals  Mammals: General

Mammals of the Southern Cone Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay

Field / Identification Guide New
By: Albert Martínez Vilalta(Editor), Toni Llobet François(Illustrator), Ilian Velikov(Illustrator), Blanca Martí de Ahumada(Illustrator), Àlex Mascarell Llosa(Illustrator), Francesc Jutglar(Illustrator), Faansie Peacock(Illustrator), Lluís Sogorb Mallebrera(Illustrator)
160 pages, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps
Publisher: Lynx Edicions
NHBS
Drawing on the wealth of material generated by the Handbook of the Mammal of the World project, this is the first of a series of illustrated checklists, this particular book covering southern South America.
Mammals of the Southern Cone
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  • Mammals of the Southern Cone ISBN: 9788416728268 Flexibound Feb 2020 In stock
    £24.99
    #249671
Price: £24.99
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About this book

This illustrated checklist covers the Southern Cone of South America and its associated islands, a region rich in habitat diversity and harboring a corresponding richness of mammalian life. Although not a traditional Field Guide, Mammals of the Southern Cone will equip both residents and visitors to the region with an easy-to-use resource to quickly learn all the species of mammals known to occupy the area.

It covers 486 species of mammals, including 17 introduced species with established wild populations (American Beaver, American Mink, Blackbuck, Black-capped Squirrel Monkey, Brown Rat, Chital, Common Fallow Deer, Common Muskrat, Eurasian Wild Pig, European Hare, European Rabbit, House Mouse, Mouflon, Pacific Rat, Pallas's Squirrel, Roof Rat, and Western Red Deer) and three domesticated ones (Alpaca, Llama, and Water Buffalo). Every species is illustrated, and each is accompanied with a distribution map showing where it occurs in the area. With respect to the domesticated species, Alpaca and Llama have full treatment because of their regional importance, while the Water Buffalo has been included because there are also feral populations that are hunted.

The Southern Cone land area (including south-eastern Brazil) represents 26% of the total land area of South America. It includes a wide array of habitats between the semiarid lowlands of the Chaco and the tropical rainforests of the Atlantic Forest region in the north to the Patagonian cold steppes in the south; and from the deserts, Chilean matorral, and Valdivian forests of the Pacific coast in the west to the Pampas grasslands in the east, including much of the Andes and their characteristic habitats.

This area harbors an important biodiversity of flora and fauna and includes numerous endemic species and even endemic families such as Microbiotheriidae (Monito del Monte) and Pontoporiidae (Franciscana). It also includes some of the best areas for observing mammals in the whole of South America, such as the Iguazú National Park, the Iberá Nature Reserve and the Peninsula Valdés World Heritage Site in Argentina; the Lauca, Chiloé, and Torres del Paine national parks in Chile; and the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve and Defensores del Chaco National Park in Paraguay.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Concise, identification focused
    By Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne 12 Apr 2020 Written for Flexibound
    This slim volume marks the first in a new series of illustrated mammal checklists following the completion of the nine-volume Handbook of Mammals of the World (HMW); an epic undertaking. This leaves Lynx Edicions in an enviable position amongst publishers by being in possession of illustrations of every extant mammal species in the world together with distribution maps and descriptive content available in a database. This means that they could very easily hive off the material into a series of country-level or regional field guides. Does this mean that in the future they will be unbeatable competition for other publishers of mammal field guides? I suspect they will challenge the established order, but they will not be unbeatable as different authors and publishers will have their own approach to field guides, each offering something new and different. I recently submitted the text and photographs to John Beaufoy Publishing for A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Sri Lanka which covers 95% of the species in Sri Lanka. I know from that experience that for many species, a single illustration is not enough and for species such as bats it is often necessary to have multiple images showing close-ups of anatomical features. However, when you consider the illustrations of what is currently available for regions such as South America, there is no doubt that this publication with illustrations of a high standard and concise but focused text is a hugely welcome addition.

    It is interesting they have cautiously labelled the volume as an ‘Illustrated Checklist’. I first visited South America as a student and backpacked in Peru for six weeks. In the 1980s, even for birds a modern field guide was not available. The checklist has many of the features of what one would expect from a field guide. The concise text is identification focused with details of distribution, habitat, measurements and a distribution map. The typically single illustration of each species is next to the text which makes efficient use of the space although that is a departure from field guides which often have a facing plate of text. If it had been described as a field guide, it would have been hard to disagree as it ticks most of the boxes for what is expected from a field guide. Arguably, in terms of quality and content, it surpasses some field guides I have seen. But billing it as an Illustrated Checklist is a safer description as a field guide should ideally have more illustrations and drawings to tease out identification features for some of the harder species.

    There is no author citation in the publication as it is a derivative from the nine-volume HMW. However, there is a preface by Don E. Wilson, Chief Editor of HMW and one of the most prolific writers on mammals of recent decades. There are two pages of introduction including a map which shows the countries covered, and were it not for the partial exclusion of Brazil, its coverage would have been effectively all of Southern South America. There is a half-page of text introducing the species account and then you are into the species accounts (pages 13 – 152) followed by just over a page of key references and finally the index.

    The arrangement of families, species and genera has been updated from the HMW for a forthcoming publication; an Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World. The updated arrangement has been used in this volume to the 56 families covered. Many of the land mammal families are confined to the New World. As with HMW, the taxonomic arrangement is based on molecular phylogenetics which attempt to discern the evolutionary relationships. There is more than one way to translate evolutionary arrangement into a linear arrangement in a book such as this. But whatever the exact approach taken, it sheds more light on the relationships between families. Thus, because Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) evolved from a land mammal, in this volume the Cetaceans are arranged between bats and camels; (note, hippopotamuses which are absent in South America are the closest living relatives). The eared seals and earless seals which are obligate marine mammals, follow the bears as they are all part of the Order Carnivora.

    The region has some spectacular land mammals which are popular with wildlife tourists. A few of them include for example the Giant Anteater, Three-toed Sloth, various primates, Greater Capybara, Jaguar and the Giant Otter. Unfortunately, perhaps ninety percent or more of the land mammals will be small or nocturnal or both. It is generally true of most countries that the majority of mammals are small or nocturnal or both. I am only too familiar with this having lived most of my life on two Islands; Britain and Sri Lanka at temperate and tropical latitudes respectively. Some of the most interesting mammals in South America include the New World marsupials. But most of these species are unlikely to be seen by casual visitors. The family Cricetidae (voles, lemmings and New World rats and mice) contribute 131 species and the bats in several families contribute 74 species. Even very keen mammal watchers will not see many of the mammals as they will require small mammal trapping under research permits. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful book to thumb through and see at a glance the mammal fauna of this part of the world-spanning opossums, armadillos, howler monkeys, New World porcupines, pacas, right whale, and Kodkod (a small cat found in Southern beech forests).

    The clever use of space means that 486 species are covered in a very slim book which is lightweight. This makes it suitable to be packed in for a visit even if the prime focus of a visit is a birding tour. Its portability and affordability will hopefully ignite further interest in the study of mammals by naturalists resident in the region who previously have not had a resource of this quality and authority. I suspect there will be a market for the publisher to use this format and page size for an illustrated checklist for the birds of South America as well.
    3 of 3 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No
Field / Identification Guide New
By: Albert Martínez Vilalta(Editor), Toni Llobet François(Illustrator), Ilian Velikov(Illustrator), Blanca Martí de Ahumada(Illustrator), Àlex Mascarell Llosa(Illustrator), Francesc Jutglar(Illustrator), Faansie Peacock(Illustrator), Lluís Sogorb Mallebrera(Illustrator)
160 pages, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps
Publisher: Lynx Edicions
NHBS
Drawing on the wealth of material generated by the Handbook of the Mammal of the World project, this is the first of a series of illustrated checklists, this particular book covering southern South America.
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