672 pages, 150 colour photos, 75 maps
Bengal tigers in the jungles of India. Birds of Paradise in the wilds of New Guinea. Penguins on frozen beaches in Antarctica. These and other charismatic and endangered species find homes within the world's great wildlife reserves. Only a few persons have had the opportunity to visit many of these wildlife sanctuaries and witness these magnificent animals firsthand. Now, for the first time, the splendor of the world's most impressive wildlife reserves is captured on the printed page in this gloriously illustrated book by naturalists Laura and Bill Riley.
The Rileys, who received Pulitizer Prize nominations for their book on American wildlife refuges, spent ten years researching Nature's Strongholds, visiting reserves on every continent. The 600 sanctuaries featured were chosen on the basis of exhaustive on-scene reports, interviews, and personal experiences. From Ecuador's Gálapagos Islands to Tanzania's renowned Serengeti, they represent the last places on earth where the natural world remains intact. Some of the reserves are as large as European countries, others the size of small farms. Many are growing as people everywhere become aware of their beauty and importance.
Nature's Strongholds includes information on each sanctuary's historical and ecological significance, details about how to visit and what to see, and a comprehensive index for locating individual species.
A feast for the eyes, Nature's Strongholds offers a magical excursion into these majestic-and seldom seen-paradises. Anyone who has ever dreamed of taking such a journey will long to have Nature's Strongholds.
"The book's comprehensive geographical coverage, as well as the quality of information it provides, will ensure that it will find a broad audience around the world."
– Gerhard M. Van Den Top, Times Literary Supplement
"Nature's Strongholds [...] offers conservationists, wildlife enthusiasts, travel professionals, ecotourists and armchair travelers detailed information about the world's best reserves and parks [...] [N]o other book compares with this one in scope. It serves as a reminder of what humanity stands to lose in the battle to preserve the world's last natural 'strongholds."
– Roger Harris, American Scientist
"Wife and husband team the Rileys spent 10 years researching this guide to 600 nature reserves in more than 80 countries visited by 40 million people each year. The weighty result of their endeavors is a lavishly illustrated [...] book that will tempt any armchair traveler to get up and go [...] If we're lucky, what's recorded here will save some amazing creatures and plants from extinction. But the Rileys note the threats, from human settlement growth, logging, mineral and oil exploitation, to war, that make these reserves so necessary."
– Paul Nettleton, The Guardian
"Outstanding in layout, design, and photography [...] this book provides concise, well-written descriptions that capture the essence of each reserve and park [...] The book makes delightful reading for the armchair traveler and serves as an excellent overview and reference source for hard-to-find information on wildlife and wildlife habitats in more remote areas of the world."
"This exhaustive guide is a veritable encyclopedia [...] Covering 600 of the world's best reserves, the book summarizes the history and ecology of each and includes the best time to visit, types of animals, nearby lodging and transportation and temperature and rainfall charts [...] [T]he brilliant photography will have you packing your bags."
– San Francisco Chronicle
"The Rileys' book has the potential to close [...] gaps in protection. It will inspire more people to visit reserves [...] From aardwolf to zubr (European bison), this volume fills an information gap for scientists, environmental organizations, and anyone interested in the best wild places."
– Karlene Schwartz, Bioscience
"A splendid book. Nature's Strongholds is one of the best travel books ever written, filled with exciting information and certain to boost global ecotourism and conservation."
– Edward O. Wilson, biologist, educator, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author
"Nature's Strongholds is a well-designed, comprehensive compilation of critical information for all eco-inclined travelers, field researchers, and wildlife safari-goers – an exceptionally interesting and useful book."
– Peter Matthiessen, author and naturalist
"The Rileys' new book captures the essence of spectacular wildlife reserves around the world. I immediately pulled out my calendar to plan returns to much-loved parks and explorations of others I've yet to see. Each visitor to these places will not only take away life-long memories, but will also contribute economically to their long-term survival. I know of no other book like this."
– Kathryn Fuller, President, World Wildlife Fund-U.S.
"The Rileys have reminded us of precious landscapes that endure despite the intrusions of modern life, and of the importance of natural beauty in our lives. It is as close as one can get to a life list of places to be [...] at least once."
– Steve Sanderson, President, Wildlife Conservation Society
"From Botswana to the Camargue, from Denali to Komodo Island, this book covers more than 600 reserves in over 80 countries [...] Most of the world's charismatic and endangered species – many depicted here in gorgeous color photographs – owe their continued existence to such reserves, the last places on earth where nature remains more or less intact. The volume itself is a terrific resource."
– Scientific American
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Laura Riley was a writer and photographer specializing in the natural world. William Riley is a conservationist, writer, and businessman. The Rileys coauthored the Guide to the [U.S.] National Wildlife Refuges, a Pulitzer Prize nominee.