423 pages, 76 col illus, figs, maps
A country uncommonly rich in plants, animals, and natural habitats, Vietnam shelters a significant portion of the world's biological diversity, including rare and unique organisms and an unusual mixture of tropical and temperate species.
This book is the first comprehensive account of Vietnam's natural history in English. Illustrated with maps, photographs, and thirty-five original watercolour illustrations, the book offers a complete tour of the country's plants and animals along with a full discussion of the factors shaping their evolution and distribution. Separate chapters focus on northern, central, and southern Vietnam, regions that encompass tropics, subtropics, mountains, lowlands, wetland and river regions, delta and coastal areas, and offshore islands. The authors provide detailed descriptions of key natural areas to visit, where a traveller might explore limestone caves or glimpse some of the country's twenty-seven monkeys and ape species and more than 850 bird species.
The book also explores the long history of humans in the country, including the impact of the Vietnam-American War on plants and animals, and describes current efforts to conserve Vietnam's complex, fragile, and widely threatened biodiversity.
'the first ever summary of the country's rich natural history... It is beautifully written and illustrated, combining expert scientific knowledge with an obvious love of Vietnam's diverse biota that should please both scientist and popular reader alike.' New Scientist 'This book brings the thrill of discovery to a wider audience... Clearly and comprehensively written by three biologists, each bringing a lifetime's experience of the country, it provides the kind of background you often wish that field guides carried, but which their space prohibits. It provides a fascinating and informative introduction to a region long overlooked by biologists and ecotourists alike. With the treatment of wildlife and plants divided into regional sections, and separate chapters on conservation and Vietnam's 52 different ethnic peoples, plus fine overviews of the history of the land and its biota, this lovely book should entice many to travel to this wonderful country.' Adrian Barnett, BBC Wildlife Magazine 'the first comprehensive account of Vietnam's natural history written in English' Jessie King, The Independent
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Eleanor Jane Sterling is director, Martha Maud Hurley is biodiversity scientist, and Minh Duc Le is Vietnam biodiversity specialist, all at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History. Joyce Ann Powzyk is visiting assistant professor of biology at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.