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Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide [Paperback]

Craig Guyer , Maureen A. Donnelly

Price: CDN$ 38.02 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Dec 20 2004 0520237595 978-0520237599
This field guide at last provides an authoritative and handy source for identifying amphibians and reptiles of Costa Rica's renowned Atlantic lowland tropical forests. Colorful frogs, lizards that can run across water, snapping turtles, spotted geckos, boa constrictors, crocodiles, and many other fascinating yet secretive species of amphibians and reptiles flourish in the region's myriad microhabitats. The La Selva Biological Station, a protected reserve, boasts a rich biota, making it and the surrounding area one of the most visited tropical forest sites in the world.

For travelers, ecotourists, and biologists, this comprehensive guide, written by two distinguished experts on the area's amphibians and reptiles, will be an essential resource while visiting La Selva and the surrounding tropical forests of Costa Rica. In addition to providing reliable field identification, it will help visitors to this area better understand the overall role of Central American amphibians and reptiles in the natural world as well as conservation efforts now being undertaken to ensure the survival of these intriguing creatures.

* 138 frogs, lizards, snakes, and crocodiles are included in keys based primarily on color patterns for easy identification

* Each species is illustrated with a color photograph; the guide also features range maps and black-and-white drawings

* Includes an overview of the natural history of each amphibian and reptile and gives helpful tips on where to observe them

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Review

"To those who have carried out research at La Selva, as well as for the serious layperson or even a first-time ecotourist, this book will be a delight. Many of these species will be seen along forest trails or in clearings nearly every day. The beauty of this splendid guide is its concise but authoritative coverage. Guyer and Donnelly have been carrying out research at La Selva for more than 25 years and have contributed much new information on the lives of these animals." - Jay M. Savage, author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica"

From the Inside Flap

"To those who have carried out research at La Selva, as well as for the serious layperson or even a first-time ecotourist, this book will be a delight. Many of these species will be seen along forest trails or in clearings nearly every day. The beauty of this splendid guide is its concise but authoritative coverage. Guyer and Donnelly have been carrying out research at La Selva for more than 25 years and have contributed much new information on the lives of these animals. A great strength is the series of keys based primarily on live coloration for rapid and accurate identification in the field. The added value is that the book covers 90% of the amphibians and reptiles found in the Caribbean lowlands from northeastern Honduras to and including Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. In sum, my words for this book are: 'Mighty Fine'! "—Jay M. Savage, author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica

"A 40-year intensive look, precisely what we all wished we had had when we first stepped into the Neotropical rainforest. Cleanly written, in a language easily accessible to the citizen naturalist . . . . and coupled with the essential many good color photos, this book is THE herpetological starting point for any naturalist, biodiversity manager, and scientist exploring lowland Central American rainforest. It superbly complements Savage's country-wide coverage."—Daniel H. Janzen, editor of Costa Rican Natural History

"This book is an important contribution to our understanding of the herpetofauna of one of the world's foremost tropical field stations. It represents an essential step toward easy field identification of an important group of tropical vertebrates. It will serve as a stimulus and set the standard, not only for herpetologists, but for students of other groups interested in producing easily used, attractive guides to local faunas and floras."—Don E. Wilson, Senior Scientist, Smithsonian Institution, and Chairman of the Board, Organization for Tropical Studies

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great price Feb. 2 2005
By KeyGeek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I took this book on a recent research trip to a preserve near La Selva, and used it daily. Not just a field guide with pretty pictures, this book contains a key to the species. Since it is specific to this area of the country, it cut down on the amount of material that had to be sorted through to ID organisms. I could quickly key out species without having to worry about whether or not this was the right area for that particular species. The photos were clear and beautiful, with different color phases and sexual dimorphisms illustrated. If you are traveling to this specific area of Costa Rica, this book is really useful. It's small, lightweight, easy to use, and CHEAP!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you stay in La Selva, Costa Rica Oct. 19 2007
By Jason Weigner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Nice compact book. The only trouble is that it is so specific to one little area that it misses species that may be just down the road or just less common in this area. Nice for a quick reference for common species but not as extensive as I would like. The keys are useful. It is not always easy finding a field guide with good keys!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, great destination Oct. 9 2012
By Carl Bernzweig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most user-friendly field guides I've ever carried. Portable (for what it's worth*), clearly written and well laid-out, with dichotomous keys to help zero in on the ID of most any herp you get a good enough look at while visiting Costa Rica's La Selva Research Station--itself a very well laid-out, user-friendly destination for DIY eco-tourists.

NB: A number of genus names (especially frogs) have changed since the book's publication, but you can still use it for ID, then cross-reference online for the updated names. Same probably true of just about any amphibian field guide that wasn't published more or less yesterday.

*Odds are pretty good you'll be walking in rain when you want to use this book, and it's no kind of waterproof. We brought laminated copies of the keys with us.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dont use for Osa Peninsula. Sept. 23 2013
By Ryan T. Tierney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not a horrible book. Laid out well, good descriptions and decent pictures. May be Great for La Selva, but wasnt much use for the Osa Peninsula area. One thing I noticed is that the range maps where in accurate. I talked to a couple guides and they said it was outdated, a little inaccurate, has some old or less common naming conventions, and is missing a bunch of species. One guide called it "junk". Neither kept it in their library. So unless you are specifically going to La Selva, I wouldn't recommend it, and even then there are probably better choices. I gave it 3 stars only because I was using it outside its target area.....but Costa Rica isnt all that big and the habitats dont vary that much. Sure youll have niche species that will get missed, but I still think they could have done a lot better. I found the fold out guides from Rainforest publications more helpful then this book and they are just laminated cards.

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