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Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica [Paperback]

Carrol L. Henderson , Alexander F. Skutch , Steve Adams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 30.95
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Book Description

May 1 2002 Corrie Herring Hooks Series (Book 51)
At the biological crossroads of the Americas, Costa Rica hosts an astonishing array of plants and animals-over half a million species! Ecotourists, birders, and biologists come from around the world to immerse themselves in the country's unspoiled rain forests, mountains, and beaches, drawn by the likelihood of seeing more than three or four hundred species of birds and other animals during even a short stay. To help all of these visitors and local residents identify and enjoy the wildlife of Costa Rica, this field guide presents nearly three hundred species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates. Carrol Henderson, an experienced wildlife biologist, traveler, and tour leader in Costa Rica, has chosen the species that ecotourists are most likely to see, along with a selection of rarer, sought-after animals. He gives a general introduction to each group of animals, followed by individual species accounts that highlight identification features and interesting ecological adaptations for survival. His stunning close-up photographs and distribution maps complete each entry. In addition, Henderson includes a wealth of data about Costa Rica's natural environment, as well as a trip preparation checklist and lists of conservation organizations, wildlife tourism sites, and wildlife vocalization tapes and CDs. With so much information so readily and readably accessible, this field guide will be essential for planning and enjoying your time in Costa Rica.

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Product Description

About the Author

Carrol L. Henderson, a professional wildlife biologist, has made over twenty-five trips to Costa Rica since 1969 and has led over thirty-five birding and wildlife tours there and throughout Latin America since 1987. He lives in Blaine, Minnesota.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dont let the title of this book fool you. Feb. 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought this book because I wanted a field guide to tropical wildife. Since Audubon and Peterson do not offer guides of this sort I went out on a limb. This book is definately not a field guide, but a desk reference. If you want to quickly identify the birds you are seeing, this is by no means the book to have. There are wonderful pictures and great descriptions, but the layout of the book takes time to find what you are looking for. It should also be noted that this is predominantly a guide to the birds of costa rica, there are less than a dozen insects mentioned and about the same number of reptiles/amphibians. Overall good information on the birds and few other animals listed, but terrible format. One final thought- this is not a light book to have in your backback hiking through backcountry Costa Rica.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't keep my hands of it! Jan. 28 2004
Format:Paperback
An amazingly beautiful book about the wildlife in Costa Rica. Not as thorough and extensive as "A Guide To The Birds Of Costa Rica", but so artistically presented, I forgive it in a heart beat. The pictures of each bird, butterfly, frog, sloth and more are artistic, rich, expressive and liveful. I would be so lucky to bring back just one that look as good as that.
A must-have to read before and after a trip to Costa Rica. And in your hotel room after a field trip. Or on the bus going to a field trip. Or in your living room, dreaming about going there...
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and essential Feb. 26 2004
Format:Paperback
At a hefty 600 pages this collection has something for everyone--and manages not to skimp on the essentials or pad itself with filler. Though it would serve well as an introduction, "Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica" is even better as a companion (especially to my favorite book on the country, "Costa Rica: The Last Country The Gods Made").
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dont let the title of this book fool you. Feb. 3 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book because I wanted a field guide to tropical wildife. Since Audubon and Peterson do not offer guides of this sort I went out on a limb. This book is definately not a field guide, but a desk reference. If you want to quickly identify the birds you are seeing, this is by no means the book to have. There are wonderful pictures and great descriptions, but the layout of the book takes time to find what you are looking for. It should also be noted that this is predominantly a guide to the birds of costa rica, there are less than a dozen insects mentioned and about the same number of reptiles/amphibians. Overall good information on the birds and few other animals listed, but terrible format. One final thought- this is not a light book to have in your backback hiking through backcountry Costa Rica.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Book Is Feb. 18 2005
By Christopher J Traub - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
People who got this book with the wrong expectations will naturally be disappointed. It's not a comprehensive field guide. If you expect a photograph and description of every single plant and animal species in Costa Rica, sorry, it's not all there.

Having said that, I didn't expect such things when I got the book and I was in no way disappointed with it. There is so much wonderful and useful information in this book that I can't imagine giving it less than five stars. Many times my wife and I commented to each other that it was "a very excellent book."

There are excellent photographs and very good species descriptions for birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects along with lots of amusing stories. There is much useful information about climatic effects and the author often tells you what kind of Holdridge life zone you are in. Xandari, for example, is tropical premontane moist forest.

This book has my unreserved and whole-hearted recommendation. If you're going to Costa Rica I hope you'll see scarlet macaws because they are truly magnificent.

For birders I recommend also getting "A Field Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica" by Stiles and Skutch. For reptiles and amphibians there is also "A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica" by Leenders.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but superficial Aug. 31 2004
By Simone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a great overview of the most common and the most sought-after wildlife in Costa Rica. It is nowhere close to all-inclusive. If you're looking for something inclusive, buy field guides for specific types of critters (birds, reptiles, etc). The pictures are gorgeous and are a good supplement to specific field guides. The book is really too big for taking into the field.

The best features of this book are the maps and the information about scarcity. It tells how often a particular animal was sighted out of 15 trips to areas where it occurs.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't keep my hands of it! Jan. 28 2004
By Genevieve Bertrand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An amazingly beautiful book about the wildlife in Costa Rica. Not as thorough and extensive as "A Guide To The Birds Of Costa Rica", but so artistically presented, I forgive it in a heart beat. The pictures of each bird, butterfly, frog, sloth and more are artistic, rich, expressive and liveful. I would be so lucky to bring back just one that look as good as that.
A must-have to read before and after a trip to Costa Rica. And in your hotel room after a field trip. Or on the bus going to a field trip. Or in your living room, dreaming about going there...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but inadequate--A real disappointment! May 23 2006
By T. Rambo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had great hopes for this book and I did use it for a course I taught. Costa Rica just has too many species to be covered by a single book. Invariably, the species we saw was not in the book. One is far better off getting guides to the particular groups.

The biggest disappointment was the range maps. The maps of the species were incomplete and self-serving. The maps were not true range maps, but only indicated the particular resorts where the author had worked. The range information was deep inside the narration. There was an overemphasis on the birds and other groups were neglected.
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