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Hotspots: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions [Hardcover]

Russell A Mittermeier , Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier , Norman Myers , Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier , Harrison Ford


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company (Jan. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9686397582
  • ISBN-13: 978-9686397581
  • Product Dimensions: 35.3 x 29.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 4 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,330,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

A fraction of the earth's surface--1.4 percent--is home to 60 percent of the world's living species. Conservation International has identified these "hotspots" as needing immediate protection in the effort to safeguard the planet's biodiversity. More than just reservoirs of abundant plant and animal life, however, the hotspots are at-risk areas already significantly degraded by humankind. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, these exceedingly important natural areas could be but a memory. But, according to author-biologist Russell Mittermeier, a relatively small amount of capital could help protect a combined area the size of Alaska and have a dramatic effect in conserving biodiversity. Some of these hotspots include the tropical Andes, Central American forests, Southeast Asia and the Philippines, the Cape region of South Africa, and the Mediterranean basin.

As a book, Hotspots is a weighty glimpse at a world in jeopardy. The color photography by the likes of Art Wolfe and others is first-rate--and literally eye opening: a surreal aerial photo of the Betsiboka River in Madagascar, for instance, shows massive erosion that is visible even from outer space. Each of 25 hotspot regions around the world is accompanied by text, scientific charts, maps, and lots of photos depicting both the destruction and the wonders of the natural world.

From Library Journal

This is Volume 2 of a planned three-volume series (Volume 1 was Megadiversity: Earth's Biologically Wealthiest Nations, 1997) jointly produced by the conservation groups Agrupaci"n Sierra Madre and Conservation International and CEMEX (the third largest cement company in the world). The hotspot strategy is a conservation effort that focuses on areas with the greatest concentration of life forms at greatest risk of extinction. (Coauthor Norman Myers, a leading conservationist, first conceived the idea in the late 1980s.) Determined through data analysis by over 100 scientists, the world's 25 hotspots once occupied 11.8 percent of the land surface; now, they constitute only 1.44 percent. Incredibly, this small areaDwhich includes western Ecuador, the tropical Andes, the Guinean forests of West Africa, the Indian Ocean islands, and a large section of the Sierra Nevada and coast of CaliforniaDis home to more than 60 percent of the terrestrial diversity of plants and animals. The first section of this encyclopedia includes various tables charting the diversity of plant and animal life found in each hotspot. Then, a detailed narrative describes the diversity of plant and animal life found in each area and the forces that threaten them. Over 350 stunning photographs by many world-renowned photographers richly enhance this "wake-up call." With an extensive bibliography, this is a good introduction to the concept of hotspot strategy, and any library concerned with conservation and biodiversity issues will want to purchase.DEva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
27 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a disservice to the cause...but close July 10 2000
By Alan Dean Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Yes, many of the photographs are spectacular. But the beautifully reproduced pictures aside, HOTSPOTS is an excellent example of how not to produce a tome designed to further the cause of conservation and ecological awareness. The bigger the book of this type (and HOTSPOTS is a very big book indeed), the more important variation in layout becomes, so that the eye will not become bored. In HOTSPOTS, full-page photographs alternate relentlessly with double-page spreads of interminably dry text better suited to an article in Nature or Scientific American than a coffee-table book intended for the general public. Even the Bulletin of the OTS (Organization for Tropical Studies) is livelier. Herein, endless lists and quoted statistics are interrupted only by the occasional attempt to actually interest the general reader in what is being said. The most accessible prose in the book is the foreword by Harrison Ford, and the publishers don't even have enough sense to put his name on the cover, where it might help to sell a few copies. Do I detect thereby a whiff of scientific snobbery? Attempting to plow through the unbearably monotonous text that only succeeds in rendering fascinating and vitally important information dull as dishwater, one has the impression of a group of scientists dedicated not to furthering the cause of conservation so much as effusively stating their own priorities. Only a few of the included maps are rendered with an eye (pun intended) toward enlightening the reader. In many, color separations are insufficiently boldly conceived and rendered, with the result that their interpretation becomes muddled. The book contains no explicatory drawings, diagrams, or other art work. These would not only serve to make the points lost in the text understandable, but would make the book far more pleasing to look at. Some of the most interesting photographs are set in the margins of the plodding text...and reproduced there so minutely as to render them virtually unviewable. Except for a few pages at the end of each section, there is no middle ground...photos are either full or double-page spread, or absurdly (for a book this size) tiny. More photographs, of varying size, should have been used in place of the monumentally dull text. The entire project cries out for the hand of a good designer. People will buy HOTSPOTS for the photographs or not at all because the text is, for the general public, virtually unreadable. What a shame and a disappointment. As an example of what might have been, I recommend THE LAST RAINFORESTS (Oxford; ed. Collins), MANU (Francis Patthey; MacQuarrie) and one of the most informative and best laid out of this type of volume, JUNGLES (Crown; Ayensu). Next time, they should let Harrison Ford write the whole book.
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Hotspots.... April 2 2000
By Dan Minicucci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Looking for a GREAT coffe table book. From front cover to back "Hotspots" contains some of the most compelling natural history photographs that I have ever seen. It is a wonderful mix of scientific information and "wake-up call" to the fragility of our planet. It is the photographs that will captivate you, exquisitly printed in large format this is a must have book for eco-minded readers.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding contribution to conservation studies. June 4 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Hotspots is rich presentation which provides an extensive survey of the most biologically diverse and endangered ecoregions on the planet, compiling the studies and perceptions of a range of scientists and conservationists to provide a strategy for coping with conservation challenges to each of these regions. 25 areas receive focus from the Andes to Africa and the Philippines. Extensive illustrations compliments in-depth, detailed articles. Very highly recommended: a special presentation.
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hotspots April 16 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book. My Aunt Avecita Chicchon helped in makeing this book, so I learned a bit more about it. This book has helped me understand a little bit more about the rain forests of the world, and appreciate the work my aunt and uncle are doing for South America.

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