Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Books on Southeast Asian Wildlife, Flora and Fauna

These are recent additions to our wide-ranging collection of books on the nature, wildlife, flora and fauna of the Asian region.

The Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles in Sabah by Robert Inger. The Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles in Sabah is a review of the rich herpetofauna of Borneo, including some of its less conspicuous and sometimes reviled members. Many of the species are unique to Borneo, most are active only at night, and most are completely dependent on forests for survival. This book on the frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodiles bring together photographs demonstrating that many of these animals are beautiful in colour and fascinating in form. Written for naturalists, students and travellers, the text provides information showing that not only is fear of the vast majority of the species misplaced but also how these animals fit into the complex workings of Borneo's ecosystems.

A Field Guide to the Native Garden @Hortpark: An Urban Oasis of the Native Flora And Fauna of Singapore by Tan Puay Yok, Richard T. Corlett et al. One of the theme gardens at Singapore's Hortpark is the Native Plant Garden, designed to promote more knowledge and use of the 2150 plants native to Singapore. Colour photographs, scientific data and horticultural and usage information are given in this book for 107 species which are in the Garden. With plant lists which indicate plant habits, care requirements, and traditional and landscape usages.

A Photographic Guide to Birds of Bali, Java and Sumatra by Tony Tilford, with photography by Alain Compost. The 2010 edition of the year 2000 photographic pocket guide to the birds of Bali, Java and Sumatra introduces 236 of the 635 known beautiful and sometimes threatened avian species of the area. General advice on birdwatching, a glossary, regional information, guidance on tracking and locating, on known birdwatching vantage points and on the National Parks introduce the photo insets for each species. Scientific names, identification characteristics and habitat preferences are included along with some reference to individual habitats. The book's thumbnail reference system is useful. With reading list, websites and index.

A Field Guide to Reptiles of South-East Asia by Indraneil Das. This impressively presented field guide gives scientific information on all the recorded reptiles of mainland Southeast Asia and the islands of Greater Sunda. Some 700 species are presented with colour illustrations and identification details. The full listings of 1000 species of crocodiles, turtles, lizards and snakes include local and scientific names, habitat, distribution, status and physical data for each species. With practical advice on snakebite, bibliography, glossary, Internet listings and index.

Wetlands in a City - The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve by Chua Ee Kiam. The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is perhaps not widely known but since 1989 it has been a safe haven for several species of migratory birds as well as a habitat for mangroves and many species of swamp dwellers. Outstanding photographs are on every page. An account is given of the difficult beginnings of the Reserve, the policies which underlie it, and the need for meticulous management to promote eco-balance. The photographs indicate what wonders the patient visitor may see from the boardwalks and viewing posts. Some of the urgent challenges which face the Reserve are outlined and its educational and international roles are noted.

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