Title: Wildlife of the Okavango
Author: Duncan Butchart
Genre: Wildlife guide
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa (Nature)
3rd revised edition. Cape Town, South Africa 2016
ISBN 9781775843382 / ISBN 978-1-77584-338-2
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 144 pages, 500 colour photographs
Wildlife of the Okavango is a compact introductory guide to the more common birds, mammals, fishes, plants and other forms of wildlife found in the Okavango region. By bringing all of these life forms together, it also emphasizes the crucial interrelationships in nature. The wildlife guide to the Okavango covers most of the species that are likely to be seen during a safari or short visit. Mammals and birds have been emphasized, as they are the groups that are of greatest interest to most visitors. Reptiles and frogs generally remain hidden from human eyes and are rarely encountered, while fishes carry out their lives largely unseen below the water surface.
Invertebrates are not treated in any detail, except for the eye-catching dragonflies that thrive in wetland habitats. Of the plants, only the larger trees and aquatic species are featured in any detail, as these are conspicuous to the traveller. Knowing what wildlife occurs in the region helps to provide a greater understanding and appreciation of the whole ecosystem. Needless to say, the resident predators such as Lion, Leopard, African Fish Eagle, Pel's Fishing Owl, Nile Crocodile and Tigernsh are completely dependent on the web of plants and smaller creatures that provide their food base. Species are arranged in such a way that those with similar characteristics are grouped together.
In addition to the species featured, mention is made of similar less common species with which they might be confused. The vernacular and scientific names of species follow those of the most recent authoritative publications, and Setswana names, where known, are provided at end of species entries. At the beginning of the section, introductory notes provide general hints on observation and identification. The area covered by this guide extends the Okavango Delta to incorporate the ndo-Linyanti wetlands to the northeast, and adjacent Chobe National Park; Wildlife of the Okavango will also be useful in the Zambezi Region of Namibia, previously known as the Caprivi.
GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY
DYNAMICS OF THE DELTA
TERMITES AND ISLANS FORMATION
ELEPHANTS AND THE LANDSCAPE
TOURISM AND CONSERVATION
Trees and shrubs
Aquatic and semi-aquatic plants
Soft-stemmed shrubs, herbs and grasses
TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
REFERENCES AND FURTHER