Traveller's Wildlife Guide Southern Africa, by Bill Branch, Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart and Warwick Tarboton
Preface to Wildlife Guide Southern Africa: This book is aimed at environmentally conscious travellers for whom some of the best parts of any trip are glimpses of wildlife in natural settings; at people who, when speaking of a journey, often remember days and locations by the wildlife they saw: "That was where we watched the elephants," and "That was the day we saw the eagle catch a snake."
The purpose of this book is to heighten enjoyment of a trip and enrich wildlife sightings by providing you with information to identify several hundred of the most frequently encountered animals of southern Africa, along with up-to-date information on their natural history, behavior, and conservation. Your skills at recognizing many of the species you see on your travels through the region will be greatly enhanced with this book's color illustrations of 99 species of amphibians and reptiles, 312 birds, and 103 mammals. The idea to write this book grew out of our own travel experiences and frustrations.
First and foremost, we found that we could not find a single book to take along on a trip that would help identify all the types of animals and plants that interested us. There are field guides to individual groups of animals, such as birds or mammals, but their number and weight quickly accumulate until you need an extra suitcase just to carry them all. Thus, the idea: create a single guidebook that travellers could carry to help them identify and learn about the different kinds of animals they are most likely to see. Also, in our experience with guided tours, we've found that guides vary tremendously in their knowledge of nature and wildlife. Many, of course, are fantastic sources of information on animal ecology and behavior. Some, however, know only about certain kinds of animals, such as birds, for instance. Many others, we found, knew precious little about animals, and what information they did tell their groups was often incorrect. Last, like most ecotravellers, we are concerned about the threats to many species as their natural habitats are damaged or destroyed by people; when we travelled, we wanted current information on the conservation statuses of species we encountered.
This book provides the traveller with conservation information on many of the species pictured or discussed in the book. A few administrative notes: because this book has an international audience, we present measurements in both metric and English system units. The scientific classification of common species by now, you might think, would be pretty much established and unchanging; but you would be wrong. These days, what with molecular methods to compare species, classifications of various groups that were first worked out during the 1800s and early 1900s are undergoing radical changes.
Many bird groups, for instance, are being reclassified after comparative studies of their DNA. The research is so new that many biologists are still arguing about the results. We cannot guarantee that all the classifications that we use in the book are absolutely the last word on the subject, or that we have been wholly consistent in the classifications we used. However, for most users of this book, such minor transgressions are probably too esoteric to be of much significance.
We need to acknowledge the help of a number of people in producing this book. First, much of the information we use is gleaned from published sources, and we owe the authors of these books and scientific papers a great deal of credit. Many of their names and titles of their publications are listed in the References and Additional Reading section on page 234. Many of the bird illustrations in this book are reproduced from Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa, by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe, and published by Christopher Helm, an imprint of A&C Black Publishers; we thank Nigel Redman and Sara Doctors for permission to use these illustrations.
Bill Branch would like to thank Aaron Bauer, Don Broadley, and Alan Channing for answering queries readily and helpfully, and Randy Babb, whose love of amphibians and reptiles allowed him to prepare excellent color plates. We wish also to thank the artists who produced the wonderful illustrations: Priscilla Barrett (mammals). Randy Babb (amphibians and reptiles), and Brian Small, John Gale, and Norman Arlott (birds).
Content of Traveller's Wildlife Guide Southern Africa:
Chapter 1. Wildlife Viewing, Ecotourism, and Southern Africa
Wildlife Viewing and Ecotourism
How Ecotourism Helps
Ecotourism and Southern Africa
Chapter 2. Southern Africa: Climate, Geography, Habitats
(by Bill Branch)
Deciduous Woodland and Savannah
Desert and Near-desert
Chapter 3. Parks, Reserves, and Getting Around
(by Chris and Tilde Stuart)
Eastern Cape Province (EC)
KwaZulu-Natal Province, Lesotho, Swaziland (KZN)
Northern Cape Province (NC)
Limpopo and North-West Provinces (LNW)
Western Cape Province (WC)
Chapter 4. Environmental Threats and Conservation
(by Warwick Tarboton)
Chapter 5. How to Use This Book: Ecology and Natural History
What is Natural History?
What is Ecology and What Are Ecological Interactions?
How to Use This Book
Information in the Family Profiles
Information in the Color Plate Sections
Chapter 6. Amphibians (by Bill Branch)
General Characteristics and Natural History
Seeing Amphibians in Southern Africa
1. Burrowing Frogs
2. Platannas (African Clawed Frogs)
4. Reed Frogs and Tree Frogs
5. Little Terrestrial Frogs
6. Bullfrogs and Sand Frogs
7. River, Stream, and Grass Frogs
8. Ghost Frogs
Chapter 7. Reptiles (by Bill Branch)
General Characteristics and Natural History
Seeing Reptiles in Southern Africa
1. Terrapins, Sea Turtles, and Tortoises
2. Wormy Reptiles and Primitive Snakes (Including Pythons)
3. Colubrids: Harmless Snakes, The Silent Majority
4. More Colubrids: Back-fangs-Sheep Stabbers and Toad Prickers
5. Dangerous Snakes: A Venomous Few
6. Geckos-Reptilian Acrobats
7. Agamas and Chameleons
8. Skinks and Lacertids
9. Plated and Girdled Lizards
10. Monitor Lizards
Chapter 8. Birds (by Warwick Tarboton)
General Characteristics of Birds
Classification of Birds
Features of Southern Africa's Birds
Seeing Birds in Southern Africa
1. Large Terrestrial Birds (Ostrich, Cranes, Bustards)
2. Swimming Waterbirds
3. Seabirds, Including Penguins and Pelicans
4. Large Wading Birds
5. Birds of Prey
6. Game Birds
7. Marsh Birds
9. Gulls and Terns
10. Pigeons and Doves
11. Parrots, Turacos (Louries), and Cuckoos
12. Owls and Nightjars
13. Swifts and Swallows
14. Mousebirds and Trogons
15. Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, and Rollers
16. Hornbills and Hoopoes
17. Woodpeckers, Barbets, and Honeyguides
18. Larks, Pipits, Wagtails, and Longclaws
19. Crows, Drongos, Orioles, and Tits
20. Bulbuls and Babblers
21. Thrushes, Chats, and Robin-Chats
23. African Flycatchers
25. Starlings and Oxpeckers
26. Sunbirds, Sugarbirds, and White-eyes
27. Sparrows, Weavers, Bishops, and Widowbirds
28. Waxbills and Whydahs
29. Canaries and Buntings
Chapter 9. Mammals (by Chris and Tilde Stuart)
General Characteristics of Mammals
Classification of Mammals
1. Insectivores-Shrews, Golden Moles, Hedgehogs, and Elephant-shrews
4. Aardvark and Pangolin
5. Hares, Rabbits, and Hyrax
9. Zebras and Rhinoceroses
10. Giraffe, Antelope, Buffalo, Pigs, and Hippopotamus
References and Additional Reading
National Park Photos
This is an extract from the book: Traveller's Wildlife Guide Southern Africa, by Bill Branch, Chris Stuart, Tilde Stuart and Warwick Tarboton.
Book title: Traveller's Wildlife Guide Southern Africa
Authors: Bill Branch; Chris Stuart; Tilde Stuart; Warwick Tarboton
Double Storey Books
Cape Town, South Africa 2007
Softcover, 14x21 cm, 400 pages, countless colour illustrations
Branch, Bill und Stuart, Tilde und Stuart, Chris und Tarboton, Warwick im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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