A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife

Overview

The most comprehensive field guide to Arctic wildlife.

This is the ideal guidebook to the wildlife of the Arctic, which is undergoing such a perilous change. Polar expert Richard Sale describes the ecological and human dynamics of the Arctic as a whole, with detailed information about the peoples of the region and their history. He also discusses the future for the region and its wildlife, severely threatened by both climatic change and the ...

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Overview

The most comprehensive field guide to Arctic wildlife.

This is the ideal guidebook to the wildlife of the Arctic, which is undergoing such a perilous change. Polar expert Richard Sale describes the ecological and human dynamics of the Arctic as a whole, with detailed information about the peoples of the region and their history. He also discusses the future for the region and its wildlife, severely threatened by both climatic change and the overwhelming pollution created by humankind.

Following sections on Arctic geology, geography, speciation and biogeography, the book provides extensive field coverage of all the region's mammals and birds. In-depth information on each species includes notes on identification, size, voice, distribution, diet, breeding, taxonomy and more.

A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife is packed with stunning photographs and features range maps of the entire circumpolar ranges — including oceans and seas — of the various polar creatures. This beautifully illustrated and authoritative book will provide a renewed understanding of the Arctic and its unique challenges.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
A thorough examination ... expansive coverage.... carefully researched... A lovingly presented guide.
— Cheryl Ward
Wildlife Activist
This is a beautifully done field guide on the Arctic... A great reference book!
The Midwest Book Review
Blend[s] a field guide to Arctic birds and mammals with a mini travel guide to the Arctic.
— Diane C. Donovan
American Reference Books Annual
Defines terms and retraces history with such lucid style one cannot put the book down.
— Diane M. Calabrese
Wildlife Conservation
[A] richly illustrated, fact-packed celebration of the Arctic.
Arctic
The overall quality of this book is excellent; it has very sharp, well-reproduced color photographs, excellent illustrations, and concise, well-written text.... I strongly recommend it.
— Stephen R. Johnson
Globe and Mail
[Globe and Mail Christmas 2006 Gift Book selection] A richly illustrated and fact-packed celebration of the Arctic's mammals and birds, with each species annotated in meticulous details. ... More than 450 stunning and original colour plates.
Science News
A comprehensive guide ... replete with vivid full-color photographs.
Canadian Camera
This is every bit a reference book, illustrated by over 450 high quality colour photographs plus art renderings
— Joy McDonell
Choice
This beautiful, useful book is a must for any library covering animal life, geography, or the Arctic. Summing Up: Essential.
— B. Galbraith, Washington State University
Journal of Polar Research, Norwegian Polar Institu - Helle V. Goldman
A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife is a lavishly illustrated, highly informative and comprehensive volume that will be an important addition to the library of anyone with a deep and abiding interest in Arctic natural history... The introductory material is an enormous asset to the volume.... Together, these first three richly detailed introductory chapters—"Defining the Arctic", "Arctic geology" and "The Arctic climate," provide the best general scientific introduction to the Arctic that I have encountered... Students and visitors to the Arctic will find these introductory chapters an unsurpassed resource, and even seasoned Arctic scientists and permanent residents of the Far North will find a great deal of interest here. The wealth of information that Sale has brought together is enlivened by his clear writing style, in which the "dry" facts are animated with engagingly human touches... Each species is illustrated with at least one, often superb, colour photograph...and a clear distribution map, also in colour, all attractively laid out.... "This book is a celebration of the Arctic" promises the author in his preface. He delivers.
Booklist - Cheryl Ward
A thorough examination ... expansive coverage.... It is obvious that this book was carefully researched and that the author has strong sentiment for the animals of this environmentally fragile area... A lovingly presented guide.
American Reference Books Annual - Diane M. Calabrese
Defines terms and retraces history with such lucid style one cannot put the book down.
The Midwest Book Review - Diane C. Donovan
Blend[s] a field guide to Arctic birds and mammals with a mini travel guide to the Arctic.... This [is] the perfect specific reference for any library strong on Arctic wildlife identification and natural history.
Arctic - Stephen R. Johnson
A book of this size and complexity that did not have a few omissions, typographical errors, and mistakes would be surprising.... Notwithstanding .... the overall quality of this book is excellent; it has very sharp, well-reproduced color photographs, excellent illustrations, and concise, well-written text.... I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Arctic.
The Canadian Field-Naturalist, Vol. 120 - Roy John
The species descriptions are detailed and clear and are some of the best I have read.... While this is not meant as a coffee-table book the photographs are really eye-catching.... I will take this book with me on my upcoming trip to the Pribiloffs.
Canadian Camera - Joy McDonell
If you are planning a photography trip to the Far North, you might want to weigh the advantages of packing this nearly three-pound comprehensive guide in your luggage. This is every bit a reference book, illustrated by over 450 high quality colour photographs plus art renderings of the various species.
Choice - B. Galbraith
The first comprehensive guide to Arctic wildlife.... This beautiful, useful book is a must for any library covering animal life, geography, or the Arctic. Summing Up: Essential. All levels.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071784
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Sale is the author of Polar Reaches: The History of Arctic and Antarctic Exploration. He lives in the UK.

Per Michelsen frequently photographs the northern reaches of the globe. He lives in Norway.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface

Introduction

  • Defining the Arctic
  • Arctic geology
  • The Arctic climate
  • Humans in the Arctic
  • Arctic habitats
  • Adaptations for Arctic life
  • Speciation and biogeography
  • The fragile Arctic
How to use the field guides Field guide to Arctic birds
  • Loons
  • Grebes
  • Albatrosses, petrels and allies
  • Cormorants
  • Wildfowl
    • Swans
    • Geese
    • Ducks
  • Raptors
  • Grouse
  • Cranes
  • Waders
    • Plovers
    • Stints and sandpipers
    • Snipes and dowitchers
    • Curlews, godwits and allies
    • Turnstones
    • Phalaropes
  • Skuas
  • Gulls
  • Terns
  • Auks
  • Owls
  • Kingfishers
  • Larks
  • Swallows
  • Pipits and wagtails
  • Thrushes and chats
  • Warblers, tits and chickadees
  • Crows
  • New World warblers
  • New World sparrows and buntings
  • Finches
Field guide to Arctic mammals
  • Shrews
  • Rodents
  • Lagomorphs
  • Ungulates
  • Carnivores
    • Dogs
    • Bears
    • Cats
    • Mustelids
  • Pinnipeds
  • Cetaceans
A visitor's guide to the Arctic

Index

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Preface

Preface

The Arctic can appear empty. It can also appear an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment, demanding to all who venture there. It is both those things, but it can also be magical.

This book is a celebration of the Arctic. It deals primarily with its wildlife, but a discussion of birds and mammals cannot restrict itself solely to identification, diet and breeding biology; it must also consider the wider picture. It cannot ignore the geology, the geography and the climate that define the habitat in which those animals and birds live. It cannot ignore the threats currently faced by the region, such as climate change, and the probable outcome for the wildlife if those threats are ignored.

The book starts by defining the Arctic and by considering how animals and plants have evolved to cope with the tough Arctic environment. The adaptations of these creatures are discussed, as are the ways their evolution has been driven by the ebb and flow of polar ice. Next the book moves on to look at the human history of the area, followed by a discussion of the threats posed to the Arctic and its wildlife by human activity.

Following the extensive field guide to the bird and mammal species, there is a visitor's guide to the Arctic, which looks in brief at what each region has to offer the wildlife observer, and the ease of travel to it.

Richard Sale, June 2006

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