Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica

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Overview

At the biological crossroads of the Americas, Costa Rica hosts an astonishing array of plants and animals—over half a million species! Ecotourists, birders, and biologists come from around the world to immerse themselves in the country's unspoiled rain forests, mountains, and beaches, drawn by the likelihood of seeing more than three or four hundred species of birds and other animals during even a short stay. To help all of these visitors and local residents identify and enjoy the wildlife of Costa Rica, this ...

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Overview

At the biological crossroads of the Americas, Costa Rica hosts an astonishing array of plants and animals—over half a million species! Ecotourists, birders, and biologists come from around the world to immerse themselves in the country's unspoiled rain forests, mountains, and beaches, drawn by the likelihood of seeing more than three or four hundred species of birds and other animals during even a short stay. To help all of these visitors and local residents identify and enjoy the wildlife of Costa Rica, this field guide presents nearly three hundred species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates.

Carrol Henderson, an experienced wildlife biologist, traveler, and tour leader in Costa Rica, has chosen the species that ecotourists are most likely to see, along with a selection of rarer, sought-after animals. He gives a general introduction to each group of animals, followed by individual species accounts that highlight identification features and interesting ecological adaptations for survival. His stunning close-up photographs and distribution maps complete each entry.

In addition, Henderson includes a wealth of data about Costa Rica's natural environment, as well as a trip preparation checklist and lists of conservation organizations, wildlife tourism sites, and wildlife vocalization tapes and CDs. With so much information so readily and readably accessible, this field guide will be essential for planning and enjoying your time in Costa Rica.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292734593
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: Corrie Herring Hooks Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 559
  • Sales rank: 448,631
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 1.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by Alexander F. Skutch
Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Author
Introduction

Historical Perspective
Research
Education
Preservation
Conservation
Nature Tourism
Geography
Biogeography
Migratory Birds

Endemic Species
Endemic Wildlife of the Highlands
Endemic Species of the Southern Pacific Lowlands
Endemic Species of Cocos Island

Major Biological Zones
Tropical Dry Forest
Southern Pacific Lowlands
Central Plateau (Central Valley)
Caribbean Lowlands
Highlands
Coastal Beaches and Mangrove Lagoons

Wildlife Overview and Species Coverage

Butterflies and Moths
Swallowtail Family (Papilionidae)
Brush-footed Butterfly Family (Nymphalidae)
Giant Silkworm Moth Family (Saturniidae)
Noctuid Moth Family (Noctuidae)
Uranlid Moth Family (Uraniidae)

Other Invertebrates
Bee Family (Apidae)
Ant Family (Formicidae)
Long-horned Beetle Family (Cerambycidae)
Beetle Family (Scarabaeidae)
Dobson Fly Family (Corydalidae)
Katydid Family (Tettigoniidae)
Orb-weaver Spider Family (Araneidae)
Giant Damselfly Family (Pseudostigmatidae)
Rock Runner Crab Family (Grapsidae)
Land Crab Family (Gecarcinidae)

Amphibians
Leptodactylid Frog Family (Leptodactylidae)
Toad Family (Bufonidae)
Hylid Frog Family (Hylidae)
Poison Dart Frog Family (Dendrobatidae)
Glass Frog Family (Centrolenidae)

Reptiles
Leatherback Turtle Family (Dermochelyidae)
Hard-shelled Sea Turtle Family (Cheloniidae)
Mud Turtle Family (Kinosternidae)
Semiaquatic Pond Turtle Family (Emydidae)
Lizard Family (Iguanidae)
Teiid Lizard Family (Teiidae)
Constrictor Family (Boidae)
Colubrid Snakes (Colubridae)
Viper Family (Crotalidae)
Coral Snake Family (Micruridae)
Crocodile Family (Crocodylidae)

Birds
Tinamou Family (Tinamidae)
Pelican Family (Pelecanidae)
Cormorant Family (Phalacrocoracidae)
Anhinga Family (Anhingidae)
Frigatebird Family (Fregatidae)
Heron Family (Ardeidae)
Stork Family (Ciconiidae)
American Vulture Family (Cathartidae)
Ibis and Spoonbill Family (Threskiornithidae)
Duck Family (Anatidae)
Osprey Family (Pandionidae)
Accipiter Family (Accipitridae)
Falcon Family (Falconidae)
Chachalaca, Guan, and Curassow Family (Cracidae)
Rail Family (Rallidae)
Sunbittern Family (Eurypygidae)
Jacana Family (Jacanidae)
Oystercatcher Family (Haematopodidae)
Stilt Family (Recurvirostridae)
Thick-knee Family (Burhinidae)
Plover Family (Charadrlidae)
Sandpiper Family (Scolopacidae)
Gull and Tern Family (Laridae)
Dove and Pigeon Family (Columbidae)
Parrot Family (Psittacidae)
Cuckoo Family (Cuculidae)
Owl Family (Strigidae)
Potoo Family (Nyctiblidae)
Nighthawk Family (Caprimulgidae)
Hummingbird Family (Trochilidae)
Trogon Family (Trogonidae)
Kingfisher Family (Alcedinidae)
Motmot Family (Momotidae)
Jacamar Family (Galbulidae)
Puffbird Family (Bucconidae)
Toucan Family (Ramphastidae)
Woodpecker Family (Picidae)
Woodcreeper Family (Dendrocolaptidae)
Antbird Family (Thamnophilidae)
Tityra Family (Tityridae)
Manakin Family (Pipridae)
Flycatcher Family (Tyrannidae)
Swallow Family (Hirundinidae)
Jay Family (Corvidae)
Dipper Family (Cinclidae)
Wren Family (Troglodytidae)
Thrush and Robin Family (Turdidae)
Silky-flycatcher Family (Ptilogonatidae)
Bananaquit Family (Coerebidae)
Warbler Family (Parulidae)
Blackbird and Oriole Family (Icteridae)
Tanager Family (Thraupidae)
Saltator, Grosbeak, and Finch Family (Emberizidae)

Mammals
Opossum Family (Didelphidae)
Porcupine Family (Erethizontidae)
Sheath-tailed Bat Family (Emballonuridae)
Leaf-nosed Bat Family (Phyllostomidae)
New World Monkey Family (Cebidae)
Anteater Family (Myrmecophagidae)
Sloth Family (Bradypodidae)
Armadillo Family (Dasypodidae)
Squirrel Family (Sciuridae)
Cavy Family (Dasyproctidae)
Weasel Family (Mustelidae)
Raccoon Family (Procyonidae)
Cat Family (Felidae)
Peccary Family (Tayassuidae)
Deer Family (Cervidae)
Tapir Family (Tapiridae)
Baleen Whale Family (Balaenopteridae)

Glossary
Appendix A. Costa Rica Conservation Organizations and Field Stations
Appendix B. Wildlife Tourism Sites and Field Stations Referred to in the Distribution Maps
Appendix C. Wildlife Vocalization Tapes and CDs
Appendix D. Costa Rican Trip Preparation Checklist
Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Nice overview of wildlife but way TOO heavy and cumbersome to take into the field.

    I have been to Costa Rica 18 times now. I am also a trained field biologist and retired college professor, so I sort of "know my stuff." I bought this book because it was new and I like seeing what sorts of field guides are available. I have a few others about Costa Rica but they are several years old and I wanted to see if this covered new and different animals.
    The pictures are very nice. I don't recommend photos for bird identification because often the photo doesn't show the major identification characteristics. For example, how many photos do you have of yourself that don't look like you?
    The book is a quick overview of wildlife and has only included a few interesting or frequently seen species.
    No way would I take this on a trip with me. It is way too heavy. My suitcase would be almost double its weight with this book. Also the "slick" pages would get stuck together easily in the humidity and especially the rain in Costa Rica.
    It's a nice book to look at before a trip to think about what you might see. It's a nice book to look at when you return to read about what you saw. Other than those uses I don't think it is a field guide as the name states.
    The one thing that is very informative is the informational overview at the beginning of the book: Geography, biogeography, endemic species, major biological zones. These gave an overview and introduction to what Costa Rica has to offer. There are other books that do that, but this was a simple introduction to the the country and to some of the wildlife.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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