This is the first guidebook to the birds and mammals of the coastal region of Patagonia, a vast area at the southern tip of South America. This guide describes the 185 species of birds and 61 species of mammals known to inhabit the land and sea along two thousand miles of the Patagonian coast, from Pent/nsula Valdés to the Strait of Magellan.
With an area covering over half a million square miles, Patagonia is larger than Spain and Portugal combined. It is scarcely populated and much of its land is desert, swept year-round by winds from both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The greatest abundance and diversity of wildlife occurs where the great dry steppe meets the South Atlantic along a spectacular shoreline of unspoiled beaches and lonely headlands. One of the last truly untouched regions on earth, Patagonia is home to unusual indigenous birds and mammals, including the guanaco, the mara, and the lesser rhea. Huge colonies of Magellanic penguins and sprawling rookeries of Southern Elephant Seals crowd the shore in isolated areas while the bays shelter large pods of Southern Right Whales, occasionally hundreds at a time. In the past decade Patagonia has become a destination for tourists. Today Punta Tombo, home of the world's largest continental penguin colony, receives as many visitors each year as the Galapagos Islands.
Written for both the casual observer and the experienced naturalist, this book contains information on identifying all the birds and mammals of the region, as well as details of the natural history of some of the more common species. Extensively illustrated by the author, this guide provides complete information on every species, including common names (English, Spanish, and scientific) and descriptions of behavior, status and habitat, range, and distinguishing characteristics. A range map is included for each species, and all but a few species are illustrated, many in full color. This is an essential guide for anyone who is planning a trip to Patagonia and for anyone who is intrigued by one of the most ecologically fascinating regions on our planet.
"Besides being a guide to identification, [this book] contains valuable life-history information on each species, much of which is not available elsewhere."--Stuart Keith, American Museum of Natural History
File created: 4/17/2014