Birds Of Two Worlds: The Ecology and Evolution of Migration. 2005. Russell Greenberg and Peter P. Marra, Editors. Johns Hopkins University Press, 488 pp, clothbound, $110. (Order online.)

For centuries biologists have tried to understand the underpinnings of avian migration: where birds go and why, why some migrate and some do not, how they adapt to a changing environment, and how migratory systems evolve.

In Birds of Two Worlds Russell, Greenberg and Marra bring together the world's experts on avian migration to discuss its ecology and evolution. The contributors move the discussion of migration to a global stage, looking at all avian migration systems and delving deeper into the evolutionary foundations of migratory behavior. Birds of Two Worlds will become indispensable for ornithologists, evolutionary biologists, serious birders, and public and academic libraries.

Russell Greenberg is director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo. Peter P. Marra is a research scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book. 2004. John Seidensticker and Susan Lumpkin. Smithsonian Books. 254 pp., clothbound, $55; paper, $24.95.

Cats in Question, a new book in Smithsonian's highly successful In Question series, offers authoritative and engaging answers to the thousands of questions about cats that Smithsonian scientists receive annually. All of the world's cats are here, from fearsome predators such as lions and tigers, to mysterious hunters such as leopards and jaguars, to cuddly pets such as domestic cats.

More than 100 breathtaking photographs by acclaimed photographer Art Wolfe illustrate the questions on cat facts, cat evolution and diversity, and cats and humans. Readers will find the answers to such questions as "What are cats?" "How do cats hunt?" "Do wild cats like catnip?" and "Do cats dream?" 120 color photographs. (Available at the Zoo Store Online.)

John Seidensticker is the Head of the Zoo's Species Conservation Center. Susan Lumpkin is FONZ's director of communications.

The Edge of Africa. 2003. Carlton Ward Jr. (Photographer), Michelle Lee, Francisco Dallmeier, Alfonso Alonzo (Authors). Hylas Publishing. 320 pp., clothbound, $39.95.

View the unseen wonders of Gabon, from its smallest creatures to its broadest landscapes to the people who call it home, through the eyes of Zoo scientists. Stunning photographs of a little-known center of biodiversity. (Available at the Zoo Store Online.)

Birds of the Mid-Atlantic Region and Where to Find Them. 2002. John H. Rappole. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 288 pp., clothbound, $49.95; paper, $21.95.

With its dramatic range of habitats, from beaches to wetlands, and alpine forests, the Mid-Atlantic region is home to 346 species of birds. This new book is the only comprehensive field guide to bird life in the area that also directs readers to public sites where each species can be found. It includes extensive information about every species: description, identification details, habitat preference, vocalization, range, and Mid-Atlantic seasonal occurrence, abundance, and distribution. Each entry is accompanied by a color photograph and range maps, making identification easy for bird watchers. A helpful guide to sites lists the best places to spot specific birds, from common species to rarities, and how to reach the sites by car.

John H. Rappole is a Research Scientist at the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center.

Great Apes and Humans CoverGreat Apes and Humans: The Ethics of Coexistence. 2001. Benjamin B. Beck, Tara S. Stoinski, Michael Hutchins, Terry L. Maple, Bryan Norton, Andrew Rowan, Elizabeth F. Stevens, and Arnold Arluke, Eds. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 384 pp. Clothbound, $34.95.

The great apes—gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans—are our closest living relatives. The close relation of apes to humans raises important ethical questions. Great Apes and Humans is the first book to present a spectrum of viewpoints on human responsibilities toward great apes. Although this provocative book contains many different opinions, the uniting concern of the contributors is the safety and well-being of great apes.

Benjamin Beck is the Zoo’s former Associate Director for Animal Programs.

Introduction to Conservation Genetics CoverIntroduction to Conservation Genetics. 2002. Richard Frankham, Jonathan Ballou, and David Briscoe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. 640 pp., clothbound, $130; paper; $50.

The biological diversity of the planet is being rapidly depleted due to the direct and indirect consequences of human activity. As the size of animal and plant populations decreases, loss of genetic diversity reduces their ability to adapt to changes in the environment, with inbreeding and reduced fitness inevitable consequence for many species. This textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to genetic principles and practices involved in conservation.

Jon Ballou is Population Manager and Research Scientist at the National Zoo.

Komodo Dragon CoverKomodo Dragon: Biology and Conservation. 2002. James B. Murphy, Claudio Ciofi, Colomba de La Panouse, and Trooper Walsh. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 324 pp., clothbound. $45.

In the last 20 years, the populations of Komodo dragons—native only to a handful of islands in southeast Indonesia—have dwindled, sparking intensive conservation efforts. Over the same time, new information about these formidable predators has emerged. The most important findings are clearly presented here, with the latest information on Komodo dragon biology, ecology, population distribution, and behavior. The second part of the book is dedicated to step-by-step management and conservation techniques, both for wild and zoo dragons.

James B. Murphy is a Research Associate at the National Zoo. Trooper Walsh recently retired from the Zoo’s Department of Herpetology.

Lion Tamarins CoverLion Tamarins: Biology and Conservation. 2002. Devra G. Kleiman and Anthony B. Rylands, Editors. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 384 pp., clothbound. $45.

Without the extraordinary efforts of the editors and authors of this book, three of the four lion tamarin species—golden, golden-headed, black-faced, and black—would most likely be extinct. The Zoo’s golden lion tamarin program, for example, set international standards and became the model for the conservation of other endangered species. Much remains to be done, and this comprehensive assessment of research findings and conservation efforts leads the way. The book covers the history of research and conservation for the four species, the principal research fields that have contributed to the management of the species in zoos and the wild, and the direct interventions necessary to conserve wild populations and their habitats.

Devra G. Kleiman is a Research Associate at the National Zoo.

Oak Forest Ecosystems: Ecology and Management for Wildlife. 2002. William J. McShea and William M. Healy, Editors. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 400 pp., clothbound. $60.

Oaks are vital in the delicate web of relationships that sustains North American wildlife and form the foundation of many North American ecosystems. Acorns are an important part of the diets of more than 100 species of birds and mammals. This volume focuses on the relationship between an oak forest's acorn yield and the species of wildlife that depend on it.

William McShea is a Research Biologist based at the Zoo's Conservation and Research Center.


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