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Perspectives on Insect Conservation, by Kevin J. Gaston, Timothy R. New and Michael J. Samways (Eds).
The Biogeography of Ground beetles of Mountains and Islands, by G.R. Noonan, G.E. Ball and N.E. Stork (Eds).
The Biogeography of Ground beetles of Mountains and Islands by G.R. Noonan, G.E. Ball and N.E. Stork (Eds).
ISBN = 0 946707 36 7
Price = £52.00
Published = 1992
Review written = 10th/August/1997
The Carabidae, or Ground Beetles are one of the better studied groups of beetles consequently more has been written on them than any other non-pest group of Coleoptera. It is unusual to find more than 1 book on any particular beetle family (most have none) yet the Ground Beetles have at least 8 in print at the moment and the Cicindelidae 'Tiger Beetles' have their own journal. They have all the qualities that make them excellent subjects of study, they are speciose but identifiable, easy to catch, have a world wide distribution as a group and they have predictable habitat preferences and responses to environmental change which makes useful as bio-indicators. They are also, for many of these reasons, of particular interest to biogeographers, and it is for biogeographers that this book is written.
This is a work for those who are already involved in either carabidology or biogeography as well as for students in tertiary education. Although all the chapters are lucidly written and readable it is not a general introduction to the subject but a series of learned papers, each one focusing on a different geographical habitat. Though this volume spans the world in its scope, containing studies from Australia, Europe, India, the Pacific Region and from the Americas, Africa and most of Asia are unfortunately under represented.
"The Biogeography of Ground beetles of Mountains and Islands" contains the following 12 chapters: Biogeographic Patterns of the Montane Carabidae of North America north of Mexico (Coleoptera: Carabidae), The Carabid Fauna of the New England Mountains (Coleoptera: Carabidae), The High Altitude Fauna of South Siberian Mountains and its Origin (Coleoptera: Carabidae), An introduction to the Biogeography of the Carabidae of Montane Refugia in Northern Australia (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Geographical Distribution and Evolution of the Selenophori (Harpalini) Apenes LeConte (Lebiini) in the Antilles (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Biogeography of West Indian Tiger Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae), The Carabidae of Lord Howe Island (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Distribution of Carabid Beetles in the Åland Archipelago, SW Finland (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Differences in the Trechine Faunas of the Phillipines and Taiwan (Coleoptera: Carabidae), Endemism and Biogeography among Tahitian Mecyclothorax species (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Psydrini), The Historical Development of Geographic Color Variation among Dune Cicindela in western Canada (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae), Geographical Isolation and Karyotypic Evolution of Carabid Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).
All in all this is obviously a book for college and university libraries as well as for those with a personal interest in the subject, and like
all Intercept's publications it is attractively bound and presented. Recommended
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Perspectives on Insect Conservation by Kevin J. Gaston, Timothy R. New and Michael J. Samways (Eds).
ISBN = 0 946707 65 0
Price = £49.95
Published = 1994
Review written = 1st/August/1997
The title of this work aptly describes what it is all about. Its 13 chapters are a series of snapshots from around the world, offering the reader insights into some of the more interesting aspects of the huge and multi-faceted world of insect conservation. No single book will ever do justice to the entirety of the insect world or its conservation. What a book like this can offer though is intelligent and thought provoking reading which makes it a welcome addition to the small but growing literature concerned with our nascent attempts to conserve some of the small wonders of this world for our and our children's future enjoyment.
The chapters on the Australian Native Steppe and the African Fynbos make fascinating and informative reading as do those on Carabids in logged forests and the Orthopteroid insects of Australia. While Terence New's chapter on 'The effect of exotic species on the Australian native fauna' is a stimulating sortie into a little known area of the world. For me though one of the most satisfying chapters was A.L.Yen's on the 'Role of museums and zoos in influencing public attitudes towards invertebrates'. Confirming as it did many of my own experiences, it was a pleasure to see so much common sense expressed in print. Every sunny day must have its cloud and this book has its own in the form of the two chapters preceding Yen's. The second of which by Vane-Wright appears to owe more to bath-time day-dreams than to any realistic understanding of the world. It is always pleasant to fantasize about what we could do for insect conservation in a different
world however publishing the results of these mental wanderings is merely wasting people's time.
Perspectives on Insect Conservation contains the following chapters; 1. A Spatial and Process sub-regional framework for insect and biodiversity conservation research and management. 2. Logging and boreal ground-beetle assemblages on two continents: implications for conservation. 3. Australian native steppe-type landscapes: neglected areas for invertebrate conservation in Australia. 4. Insect Conservation and extensive agriculture: the savanna of southern Africa. 5. Insect conservation in the African Cape Fynbos, with special reference to endophagous insects. 6.Dragonflies (Odonata) in taxic overlays and biodiversity conservation. 7. Orthopteroid insects in threatened habitats in Australia. 8. Extinction, biological control, and insect conservation on islands. 9. Effects of exotic species on Australian native insects. 10. All else is not equal: temporal population variability and insect conservation. 11 Conservation and
systematics -- the agony and the ecstasy. 12. Systematics and the conservation of biodiversity: global, national and local perspectives. 13. The role of museums and zoos in influencing public attitudes towards invertebrate conservation.
All in all this is a highly enjoyable book and like all Intercept's publications it is attractively bound and presented. My only real qualm about this book is the price, even in the 1st world £49.95 is quite a large amount of money for what is a really a relatively small collection of papers pleasantly presented as a book. I would really like to see this released as a paperback in order to increase its readership.
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