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Noteworthy Books received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Issue 3

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 12, Issue 3 (2013): B1–B6

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B1 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard into Habitat and Learned to Live with It. James Barilla. 2013. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 376 pp. $28.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780300184013. For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, SC, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by day and fireflies at night, of digging up potatoes and picking strawberries. When they signed up with the National Wildlife Federation to certify their yard as a wildlife habitat, it felt like pushing back, in however small a way, against the tide of bad news about vanishing species, changing climate, dying coral reefs. Then the animals started to arrive, and Barilla soon discovered the complexities (and possible mayhem) of merging human with animal habitats. What are the limits of coexistence, he wondered? To find out, Barilla set out across continents to explore cities where populations of bears, monkeys, marmosets, and honeybees live alongside human residents. My Backyard Jungle brings these unique stories together, making Barilla’s yard the centerpiece of a meditation on possibilities for coexistence with animals in an increasingly urban world. Not since Gerald Durrell penned My Family and Other Animals have readers encountered a naturalist with such a gift for storytelling and such an open heart toward all things wild. Confronting Ecological Crisis in Appalachia and the South: University and Community Partnerships. Stephanie McSpirit, Lynne Faltraco, and Conner Bailey (Editors). 2012. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 269 pp. $50.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780813136196. Throughout Appalachia, corporations control local economies and absentee ownership of land makes it difficult for communities to protect their waterways, mountains, and forests. Yet among all this uncertainty are committed citizens who have organized themselves to confront both external power holders and often their own local, state, and federal agents. Determined to make their voice heard and to improve their living conditions, newfound partnerships between community activists and faculty and students at community colleges and universities have formed to challenge powerful bureaucratic infrastructures and to protect local ecosystems and communities. Confronting Ecological Crisis in Appalachia and the South: University and Community Partnerships addresses a wide range of cases that have presented challenges to local environments, public health, and social justice faced by the people of this region. Editors Stephanie McSpirit, Lynne Faltraco, and Conner Bailey, along with community leaders and their university partners, describe stories of unlikely unions between faculty, students, and Appalachian communities in which both sides learn from one another and, most importantly, form a unique alliance in the fight against corporate control. Confronting Ecological Crisis is a comprehensive look at the citizens and organizations that have emerged to fight the continued destruction of Appalachia. The Golden-Bristled Boar: Last Ferocious Beast of the Forest. Jeffrey Greene. 2012. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, VA. 200 pp. $14.94, softcover. ISBN 9780813933986. The wild boar appears to us as something straight out of a myth. But as Jeffrey Greene learned, these creatures are very real, living by night and, despite shrinking habitats and hordes of hunters, thriving on six continents. Greene purchased an eighteenth-century presbytery in a region of ponds and forests in northern Burgundy between the Loire and Seine Rivers of France. He soon discovered he’d moved to one of the most densely populated boar areas in Europe. Following the gift of a side of boar from a neighbor, and a dramatic earlymorning encounter with a boar-hunting party and its prey, Greene became fascinated with the animal and immersed himself in the legend and the reality of the wild boar. Although it has no natural enemies, the boar is in constant conflict with humans. Most societies consider it a pest, not only wreaking havoc on crops and livestock, but destroying golf-course greens in search of worms, even creating a hazard for drivers (hogs on the roads cause over 14,000 car accidents a year in France). It has also been the object of highly ritualized hunts, dating back to classical times. The animal’s remarkable appearance—it can grow larger than a person, and the males sport prominent tusks, called “whetters” and “cutters”—has inspired artists for centuries; its depictions range from primitive masks to works of high art such as Pietro Tacca’s Porcellino Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 12/3, 2013 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 B2 and paintings by Velázquez and Frans Snyders. The boar also plays a unique role in myth, appearing in the stories of Hercules and Adonis as well as in the folktale Beauty and the Beast. The author’s search for the elusive animal takes him to Sardinia, Corsica, and Tuscany; he even casts an eye to the American South, where he explores the boar’s feral-pig counterparts and descendents. He introduces us to a fascinating cast of experts, from museum curators and scientists to hunters and chefs (who share their recipes) to the inhabitants of chateaux who have lived in the same ancient countryside with generations of boars. They are all part of a journey filled with wonders and discoveries about these majestic animals the poet Robinson Jeffers called “beautiful monsters”. Tideland Treasure, Expanded Edition. Todd Ballantine. 2013. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC. 218 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9780872497955. Tideland Treasure is an illustrated guide to the beaches and marshes of the Eastern United States coast, encompassing seashores and wetlands from Ocean City, NJ, to Cape Canaveral, FL. Lavished with true-to-life illustrations and hand-written text, the book portrays the nature of the sea, beach, salt marsh, plants, and animals of the area in everyday language. Common names are used to make the information memorable to casual beachcombers and amateur naturalists. The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf. T. Delene Beeland. 2013. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 272 pp. $28.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781469601991. Red Wolves are shy, elusive, and misunderstood predators. Until the 1800s, they were common in the Longleaf Pine savannas and deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. However, habitat degradation, persecution, and interbreeding with the Coyote nearly annihilated them. Today, reintroduced Red Wolves are found only in peninsular northeastern North Carolina within less than 1 percent of their former range. In The Secret World of Red Wolves, nature writer T. DeLene Beeland shadows the US Fish and Wildlife Service's pioneering recovery program over the course of a year to craft an intimate portrait of the Red Wolf, its history, and its restoration. Her engaging exploration of this top-level predator traces the intense effort of conservation personnel to save a species that has slipped to the verge of extinction. Beeland weaves together the voices of scientists, conservationists, and local landowners while posing larger questions about human coexistence with Red Wolves, our understanding of what defines this animal as a distinct species, and how climate change may swamp its current habitat. Longleaf, Far as the Eye can See: A New Vision of North America’s Richest Forest. Bill Finch, Beth Maynor Young, Rhett Johnson, and John C. Hall. 2012. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 192 pp. $35.00, hardcover. ISBN 9780807835753. Longleaf forests once covered 92 million acres from Texas to Maryland to Florida. These grand oldgrowth pines were the “alpha tree” of the largest forest ecosystem in North America and have come to define the southern forest. But logging, suppression of fire, destruction by landowners, and a complex web of other factors reduced those forests so that Longleaf is now found only on 3 million acres. Fortunately, the stately tree is enjoying a resurgence of interest, and longleaf forests are once again spreading across the South. Blending a compelling narrative by writers Bill Finch, Rhett Johnson, and John C. Hall with Beth Maynor Young's breathtaking photography, Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See invites readers to experience the astounding beauty and significance of the majestic Longleaf ecosystem. The authors explore the interactions of Longleaf with other species, the development of Longleaf forests prior to human contact, and the influence of the Longleaf on southern culture, as well as ongoing efforts to restore these forests. Part natural history, part conservation advocacy, and part cultural exploration, this book highlights the special nature of longleaf forests and proposes ways to conserve and expand them. North Carolina’s Amazing Coast: Natural Wonders from Alligators to Zoeas. David Bryant, George Davidson, Terri Kirby Hathaway, and Kathleen Angione. 2013. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 112 pp. $16.95, softcover. ISBN 9780820345109. Fun and learning come together in North Carolina's Amazing Coast, an inviting collection of one hundred short, self-contained features about the flora, fauna, and natural history of that B3 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 fascinating place where land meets sea. Each page includes a full-color illustration and breezy, fact-filled commentary on coastal wildlife from fifty-foot-long Northern Right Whales to single-cell plankton, from shy Red Wolves to overbearingly sociable Sand Gnats. Readers will learn about the super-sized Fox Squirrel, the acting talents of the Hognose Snake, the health benefits of eating Pawpaws, the importance of tidal fluctuations, and much more. North Carolina's Amazing Coast will spark a sense of wonder and inspire readers to learn more about their natural heritage and what they can do to preserve it. Used in the “Our Amazing Coast“ elementary curriculum developed by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence - Southeast, this book makes an excellent educational tool, as well as an inspiring gift for coastal enthusiasts of all ages. The Art of Managing Longleaf: A Personal History of the Stoddard-Neel Approach. Leon Neel, Paul S. Sutter and Albert G. Way. 2010. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 256 pp. $41.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780820330471. Greenwood Plantation in the Red Hills region of southwest Georgia includes a rare one-thousand-acre stand of old-growth Longleaf Pine woodlands, a remnant of an ecosystem that once covered close to ninety million acres across the Southeast. The Art of Managing Longleaf documents the sometimes controversial management system that not only has protected Greenwood’s “Big Woods” but also has been practiced on a substantial acreage of the remnant Longleaf Pine woodlands in the Red Hills and other parts of the Coastal Plain. Often described as an art informed by science, the Stoddard-Neel Approach combines frequent prescribed burning, highly selective logging, a commitment to a particular woodland aesthetic, intimate knowledge of the ecosystem and its processes, and other strategies to manage the Longleaf Pine ecosystem in a sustainable way. The namesakes of this method are Herbert Stoddard (who developed it) and his colleague and successor, Leon Neel (who has refined it). In addition to presenting a detailed, illustrated outline of the Stoddard-Neal Approach, the book—based upon an extensive oral history project undertaken by Paul S. Sutter and Albert G. Way, with Neel as its major subject—discusses Neel’s deep familial and cultural roots in the Red Hills; his years of work with Stoddard; and the formation and early years of the Tall Timbers Research Station, which Stoddard and Neel helped found in the pinelands near Tallahassee, FL, in 1958. In their introduction, environmental historians Sutter and Way provide an overview of the Longleaf ecosystem’s natural and human history, and in his afterword, forest ecologist Jerry F. Franklin affirms the value of the Stoddard-Neel Approach. Etowah River User’s Guide. Joe Cook. 2013. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 184 pp. $18.95, softcover. ISBN 9780820344638. From its headwaters on the southern slope of the Tennessee Valley divide near Dahlonega to its confluence with the Oostanaula to form the Coosa in Rome, the Etowah is a river full of interesting surprises. Paddle over Native American fish weirs and past the Etowah Indian Mounds, one of the most intact Mississippian Culture sites in the Southeast. See the quartermile tunnel created to divert the Etowah during Georgia’s gold rush and the pilings from antebellum bridges burned in the Civil War. This guide offers all the information needed for even novice paddlers to feel comfortable jumping in a boat and heading downstream, including detailed, accurate maps; put in/take out and optimal river-flow information; mile-by-mile points of interest; and an illustrated natural history guide to help identify animals and plants commonly seen in and around the river. A fishing primer offers tips to understand the habits of some of the many native fish species found in the Etowah, from trout in the river’s upper reaches to bass and bream in the midsection and catfish and drum below Lake Allatoona. Along the way, river explorers will come to understand the threats facing this unique Georgia place, and the guide offers suggestions for how to take action to help protect the Etowah and keep its beauty and biodiversity safe for future explorers. Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes. Stephen T. Ross. 2013. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 480 pp. $75.00, Hardcover. ISBN 9780520249455. The North American freshwater fish fauna is the most diverse and thoroughly researched temperate fish fauna in the world. Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes is the only textbook to provide advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers with an up-to-date and integrated view of the ecological and evolutionary concepts, principles, and processes involved in the formation and maintenance of this fauna. Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 B4 working on mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and filariasis. Mosquitoes of the Southeastern United States is the first guide to integrate fullcolor photography, illustrated keys, and current information on the biology of mosquitoes into one definitive resource. Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians. Whit Gibbons. 2013. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 200 pp. $24.95, softcover. ISBN 9780817357511. Their Blood Runs Cold is entertaining, informative reading that not only enhances our understanding of a unique group of animals, but also provides genuine insight into the mind and character of a research scientist. Whit Gibbons possesses the rare talent of conveying the challenge and excitement of scientific inquiry. A research ecologist who specializes in the study of reptiles and amphibians, he gives accounts of work in the field that are as readable as good short stories. From the dangers of being chased by an angry rattlesnake to the exhilaration of discovering a previously undescribed species, Gibbons brings to life the everyday experiences of the herpetologist as he chases down lizards, turtles, snakes, alligators, salamanders, and frogs in their natural habitats. With essays like “Turtles May Be Slow but They’re 200 Million Years Ahead of Us” and “How to Catch an Alligator in One Uneasy Lesson”, Their Blood Runs Cold both entertains and informs. The thirtieth anniversary edition of Their Blood Runs Cold features a new prologue and epilogue, additions that address changes in the taxonomy and study of reptiles and amphibians that have occurred since the publication of the original edition and offer suggestions for further reading that highlight the explosion of interest in the topic. Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota, Volume 4: Ecosystem-Based Management. John W. Day and Alejandro Yáñez-Arancibia (Eds). 2013. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. 480 pp. $125.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781603447652. The fourth volume in the Harte Research Institute’s landmark scientific series on the Gulf of Mexico provides a comprehensive study of ecosystem-based management, analyzing key coastal ecosystems in eleven Gulf Coast states from Florida to Quintana Roo and presenting case studies Ecology of North American Freshwater Fishes provides readers with a broad understanding of why specific species and assemblages occur in particular places. Additionally, the text explores how individuals and species interact with each other and with their environments, how such interactions have been altered by anthropogenic impacts, and the relative success of efforts to restore damaged ecosystems. This book is designed for use in courses related to aquatic and fish ecology, fish biology, ichthyology, and related advanced ecology and conservation courses, and is divided into five sections for ease of use. Chapter summaries, supplemental reading lists, online sources, extensive figures, and color photography are included to guide readers through the material and facilitate student learning. Mosquitoes of the Southeastern United States. Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena. 2013. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 208 pp. $54.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780817317812. Mosquitoes of the Southeastern United States is a full-color, highly illustrated guide to the sixtyfour known species of mosquitoes in eleven genera that populate the South—from the Gulf Coastal states to the Carolinas. In addition to detailed and fully illustrated identification keys for both larvae and adults, Mosquitoes of the Southeastern United States includes information on the mosquito’s lifecycle, interaction with humans, and biological diversity in the southeast. This area of the country has a rich mosquito fauna with diverse species ranging from the tiny Pitcher Plant Mosquito to the brilliantly colored Cannibal Mosquito. Closeup photographs of live adults showcase their widely varied and beautiful bodies while remarkable images made with the aid of a microaquarium reveal the differences in larval stages of the subjects. For each species described, Nathan D. Burkett-Cadena provides biological information including distribution maps, habitat associations of the larvae and adults, range of animals fed upon, and importance from a medical standpoint. This book’s usefulness to mosquito control programs in the Southeast and beyond cannot be overstated. Not only for native species, but for new species introduced from exotic locales, mosquitoes must be properly identified in order to know how best to control them. This volume will also be valuable to medical and public health specialists B5 Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 9781623490089. Javelinas and Other Peccaries is certain to be regarded as the definitive source on this family of piglike creatures consisting of three species. Best known in the United States is the Javelina, or Collared Peccary, but the firsthand observations and extensive information provided in this well-illustrated volume, cover all of the species. The Javelina extends its range from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina, while the larger White-lipped Peccary prefers warmer, moister tropical forests such as from extreme southern Mexico to northern Argentina. The Chacoan, or Giant Peccary, exists only in a small area known as the Chaco in western Paraguay, northern Argentina, and eastern Bolivia; scientists did not discover this species until 1972. Lyle K. Sowls, who has studied these animals for nearly forty years, examines this family of New World mammals and presents his findings on each species' anatomy and physiology, behavior, reproduction, effects on the environment, diet, reaction to diseases, and habitat. He also includes sonograms of peccary vocalizations representing their social communication. Additionally, Sowls provides a review of management practices, along with recommendations on the management and conservation of peccaries. He suggests that peccaries offer an opportunity for modern wildlife management to help bring better use of forest areas to sustained land use. He reviews the peccaries’ importance as a game animal for sport hunters, and includes reports from early explorers and discussion of American Indians’ use of the animals. This fully revised book, out of print since 1989, is a useful tool for mammalogists and other wildlife scientists, game specialists, and general readers interested in Javelinas in the US Southwest and peccaries throughout the Americas. Kingdom of Ants: José Celestino Mutis and the Dawn of Natural History in the New World. Edward O. Wilson and José M. Gómez Durán. 2010. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 120 pp. $24.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780801897856. One of the earliest New World naturalists, José Celestino Mutis began his professional life as a physician in Spain and ended it as a scientist and natural philosopher in modern-day Colombia. Drawing on new translations of Mutis’ nearly forgotten writings, this fascinating story of scientific adventure in eighteenth-century South America retrieves Mutis’ contributions from obscurity. In 1760, the 28-year-old Mutis—newly appointed as the personal physician of the Viceroy of the New Kingdom of Granada—embarked on a 48-year in which this integrated approach was tested in both the US and in Mexico. Two overview chapters cover related information on Cuba and on coastal zone management in Mexico. The comprehensive data on management policies and practices in this volume give researchers, policy makers, and other concerned parties the most up-to-date information available, supporting and informing initiatives to sustain healthy ecosystems so that they can, in turn, sustain human social and economic systems in this important transnational region. Combined with the second volume in this series, which examines the coastal and ocean-based economy of the Gulf region, Ecosystem-Based Management provides pivotal empirical information on how human activity can be managed in an environmentally sustainable way. This important research points the way to better stewardship of the Gulf’s valuable natural resources, ensuring their availability for future generations. White-Tailed Deer Habitat: Ecology and Management on Rangelands, Second Edition. Timothy Edward Fulbright and J. Alfonso Ortega-S. 2013. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. 328 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN 9781603449519. The original, 2006 edition of Timothy Edward Fulbright and J. Alfonso Ortega-S.’s White-Tailed Deer Habitat: Ecology and Management on Rangelands was hailed as “a splendid reference for the classroom and those who make their living from wildlife and the land” and as “filling a niche that is not currently approached in the literature.” In this second, full-color edition, revised and expanded to include the entire western United States and northern Mexico, Fulbright and Ortega-S. provide a carefully reasoned synthesis of ecological and range management principles that incorporates rangeland vegetation management and the impact of crops, livestock, predation, and population density within the context of the arid and semiarid habitats of this broad region. As landowners look to hunting as a source of income and to the other benefits of managing for wildlife, the clear presentation of the up-to-date research gathered in this book will aid their efforts. Javelinas and Other Peccaries: Their Biology, Management, and Use, Second Edition. Lyle K. Sowls. 2013. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. 352 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN Noteworthy Books 2013 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 12, No. 3 B6 and conservation of frogs in North America. This two-volume, fully referenced resource provides color photographs and range maps for 106 native and nonindigenous species and includes detailed information on past and present distribution, life history and demography, reproduction and diet, landscape ecology and evolution, diseases, parasites, and threats from toxic substances and conservation and management. The Bottlenose Dolphin: Biology and Conservation. John E. Reynolds III, Randall S. Wells, and Samantha D. Eide. 2013. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 304 pp. $34.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780813017754. The Bottlenose Dolphin presents for the first time a comprehensive, colorfully illustrated, and concise overview of a species that has fascinated humans for at least 3000 years. After reviewing historical myths and legends of the dolphin back to the ancient Greeks and discussing current human attitudes and interactions, the author replaces myths with facts—up-to-date scientific assessment of dolphin evolution, behavior, ecology, morphology, reproduction, and genetics—while also tackling the difficult issues of dolphin conservation and management. Although comprehensive enough to be of great value to professionals, educators, and students, the book is written in a manner that all dolphin lovers will enjoy. Randall Wells’s anecdotes interspersed throughout the work offer a first-hand view of dolphin encounters and research based on three decades working with them. Color photographs and nearly 100 black-and-white illustrations, including many by National Geographic photographer Flip Nicklin, beautifully enhance the text. Readers of The Bottlenose Dolphin will better appreciate what dolphins truly are and do, as well as understand some of the controversies surrounding them. While raising compelling questions, the book provides a wealth of information on a legendary species that is loved and admired by many people. exploration of the natural world of northern South America. His thirst for knowledge led Mutis to study the region’s flora, become a professor of mathematics, construct the first astronomical observatory in the Western Hemisphere, and amass one of the largest scientific libraries in the world. He translated Newton’s writings and penned essays about Copernicus; lectured extensively on astronomy, geography, and meteorology; and eventually became a priest. But, as two-time Pulitzer Prize–winner Edward O. Wilson and Spanish natural history scholar José M. Gómez Durán reveal in this enjoyable and illustrative account, one of Mutis’s most magnificent accomplishments involved ants. Acting at the urging of Carl Linnaeus—the father of taxonomy—shortly after he arrived in the New Kingdom of Granada, Mutis began studying the ants that swarmed everywhere. Though he lacked any entomological training, Mutis built his own classification for the species he found and named at a time when New World entomology was largely nonexistent. His unorthodox catalog of army ants, leafcutters, and other six-legged creatures found along the banks of the Magdalena provided a starting point for future study. Wilson and Durán weave a compelling, fast-paced story of ants on the march and the eighteenth-century scientist who followed them. A unique glance into the early world of science exploration, Kingdom of Ants is a delight to read and filled with intriguing information. Frogs of the United States and Canada, 2-vol. set. C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. 2013. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 1,032 pp. $180.00, hardcover. ISBN 9781421406336. With many frog populations declining or disappearing and developmental malformations and disease afflicting others, scientists, conservationists, and concerned citizens need up-to-date, accurate information. Frogs of the United States and Canada is a comprehensive resource for those trying to protect amphibians as well as for researchers and wildlife managers who study biodiversity. From acrobatic tree frogs to terrestrial toads, C. Kenneth Dodd, Jr. offers an unparalleled synthesis of the biology, behavior, The Southeastern Naturalist welcomes submissions of review copies of books that publishers or authors would like to recommend to the journal’s readership and are relevant to the journal’s mission of publishing information about the natural history of the southeastern US. Accompanying short, descriptive summaries of the text are also welcome.