The five countries of the Tropical Andes form the most biodiverse regions in the world, with a quarter of the world's bird species in just three percent of the land area. The astonishing range of habitats includes snow-capped mountains, the high Andean Puna, humid Amazon lowland rainforests, dry forest and the isolated, endemic-species-rich tepuis of Venezuala. More than 600 researchers contributed to the book, which took eight years to compile. 455 sites are identified, covering 17 percent of the land area of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuala. A comprehensive introduction covers habitats, protection, threats and other issues. Each site is described in detail, with thumbnail location maps, graphics and data tables. While it serves as an excellent site guide for birders, this is primarily a blueprint for governments and conservationists involved in planning protected area networks. More than half the sites have no protection.