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on 19 November 2013
Very useful book to take to Chile.
We were especially interested in the birds
Good descriptions & drawings making identification easier
Mammals, plants, flowers all included
We took it everywhere
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on 17 September 2008
The South American countries are characterised by a very high natural diversity coupled with a relative scarcity of biologists and field naturalists, the result of which is a paucity of popular literature which would enable the curious resident or visitor to easily identify what he/she encounters. Admittedly, in recent years, the lack of reliable field guides is being successfully addressed for at least one group, and there are now excellent - if heavy! - guides to the birds of almost all of the countries of highest diversity. Even so, field guides to any other groups remain a rarity. So it was a very pleasant surprise to come across Sharon Chester's new book, particularly because it aims not just to identify the butterflies or the reptiles, but to provide a broad overview of the entire natural history of Chile and its territories. As far as I know, there is nothing similar available for mainland Chile and since this guide also covers the all Chilean territories, it will be of interest for visitors to the Antarctic too.

The book is very well organised and carefully laid out: it must have been a real labour of love for its creator, who wrote the nearly 400 pages of small text and produced the photographically derived illustrations. In scope it is a general guide to the natural history of Chile, something along the lines of the Ecotravellers' Wildlife Guide series but, to my taste, better put together. After an overview of Chile's natural environments and ecology, subsequent chapters tackle marine organisms, flora, lepidoptera, reptiles and amphibians, birds (by far the largest section, though it does not replace Jaramillo's excellent Birds of Chile (Princeton Field Guides)) and mammals, after which there is a short gazetteer on wildlife viewing sites. The text is concise and informative and the illustrations very lifelike. The book would fit easily into a coat pocket, so it could be used as a true field guide, but is more likely to be used to plan trip or as reference back at base camp.

Should the potential visitor to Chile, the Chilean Antarctic or any other territories buy this book? Definitely! The book will certainly make a Chilean trip more enjoyable for the birder and general naturalist - there is nothing else comparable.

Highly recommended!

Chris Sharpe, 17 September 2008. ISBN: 1408105365
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on 12 April 2014
This book was recommended by Marcelo Lafuerte, my Chilean guide in Elqui Valley, when on holiday in February. He carries this book (the English version) everywhere, it's his wildlife "bible". On my return to UK discovered that this was out of print. However, found it on Amazon (where else) and bought it. Very few books printed in English on the subject - so essential reading before, during and after any trip to Chile. I have been able to identify lots of things since; birds, animals, plants etc. seen in other parts of Chile. A very handy reference book and whilst not pocket sized, small enough to pack in the suitcase. I will certainly take it with me on any future trips.
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on 1 November 2010
Its an excellent book with just about everything that could be seen living in Chile listed with good photographs to distinguish the wildlife. There is a real lack of books for this part of this world, and I feel this text bridges the gulf nicely.
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on 26 July 2014
Beautifully illustrated and very comprehensive guide, with lots of information, but at nearly 400 pages is too heavy to carry around if you are trekking.
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on 15 October 2015
Excellent book, very clear, easy to use and what we wanted.
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on 1 March 2015
Excellent covers a wide range of topics
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