Guide to Bird-watching in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands Paperback – 26 May 1996
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|Paperback, 26 May 1996||
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I haven't yet visited Ecuador, but it is undoubtedly much changed in many ways since 1996 (and for a guide of this type, the invariably dynamic transportation infrastructure is a critical element). I suspect that many of the directions included have been superseded for various reasons, and it may be that some sites have been greatly modified (and perhaps even degraded), especially (perhaps) the "other sites" listed at the conclusion of each chapter covering a specific geographic region.
Having said that, I would not have considered planning my forthcoming adventure to Ecuador without this book, and it was not easy to find! The book is well-organized, and includes informative introductory chapters on travel, Ecuador's physical setting, and conservations issues. The 120 site accounts are logically arranged by geographic region.
Each site account describes elevation and habitat, directions, and a list of birds to be expected and scarcer species that are (or were) more difficult to locate elsewhere. This section is supplemented in many of the major accounts by a more complete bird list at the conclusion of the site account.
Adding some value to the site accounts are sections devoted to other fauna and flora, travel and accommodation (describing options available in 1996), conservation issues, and references.
Three types of site accounts are included: full site accounts are most detailed and extensive, concise site accounts are simplified versions without separate sections, and "other birding sites" (at the end of each regional chapter) "provide brief details of further sites of potential interest to birders" (many of them "newly discovered areas [as of 1996] which merit further investigation or traditional birding sites which have now been degraded").
I'm assuming my copy is not atypical, and it is not a sturdy volume. Many pages have separated from the spine, and it might best be characterized as "unintentionally loose-leaf". My copy is paperback, and the copyright page indicates the existence of another (spiral) version, which might prove more durable.
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