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A Year of Watching Wildlife (General Reference) Paperback – 21 Aug 2009
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Top customer reviews
I have to say i've never really been a fan of traditional lonely planet guides because its either information-overload or simply not enough. However, this book is different! It brillantly summarises so many wonderful wildlife encounters, what time of year to go, where to get extra information, difficulty ratings, and if you're already not inspired enough - there are plenty of great pictures as well.
My bucket list has certainly got a lot longer! Well done Lonely Planet!
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It's also just a fun book to peruse. I bought the book for myself last year, and I recently bought another copy to give as a gift.
Our daughter (age 12) finds the book interesting too and she's not much of a reader so that's definitely a big "thumbs up" for the book.
It's definitely my very best!
This said, I have problems with Lonely Planet’s agenda. 40 or more years ago walking around southern Mexico, British Honduras and hitchhiking into Guatemala, I thought I might write a book a la Lenin with a title like, Tourism, Imperialism’s Final Insult. While on the road or in back of what seemed to be WWII Toyota pickup trucks, I realized that my pack, my boots and even my rain coat separated me so completely from the locals that there was almost no bridging the gap. And when I watched locals looking at Americans, Japanese, and French tourists, ugly a la the book of that name about Vietnam, I justified myself by thinking, “at least I slept on the ground and trudged back trails with Indians hauling freight to remote camps.” And I talked with them as human equals both of us speaking a foreign language. The most memorable comment from a Mestizo I heard was when he was looking at an American tourist with a large dog: “The dog eats much more than I do.” I never did write the book but I vaguely remember some one may have.
Now tourism is a giant worldwide business turning the indigenous people of Quintana Roo into maids and bus boys where I remember empty beaches and people farming their milpas or fishing. I just checked and the carbon footprint for world tourism is 5%. Bad or good, I am not sure but certainly most of my friends, even those who are ecotourists, don’t think about it at all or the political-economic impact of their travels. Now I might like to see manta rays in the Maldives or red crabs in Australia, things my neighbors sometimes do and yet, by driving 10 miles and wading in a bay they can chase bat rays or watch Velella also called sea raft, by-the-wind sailor or purple sail when they blow in by the thousands. As Thoreau said, it takes a lifetime to get to know two square miles. The insects in my neighborhood or the weeds of Boston are certainly as interesting as carnivorous plants in the Amazonian rain forest (and there are carnivorous plants to be found in the quaking bogs 15 miles west of Boston) but it is not as romantic as a boat ride up the Amazon.
Enough of my ranting. David Lucas’ book is certainly aesthetic and useful to those who wish to catch sight of the extraordinary in nature. Me, I would rather hear a few more nesting birds sing in my yard in this drought year when the dawn chorus has become ominously quiet.
For each of the 48 there is a wildlife reserve headlineand and what to see in that week (5 types of animals) and 3 types of other animals that are seen at reserves in other wildlife locations.
There is a good map of the world giving the 48 locationsfor all animals listed and there is also a good text with excellent illustrations but for a better book on animals get one that is not so confusing.
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