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 Post subject: If there could be a book
PostPosted: February 19th, 2015, 2:19 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
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Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX
Alright, so it's no secret to those who pay attention to the literature that there simply are not enough books out there to satisfy one's appetite for herpetological knowledge. Particularly frustrating is the lack of books that discuss a country or region's herpetofauna in a monograph-type fashion. Field guides are alright, but they're really just for location and identification. A good book about a region's herps goes into depth on natural history, and such books are few and far between. So my question (because I'm bored and this particular sub-forum doesn't get enough traffic) is this: if there could be such a book (or series of books) written for five regions of the world, what would you want those regions to be? As for me, I'd go with:
1. Mexico (Turtles book does exist, and some great regional guides exist, particularly for Baja, the Yucatan, Coahuila, and Chihuahua, but definitely a lot left to be done)
2. Panama (I can't believe this one; there's just nothing for Panama, unless you count Gunther Kohler's Central America books, and those are pretty general)
3. The Western Ghats, India (one of the world's least-known herpetofaunas, and a hotspot for bizarre endemics; I'd like to see Grismer go here after he finishes his Peninsular Malaysia monographs)
4. Sri Lanka (only a lizard book exists, but again, there are a lot of other diverse groups of strange endemics here)
5. Madagascar (there's a field guide for Madagascar, but my general rule is that if there are fewer pages than species, it doesn't count)


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: February 26th, 2015, 2:27 pm 
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Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
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Location: Gainesville, FL
I haven't been around the world enough to list 5, but one thing I know from studying the Caribbean is that area is sorely lacking in all kinds of information. I'd love to have an island natural history guide to herps, maybe from as far north as the Fl Keys and Bermuda, and south to like Aruba and Trinidad.

Cuba could be a whole book itself....


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: February 26th, 2015, 5:55 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
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Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX
Sounds like a good one. And don't worry, I haven't been anywhere either.


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2015, 2:14 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
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Location: Denver, CO
I agree with the Caribbean......but good news on the horizon. This book is in process, website says 2015, but I've seen very few herp books arrive on schedule. The website is just about as good as a book already!

http://www.caribherp.org/book.php?mob=%3C?=$mob?%3E

Hispaniola could use a good book of it's own (I have a few references that just don't quite do it for me).

Also, much of Mexico is still lacking good reference, but I know of a few projects in the works that will change that. I'm told of at least 3 Mexico herp guides should be published by the end of 2016.

And Amazonia? Maybe a good book someday, but this is such a huge project.

Some states that could use updated books:
Arizona (currently being worked on)
Nevada (I heard rumors a few years ago that somebody was working on a book, but I've heard nothing else).
Utah
Mississippi
Louisiana

Hope it happens!


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 4th, 2015, 3:19 am 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
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Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX
The Caribbean book looks like good stuff! Pretty excited about that. Which regions/states are going to get books in Mexico, I'm wondering. Care to elaborate?

-Gene


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 4th, 2015, 6:01 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
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Location: San Antonio, TX
The Real Snake Man wrote:
3. The Western Ghats, India (one of the world's least-known herpetofaunas, and a hotspot for bizarre endemics; I'd like to see Grismer go here after he finishes his Peninsular Malaysia monographs)
4. Sri Lanka (only a lizard book exists, but again, there are a lot of other diverse groups of strange endemics here)
5. Madagascar (there's a field guide for Madagascar, but my general rule is that if there are fewer pages than species, it doesn't count)


I guess we'll have to disagree about these being pressing needs? There are a variety of herp resources available for India and the only reason western ghats isn't well covered is that so much recent stuff has been found. The same could be said for many areas like Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, etc.
I also suspect India is the most likely of these to have a herp guide in the coming years.

Compare that to the whole continent of South America for which there are no real field guides or books at all! There are a few "general" books that show a few species, but no real in depth treatment of any of the south American countries or regions.

Much of Africa is completely uncovered as well.
Central Asia has almost nothing as well. There are a few resources in Russian, but they are fairly outdated.


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 4th, 2015, 10:20 am 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
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Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX
Again, I picked my top five. I am aware of the lack of books for South America and Africa, but my predominant areas of interest are those with high numbers of bizarre endemics in a fairly small, isolated region. Thus, the three highlighted regions make sense; there is a field guide for Madagascar, but it was too short to begin with and now it's over ten years old. Sri Lanka only has a lizard book, and there isn't really anything for the Western Ghats specifically. I have found guides for India's snakes, but they are so diverse that even those books don't cover all of the species.

-Gene


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 5th, 2015, 9:37 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
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Location: Denver, CO
Regarding Mexico, I know Sonora and Hidalgo have books coming soon.


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: March 6th, 2015, 5:48 pm 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 5:01 am
Posts: 519
Location: Louisiana
Quote:
it's no secret to those who pay attention to the literature that there simply are not enough books out there to satisfy one's appetite for herpetological knowledge. Particularly frustrating is the lack of books that discuss a country or region's herpetofauna in a monograph-type fashion.


I have been buying herpetological works, voraciously, since the 1970s. With regard to what I presently have, if publication of herpetology books stopped today, I would not be able to acquire those that I still desire before very old age (my short list of the coveted is around 850 items). I have yet to see the light at the end of the literary tunnel, and I continually find titles that I did not know existed.

There are many hundreds of herpetology books that are not marketed within the U.S., and are, therefore, unknown to the average herpetological bibliophile. Have a look at some foreign distributor web pages and you will see jaw-dropping (and financially withering) offerings: Pensoft, China Sci, Chimaera, Natural History Book Sales, Anolis Books, Koeltz, etc.).

Here are some examples that I have:

Murthy 1990. "Illustrated Guide to the snakes of the Western Ghats, India". Well-illustrated with abundant natural history data.

Mushkhelishvili 1970. "Amphibians and Reptiles of eastern Georgia SSR". Packed with natural history data, dot maps, and b/w photos.

Khan 1993. "Snakes of Bangladesh [I suppose, as it's written in Bangali]". If you can read it, very wordy with b/w photos.

Ananjeva et al. 1997. "Reptiles of Mongolia". In Russian, a complete natural history summary for Mongolia, with many tables of raw data, dot maps, and b/w photos.

Roman 1980. "Serpents de Haute-Volta [=Burkina Fasso]". Much data based on the author's observations on thousands of snakes in that country.

Chirio and Lebreton 2007. "Atlas des Reptiles du Cameroun." They came, they saw, they conquered -- 686 pages.

Breuil 2002. "Histoire naturelle des amphibiens et reptiles terrestres de l'Archipel Guadeloupéen." Big (8"X12", 340 pages), full-color, everything-you-need-to-know about critters on this group of West Indian Islands.

Barus 1992. "Fauna CSFR - Plazi (Reptiles)." All you need to see and know about Czeckoslovakian reptiles. 222 pages.

Chen 1991. "The amphibian and Reptilian fauna of Anhui". Complete, illustrated summary of China's Anhui Province. 408 pages.

Regarding 'field guide' vs. 'monograph': some countries are in need of additional field work, and a field guide is the best way to provide the locals with a starting point. The monographs will follow.

There are excellent, monographic books on the herpetofauna of Argentina and Uruguay, as well as the snakes of Suriname (Abuys).

There is a chance that some poorly distributed book is out there, awaiting your foreign currency.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: September 18th, 2015, 2:33 am 
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Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
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Location: Belgium
The Real Snake Man wrote:
there is a field guide for Madagascar, but it was too short to begin with and now it's over ten years old.

http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Amphi ... 392944903X


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 5:22 am 
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Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
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Location: Gainesville, FL
I wonder hard it would be translate some of those books. That is, hire a translator and rewrite the book in English so it can reach american and many European audiences. Maybe pick a couple of the more recent publications and shop the idea around to publishers.


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 7:47 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
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Myanmar would be my #1 choice for me. The literature from that region is highly fragmented and it's a critical spot with lots of ecoregions and unresolved problems with taxonomy and which species live there.

Other places I'd like to see some more comprehensive or updated guides would be: Sumatra, Philippines, Albertine Rift Valley region of Africa, Angola, the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes, Guiana Shield region, and Chiapas in Mexico

- Justin


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 Post subject: Re: If there could be a book
PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 3:05 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
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Location: Greater Houston TX Area
captainjack0000 wrote:
I wonder hard it would be translate some of those books. That is, hire a translator and rewrite the book in English so it can reach american and many European audiences. Maybe pick a couple of the more recent publications and shop the idea around to publishers.


I translated a German herp book into English for my own enjoyment, and made the translation available to anyone who bought the book (not a whole lot of takers to date). I don't speak German; I used Google Translate and painstakingly entered the book line by line. It took several months since I was doing it in my "free time."


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