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The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation Hardcover – November 15, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hands down, this is the most important book of the year, one every birdwatcher should own. It provides distribution, threats, and conservation status for all 212 Watch List species in the United States. It describes the habitats all birds rely on—the authors have organized these into twelve beautiful 'birdscapes.' . . . It analyzes the human causes of bird mortality. And most important, it lays out an achievable plan of action for safeguarding our country's rich birdlife and how you can help."
(Birder's World)

“The particular beauty of this book is that it’s not just another shout of crisis. It also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. . . . Even if you’re only a little bit interested in birds, and have never thought much about bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.”

(Jonathan Franzen)

"A fine layman’s introduction to the species and regions that ABC believes need the most conservation. It is for today’s birders what Roger Tory peterson’s guide was for Americans in 1934, a specialist’s gift to the curious layman.”--Books and Culture
(Books and Culture)

“This appears to be a first of its kind, a guide of needed conservation actions across the Western Hemisphere with particular emphasis on the United States. . . . It is my hope that this informative and delightful volume will entice more people to become involved in conservation.”
(Mark Robbins Quarterly Review of Biology)

About the Author

Michael J. Parr is vice president, George H. Fenwick is president, and Daniel J. Lebbin is conservation biologist at the American Bird Conservancy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226647277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226647272
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian Allen VINE VOICE on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a lifelong conservationist and birder and yet have rarely seen a book on bird conservation that held my interest. Most are cut and dried coffee table books with lovely pictures of Whooping Cranes or Bald Eagles and limited text about the threat of pesticides and habitat loss. This book by staff of the American Bird Conservancy goes beyond the superficial treatment and distills volumes of current science on bird distribution, population and status into an easily held 446 page book.

Yes there is a stunning photo of Whooping Cranes on page 259 but the rare Worthen's Sparrow with its own photo and little told story about an interesting corner of the Mexican Sierras is on page 374. The book's contents include a chapter on all the threatened species of the US with pictures and range maps as well as chapters on the habitats of the Americas. Another chapter explains all that is known of threats to bird populations including the latest updates on Wind Turbines, window impacts, oil spills, alien species and the whole roster of problems.

I appreciated the Chapter on International conservation with accounts on some of the most spectacular bird habitats of the world from the El Dorado sanctuary on the Santa Marta mountains of Colombia to the Marine Birdscapes of Paracas Peru.

Despite the dire conditions enumerated within, the book leaves you impressed with all the American Bird Conservancy has managed to do along with dozens of other conservation organizations. Best of all it encourages and motivates you to help in any of the hundreds of strategies that will protect and preserve birds for our future. One warning, reading this book will give you wanderlust.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By adrian forsyth on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a landmark accomplishment, not just for bird conservation in the Americas, but for biodiversity conservation in general. It is hard to imagine that anyone concerned with the conservation of any taxon anywhere would not wish for something like this to guide their work. It is at once both elegant and pragmatic, both concerned with the threats but also full with steps that can be taken. The succinct statements of goals and actions for each species, the maps and descriptions of important bird areas should raise the awareness and understanding of the birding community and conservation community by a good measure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Manhattanite on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
You might expect a conservation guide to be as dry as toast, but this book isn't that kind of guide. Calmly and scientifically, the authors dissect the threats to the country's most endangered birds, and provide advice on what ordinary humans can do to stem and reverse the decline of bird populations. The book is readable, and equally important, it's beautiful, with full-color illustrations.

You don't have to be a birder to enjoy this book. All you have to do is recognize the importance of birds in our environment -- and care.
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By Ellie on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the habitat for birds and all creatures on Earth shrinks by the day, it is important for those of us who are heavily involved in the preservation of our planet to have a book that can specify where and what is going with the status of birds in North America. This book is a must. It is filled with fantastic pictures, maps, and detailed information about the status level of the birds of the United States.
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13 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Wolf on December 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased "The ABC Guide" for just one reason: to see what the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is saying about the threat that free-roaming cats pose to bird populations--less than three pages of content in a book nearly 450 pages in length. Not the typical customer, in other words.

I've been highly critical of ABC and their Cats Indoors! campaign on my blog, Vox Felina ([...]), but held out some hope that they would use the publication of this book to right some past wrongs. Unfortunately, ABC used the book as an opportunity to further perpetuate the same errors and misinformation they've been promoting for years now.

For example, the four studies used to estimate the number of birds killed each year by cats--both pets and feral--are misrepresented, flawed, or both. And the authors fail to inform readers about scientific research suggesting that birds killed by cats are often in poor health compared to, say, birds killed in collisions with buildings or cars. These results raise serious doubts about any causal relationship between predation by cats and significant population declines, such as those suggested in "The ABC Guide."

Some of the most egregious errors included are right up front, stated with a directness that implies an undisputed factuality. Such as the authors' claim that "all cats hunt and kill birds." I'm not aware of any scientific evidence to this effect. On the contrary, studies have shown that 30-70 percent of house cats don't seem to be successful hunters at all.

The authors also allege that birds make up "20-30 percent of cat prey," a myth ABC has been promoting since 1997--and one that was exposed publicly in 2004 with the publication of Ellen Perry Berkeley's book, "TNR Past, Present and Future.
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