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Dry statistics such as the research showing 60% fewer migrant songbirds returning from the tropics have little impact when told even to conservation minded people. John Terborgh writes the description of the forests, fields and shores as they have changed with the decline in bird populations so that the loss is graphic based on the ground with field observations. This is more painfull and effective in impact and yet he provides inspiration to do something about it. This is a non-fiction book written by a biologist but he writes as well as any novelist creating an easily read, interesting and informative book.
Many of the chapters explain what is changing in areas that the birds from North America spend the winter. There are suggestions on how to promote better conservation practices as exist in countries like Costa Rica and what could be done to assist countries such as El Salvadore and Haiti where almost no natural habitat remains.
This book has had a major impact in my life and after reading it I have dedicated much time, energy and funding to projects that help people protect habitat. I have been suprised that many people that I have strongly recommended this book to have declined to read it fearing that they would be too depressed about the population and habitat studies that Terbough relates in this book. Don't make that mistake, this book will arm you with the information and the motivation you may need to make a positive contribution.
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