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Travellers' Wildlife Guides Costa Rica Paperback – October 31, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

Travellers' Wildlife Guides Costa Rica + Costa Rica Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (Pocket Naturalist Guide Series) + Waterproof Travel Map Of Costa Rica
Price for all three: $38.11

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Product Details

  • Series: Travellers' Wildlife Guides
  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Pub Group; 1 edition (October 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566565294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566565295
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Les Beletsky is the author of numerous wildlife guides including Ecuador (co-author) in the same series.

More About the Author

Les Beletsky is a professional wildlife biologist and former university biology teacher. Prior to taking up full-time writing, he conducted many years of field research into the ecology and behavior of birds, publishing many scientific reports and two technical books on birds. An avid global birder and ecotraveler, he has visited numerous sites in the Americas, Africa, Asia and in the Australian region. He currently makes his home in Seattle, Washington.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
This book was very helpful in preparing for my trip to Costa Rica.
Sarah Hummelgard
Also, the book is very limited in the varieties of each type of animal.
K. J. Stock
Had I just had this book, I would have been unable to ID certain birds.
AmandaGal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JLBRBB on April 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I traveled to Costa Rica for two weeks in March 2007. We purchased this book to take with us. This is a good book. Its candid and informative text provides a good background for travelers unfamiliar with Costa Rica's ecology and natural history. The colored species index offers an excellant variety of Costa Rican wildlife.

The only downfalls are that the book is rather bulky (not great for taking out into the field with you) and the species index does not include butterflies (which we saw a lot of).

If you are a casual wildlife observer interested in a mix of animal species, this book is for you! It was perfect for us!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Stock on February 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just returned from 10 days in CR and bought this guide (under seal so I could not examine it before purchasing) when I arrived there. This guide is great in that is provides wonderful data on amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and lots of information on CR geography, conservation, ecology and related. The guides I met really like the book for the "friendliness" of the presentation. Unfortunately I found the book to be cumbersome because it separated the animal data from the plates and the book lacked cross-referencing, so there was a lot of back and forth trying to read about something then find its illustration. Also, the book is very limited in the varieties of each type of animal. Since my main interest is birding, I was very frustrated not to find many of the birds I was seeing. Lastly, I paid $48 for this book when I arrived in CR and later I saw it for $38; state-side the book sells for $20 or so. I think it is a wonderful overview book on animals of CR but I do not recommend it as a field guide.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Maclean on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a comprehensive, easy to use, and worthwhile book for anyone who wants more information than a name for CR flora and fauna. I refered to it a lot on our trip. Buy it in the USA as it is wildly expensive once you get to CR.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. J Stemke on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book only really useful for mammals. I had to supplement this book for amphibians, reptiles, and especially for birds. I found it is really only good for 'popular species' of the non-mammals. If you are a casual naturalist and only want to bring one book, it is ok, but if you trying to really id a lot of organisms and add to your life-list, this isn't a great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Mclennan on December 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
During my three week trip to CR to search out and photograph birds I referred to this book frequently. The information concerning the various bird species was extremely accurate and the links to the various Wildlife Preserves, where certain birds could be found was very benificial. As a result I was able to spot many of the species that were listed for the locations that were identified.
It's not the best book for bird identification. For this purpose the book "A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica" by Stiles, Skutch and Gardner is really the best CR bird itentification book.
Also, as mentioned by a previous reviewer, it is a bit on the bulky side for a field book and I rarely took it out on hikes with me. But I did refer to it often in the car and hotel before and after trips.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Esther B. Bates on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Les Beletsky's "Costa Rica (Traveller's Wildlife Guide)" was a delightful and much-used companion on our recent tour in Costa Rica; and we are still reading it, now that we are home. Since we are especially interested in wildlife, we really enjoyed the beautiful, clear bird and animal illustrations and descriptions. We carried it with us on every bus and boat excursion, and it enabled us to identify many of the birds we saw. We found the comments about the parks and ecosystems in which the animals can be found to be very helpful.
The only shortcoming is that the plant descriptions are so brief and the plant illustrations are not in color.
The habitat photos are outstanding. Looking at them reminds us of the amazing variety of scenery we saw in Costa Rica.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kristen on May 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Overall, I think this is a good book. It provides good descriptions and illustrations for identification. I also liked that it included the parks and habitats where each of the species could be found. I was a little disappointed by the organization of the book (how the information is separate from the pictures). It is helpful when trying to quickly trying to ID an animal to have all the pictures in one spot, but it is a pain to have to flip back and forth to find out any facts. I was also wish that some butterfly species were included in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AmandaGal VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
While the previous posters are right that this book is limited, I thought it was the least limited of the "wildlife" guides I saw stateside and even in Costa Rica.

That being said, if you have a particular interest (birds, mammals, reptiles, etc) you'll be better off getting a specific field guide for that interest too. I love birds. I carried this and The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide with me and found it quite adequate. Had I just had this book, I would have been unable to ID certain birds.

If that doesn't bother you (not being able to ID a particular insect with this book didn't bother me too much), than you'll be alright with this book.

It has the most common species, so for the casual traveler and not the true eco-tourist, you'll probably be fine.

The truth is that the biodiversity of Costa Rica is so rich, to fit it all in an adequate field guide would require something that weighed too much to be carried.
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