Vietnam: A Natural History
By: Eleanor J. Sterling, Martha M. Hurley, and Minh Le Duc
A country uncommonly rich in plants, animals, and natural habitats, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shelters a significant portion of the world's biological diversity, including rare and unique organisms and an unusual mixture of tropical and temperate species. This book is the first comprehensive account of Vietnam's natural history in English. Illustrated with maps, photographs, and thirty-five original watercolor illustrations, the book offers a complete tour of the country's plants and animals along with a full discussion of the factors shaping their evolution and distribution. Separate chapters focus on northern, central, and southern Vietnam, regions that encompass tropics, subtropics, mountains, lowlands, wetland and river regions, delta and coastal areas, and offshore islands. The authors provide detailed descriptions of key natural areas to visit, where a traveler might explore limestone caves or glimpse some of the country's twenty-seven monkey and ape species and more than 850 bird species. The book also explores the long history of humans in the country, including the impact of the Vietnam-American War on plants and animals, and describes current efforts to conserve Vietnam's complex, fragile, and widely threatened biodiversity. Eleanor Jane Sterling is director and Martha Maud Hurley and Le Duc Minh are biodiversity scientists at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History. Joyce A. Powzyk is visiting assistant professor of biology at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT. Vietnam: A Natural History is available from Yale University Press, at 1-800-405-1619 or online.