Category Archives: Life Science

Spring books preview: nature

Seasonal catalog cover spring 2016We’re excited about the books we’ll be publishing this spring—and we’re pleased to start off the new year with a series of posts that highlight our forthcoming titles. Be sure to check out the online edition of JHUP’s entire Spring 2016 catalog, and remember that promo code “HDPD” gets you a 30% discount on all pre-publication orders. Today we feature spring books on nature and life sciences; click on the title to read more about the book or to place an order:


schmidtThe Sting of the Wild
Justin O. Schmidt


kaysCandid Creatures
How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature
Roland Kays


fenolioLife in the Dark
Illuminating Biodiversity in the Shadowy Haunts of Planet Earth
Danté Fenolio


kells-westA Field Guide to Coastal Fishes
From Alaska to California
Val Kells, Luiz A. Rocha, and Larry G. Allen


snyderMarine Fishes of Florida
David B. Snyder and George H. Burgess


ransomWild Equids
Ecology, Management, and Conservation
edited by Jason I. Ransom and Petra Kaczensky


heaneyThe Mammals of Luzon Island
Biogeography and Natural History of a Philippine Fauna
Lawrence R. Heaney, Danilo S. Balete, and Eric A. Rickart


Use discount code “HDPD” to receive a 30% discount on pre-publication orders for JHUP’s spring 2016 titles.
To order, click on the book titles above or call 800-537-5487.

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Biology, Conservation, Fish, Life Science, Nature, Publishing News

Fall migration Is underway

Guest post by Leslie Day

day15On the next to last day of September 2015, I was walking in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights from the Heather Garden. Just before I got to Sir William’s Dog Run, my eye caught a movement high up in the northern red oak tree. Warblers! Knowing it’s migration time for insect- and nectar-eating birds—i.e. warblers, flickers, kinglets, hummingbirds—I never leave home without my trusty, light-weight pocket binoculars. Let me tell you, it is challenging keeping your binoculared eyes on moving warblers. The balletic pattern of one of the warblers foraging in the oak tree made me think REDSTART! These tiny birds—black and red males, gray and yellow females—flash their tails and dive up and down, in and out, gleaning insects from the leaves. I had spotted a lovely female redstart fanning her bright yellow tail and flitting, butterfly-like, from leaf to leaf.

Male black-and-white warbler.

Male black-and-white warbler.

There was another warbler with a different type of motion. Catching up to him with my eyes, I saw it was a male northern parula  warbler: a gorgeous little fellow with olive shoulders and a back, gray head, a bright yellow belly turning orange up by his neck, and a black necklace. What a find!

The next afternoon I met Kellye Rosenheim leading a tour for New York City Audubon. We met at the salt marsh of Inwood Hill Park. The park is located at the northernmost tip of Manhattan Island right next to the shipping canal that connects the Harlem River with the Hudson River at Spuyten Duyvil. So much to see there. The week before, birding with my friend Elizabeth White-Pultz, we saw a marsh wren and a pair of common yellowthroat warblers hanging out in the marsh grass, flowering goldenrod, and asters. Columbia University has their boathouse there with a new kayak dock that is used by the rowing crews and the public. Columbia has housed their boats up there since the late 1920s. Across the Harlem River you can see a giant blue and white C. In 1952, Robert Prendergrast, a Columbia medical student and coxswain of the rowing crew, painted the letter on the massive Fordham gneiss outcropping. From the marsh we walked up into the verdant hills of the park. Entering the deeply forested paths, we found black-throated blue warblers, male and female redstarts, northern flickers, and a white-breasted nuthatch.

Male wood duck.

Male wood duck.

Fall migration happens more slowly than spring migration, when literally hundreds of millions of birds take the aerial route known as the Atlantic flyway from their winter feeding grounds in South and Central America to their northern breeding grounds in the middle Atlantic states, New England, and Canada. Flying over New York City, they drop down in huge numbers into our parks to feed and rest. Sometimes they stay, nesting and raising their young until it is time to make their journey south in order to find food throughout the winter. And so it is that birds leave our area, not because it is too cold in winter—after all they are covered in a layer of down, just like our down coats that keep us warm and cozy in January, February, and March. But birds cannot find the food they need in the winter: insects and other invertebrates, fish, amphibians, small mammals. In addition to watching migrating warblers and other song birds, during fall migration you can join groups looking at migrating hawks, eagles, and owls; egrets, herons and shorebirds. And from the far north come our wintering birds, which are able to survive the cold months in New York City. Small flocks of tufted titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, and black-capped chickadees descend on our wooded parks. And in autumn and winter we make way for ducks, geese, and swans! Wood ducks, northern shovelers, hooded mergansers, ruddy ducks, snow geese, brandt geese, and mute swans flock to our wetlands to find food when their summer territories freeze over. They are not alone. More and more, we are seeing bald eagles along our coast in winter.

And of course we have our year-round birds who are able to find seed, nuts, and dried fruit even in winter: blue jays, house sparrows, crows, starlings, pigeons, cardinals, downy, hairy, and red-bellied woodpeckers, mallard ducks and Canada geese. And let us not forget our birds of prey that are here all year: red-tailed hawks, cooper hawks, sharp shinned hawks, peregrine falcons, American kestrels, great horned owls, saw-whet owls, and screech owls. New York City, as it turns out, is a birding haven throughout the seasons. So take a walk with or without binoculars and you will start to see our lovely and interesting feathered neighbors.

Leslie Day is a New York City naturalist and the author of Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City, Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, and Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City, published by Johns Hopkins. Dr. Day taught environmental science and biology for more than twenty years. Today, she leads nature tours in New York City Parks for the New York Historical Society, the High Line Park, Fort Tryon Park Trust, Riverside Park Conservancy, and New York City Audubon. Trudy Smoke is a professor of linguistics and rhetoric at Hunter College, City University of New York and a nature illustrator. She is the illustrator of Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City. Beth Bergman is a photographer for the Metropolitan Opera who moonlights as a nature photographer. Her photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Opera News, and Paris Match.

 

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Filed under Birds, Ducks, Life Science, Nature, ornithology

Fall books preview: nature & science

Fall 2015 very largeWe’re excited about the books we’ll be publishing this fall—and pleased to share this series of “Fall Books Preview” blog posts! Be sure to check out the online edition of JHUP’s entire Fall 2015 catalog, and remember that promo code “HDPD” gets you a 30% discount on pre-pub orders. Here are some of the terrific books we have coming in the months ahead on science, nature, and the environment:


ceballos15The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals
Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich

In The Annihilation of Nature, three of today’s most distinguished conservationists—Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich—tell the stories of the birds and mammals we have lost and those that are now on the road to extinction. These tragic tales, coupled with eighty-three color photographs from the world’s leading nature photographers, display the beauty and biodiversity that humans are squandering.

“This is a gorgeously illustrated book on a riveting subject: the charismatic bird and mammal species that we have already lost or are at risk of losing, the reasons for their demise, and what we can do to minimize our future losses.”—Jared Diamond, University of California–Los Angeles, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

“A beautiful lament for the vanishing wildlife of the world—wrapped in a message of hope.”—Tim Flannery, Stanford University, author of Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth

Available in September


greeneAlfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift
Mott T. Greene

This landmark biography—the only complete account of Alfred Wegener’s fascinating life and work—is the culmination of twenty years of intensive research. Written with great immediacy and descriptive power, Alfred Wegener is a powerful portrait of the scientist who pioneered the theory of continental drift and the modern notion of unified Earth science.

“The definitive biography of Alfred Wegener—and a great read.”—Naomi Oreskes, Harvard University, author of Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth and coauthor of The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

“Twenty-five years in the making, Greene’s terrific biography of Wegener has absolutely no competition: it is a giant leap forward in our knowledge of Wegener’s views and life. Readers will be immediately drawn into Wegener’s life by the fresh, direct, and accessible writing. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of earth science, meteorology, aerology, atmospheric physics, and twentieth-century science.”—Henry R. Frankel, University of Missouri–Kansas City, author of The Continental Drift Controversy

Available in October


boydThe Slain Wood: Papermaking and Its Environmental Consequences in the American South
William Boyd

When the paper industry moved into the South in the 1930s, it confronted a region in the midst of an economic and environmental crisis. Entrenched poverty, stunted labor markets, vast stretches of cutover lands, and severe soil erosion prevailed across the southern states. By the middle of the twentieth century, however, pine trees had become the region’s number one cash crop, and the South dominated national and international production of pulp and paper based on the intensive cultivation of timber.

In The Slain Wood, William Boyd chronicles the dramatic growth of the pulp and paper industry in the American South during the twentieth century and the social and environmental changes that accompanied it.

Available in November


spotillaThe Leatherback Turtle: Biology and Conservation
edited by James R. Spotila and Pilar Santidrián Tomillo

Leatherbacks have been declining in recent decades, and some predict they will be gone by the end of this century. Why? Because of two primary factors: human redevelopment of nesting beaches and commercial fishing.

In the most comprehensive book ever written on leatherback sea turtles, James R. Spotila and Pilar Santidrián Tomillo bring together the world’s leading experts to produce a volume that reveals the biology of the leatherback while putting a spotlight on the conservation problems and solutions related to the species. The book leaves us with options: embark on the conservation strategy laid out within its pages and save one of nature’s most splendid creations, or watch yet another magnificent species disappear.

Available in September


hacheSlap Shot Science: A Curious Fan’s Guide to Hockey
Alain Haché

Slap Shot Science is an under-the-hood, behind-the-scenes, action-packed romp through special moments in the game as seen from the perspective of science and explained in a way everyone can understand.

Praise for the first edition:

“Haché brings to this informative study the perspective of a physicist and amateur hockey player . . . making the reader feel like going to a game.”—Scientific American

“Pure entertainment, cover to cover.”—The Hockey News

Available in November

 

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Filed under Animals, Biology, Conservation, History of science, Life Science, Nature, Publishing News

Meet us in Jacksonville: American Society of Mammalogists

The long-anticipated fourth edition of the leading mammalogy textbook by George A. Feldhamer, Lee C. Drickamer, Stephen H. Vessey, Joseph F. Merritt, and Carey Krajewski is the featured book at this year’s Johns Hopkins University Press book display at the American Society of Mammalogists 2015 Annual Meeting. Mammalogy headlines a list of titles that cover every aspect of the field.

As America’s top mammalogy publisher, Johns Hopkins is thrilled to once again display titles by leading mammalogists, including Troy Best, Gerardo Ceballos, Andy Derocher, Dan Gebo, Stan Gehrt, Colin Groves, Paul Krausman, Tom Kunz, William McShea, Joe Merritt, Virginia Naples, Ron Nowak, DeeAnn Reeder, Seth Riley, Uldis Roze, John Seidensticker, Richard Thorington, and Don Wilson.

Editor Vince Burke will be on site to talk to anyone interested in chatting about book publishing, and JHUP will offer a deep discount for all our published titles at the meeting. With quality books on topics that range from small mammals to polar bears, browsing our booth is a great way to spend time in the exhibit hall. This year we’ll be offering special deep discount for orders of Mammals of Mexico. Stop by to take a look at this outstanding reference book and all the other quality works that surround it. See you in Jacksonville later this week!


feldhamerMammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology, fourth edition
by George A. Feldhamer, Lee C. Drickamer, Stephen H. Vessey, Joseph F. Merritt, and Carey Krajewski

A classroom classic, this completely revised and updated edition of the leading mammalogy textbook reflects the expertise and perspective of five leading mammalogists—with significant updates of taxonomy, a new chapter on mammalian molecular phylogenetics, and discussions of recently described species.

“This attractive book will be welcome to those seeking a well-written, current text to use in their mammalogy courses . . . It is logically organized, clearly written, well referenced, and nicely illustrated.”—Journal of Mammalogy, reviewing the previous edition


ceballoMammals of Mexico
edited by Gerardo Ceballos

Mammals of Mexico is the first reference book in English on the more than 500 types of mammal species found in the diverse Mexican habitats, which range from the Sonoran Desert to the Chiapas cloud forests.

“Gerardo Ceballos is an internationally recognized scientist known for his remarkable breadth and insights.”—Bruce Patterson, The Field Museum


geboPrimate Comparative Anatomy
by Daniel L. Gebo

This heavily illustrated, up-to-date textbook provides straightforward explanations of primate anatomy that move logically through the body plan and across species.

“Primate Comparative Anatomy is a very strong addition to the available books on primate anatomy. A clear, logical, and useful resource for students and a nice quick reference for researchers.”—Timothy M. Ryan, The Pennsylvania State University


 

Roads and Ecological Infrastructure: Concepts and Applications for Small Animals
edited by Kimberly M. Andrews, Priya Nanjappa, and Seth P. D. Riley

Wildlife Habitat Conservation: Concepts, Challenges, and Solutions
edited by Michael L. Morrison and Heather A. Mathewson

Mapping Disease Transmission Risk: Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology
by Townsend Peterson

Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology
edited by Francisco J. Ayala and John C. Avise


JHUP-sciencemath-2015Browse our new Science and Math catalog to see more terrific titles in mammalogy and life sciences.

Use promo code “HYOA” and receive a 30% discount when you order!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Conservation, Conservation, Life Science, Nature

Trees are flowering . . . it must be spring!

Guest Post by Leslie Day

Amelanchier canadensis, or the downy serviceberry tree, is one of the first to bloom in early spring in the northeastern United States. New York City has just gone through a long , brutally cold, and snowy winter. The snow has finally disappeared, but there are new puffs of white dotting the hills and meadows of city parks: the blossoms of the serviceberry tree.

This little tree has many common names: serviceberry, because it blooms when the ground finally thaws, so that burials can take place; shadblow and shadberry, because it blooms when the shad begin their northern migration into the estuaries off the Atlantic Ocean, like the Hudson River; and Juneberry, because the fruit ripens in June.

An understory tree, it only reaches 15-30’ in height, and has many slender trunks. This is a valuable native tree, and though small in stature it is huge in terms of its ecological value to wildlife. The beautiful flowers attract pollinators, the berries provide nutritious food for hungry birds, and the foliage is beautiful in every season, particularly in autumn. As it is one of the first trees to bloom, it attracts all kinds of pollinating animals, when there are few flowers available. The nectar attracts butterflies, and the pollen attracts honeybees, bumblebees, flies, and wasps. The purplish-red berries are sweet and delicious and are among the most favorite fruit of birds. Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers, cedar waxwings, song sparrows, cardinals, bluebirds, catbirds, and rose breasted grosbeaks are some of the beautiful birds that come to this tree in droves. Squirrels, chipmunks, and woodchucks also feed on the berries. Humans can eat the berries raw off the tree, cooked into pies and jams, fermented for wine, or eaten dried.

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This little tree has a great botanical and cultural history as the fruit, seeds, leaves, and bark were important sources of food and medicine for native peoples. For many tribes, serviceberries were a common source of food in the summer. They would eat the berries raw as we do today, or mash them and form them into pemmican cakes made of animal fat, dried meat, and dried berries. Other parts of the plant are also edible. The Lakota of the Great Plains, used the flower petals, leaves and stems to make a drink, and the Cheyenne, also of the Great Plains, boiled the dried leaves to make a red tea.

Serviceberry shrubs were used for medicinal purposes by native Americans for the treatment of earaches, toothaches, the common cold, influenza, coughs, and fevers.

Woodworkers and indigenous people used branches, stems, and wood to make baskets, furniture, rope, tools, and harpoons.

In autumn, a blend of pink, orange, gold, and red creates gorgeous, colorful foliage. No two leaves have the same colors. There are times when they are so beautiful that, an inveterate leaf collector since the age of five, I gather each and every one I find on the ground.

Leslie Day is a biology and life science teacher at The Elisabeth Morrow School. She developed the City Naturalists Summer Institute with the Central Park Conservancy and is the author of Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City and Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, as well as her forthcoming book, Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City.

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Filed under Biology, Botany, Life Science

Enjoying nature in Maryland this month

Guest post by Bryan MacKay

MackayWith a cautious nod to what seems to be (let’s hope) the arrival of Spring in Maryland, we offer the following April excerpt from Bryan MacKay’s A Year across Maryland, his week-by-week guide to enjoying the natural world in JHUP’s home state.


Rockfish (Striped Bass) Fishing Season Opens

Rockfish, that toothsome and combative gamefish, is now migrating down the Bay along the edges of the shipping channel, after spawning in the upper Bay and tributaries. Striped bass are anadromous fish: mature adults spend most of their time in the ocean but visit freshwater to spawn. About 70 to 90 percent of the entire Atlantic coastal striped bass spawn in Chesapeake Bay, especially in the upper tidal Potomac, the Choptank River, and the Susquehanna flats. The eggs and larvae are susceptible to certain environmental conditions and to pollution. Varying water temperatures cause significant mortality, as does acid rain runoff and trace concentrations of metal ions like aluminum, copper, and cadmium. Young rockfish spend the first three to seven years of their life in the Bay before entering the Atlantic, thereafter returning only to breed. This portion of the fishing season targets spawners returning to the ocean; younger fish must be released when caught. Striped bass can weigh up to 75 pounds; most fish over 30 pounds are female. Larger females are especially important to the survival of the species, as size correlates with egg production.

Where to find rockfish: It is possible to catch rockfish from land at Point Lookout State Park and other sites directly on the Bay, but most striped bass are taken from a boat in deep water. For a listing of charter boats, see www.marylandcharterboats.com.  For a useful weekly blog about what’s being caught where in Chesapeake Bay, see www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/fishingreport/log.asp.

Lesser Celandine Flowering

MacKay April lesser celedineThe month of April brings the extensive flowering of this invasive non-native plant in alluvial floodplains and suburban lawns. Indeed, just before trees leaf out, lesser celandine seems to be everywhere, choking out native herbaceous vegetation, including the native wildflowers of April like spring beauty, bluebells, and bloodroot. Lesser celandine has kidney-shaped, thumbnail-sized shiny green leaves and brilliant, shiny, yellow flowers.  Emerging from many small bulbs, lesser celandine is almost impossible to eradicate. Only the fact that the leaves are above ground for only about two months, emerging in March and dying back by mid-May, keeps lesser celandine  from being considered our most troublesome invasive plant.

Where to see lesser celandine: Unfortunately, lesser celandine is extremely common, even ubiquitous, on the floodplain next to almost every river and stream in central Maryland. It is especially troublesome in Patapsco Valley, Gunpowder Falls, Susquehanna, and Seneca Creek State Parks and in Rock Creek Park and along the C&O Canal towpath.

American Robins Calling at Dusk

Mackay April robinPerhaps the ultimate bird of the suburbs, robins have adapted completely to humans and their developed landscapes. Robins will begin constructing nests as soon as the trees leaf out, and by mid-April, male robins are staking out their territories, singing to attract a mate, and chasing each other. Dusk seems to bring the most activity, and their alarm calls and song in the gloaming is a favorite sound of spring.

Where to see American robins: Listen for the calls of robins at dusk anywhere and everywhere in Maryland. The only places in Maryland where robins do not nest is on some small islands in Chesapeake Bay and possibly on Assateague Island.

Virginia Bluebells Flowering

MacKay April virginia-bluebellsWildflower enthusiasts may argue over what is our loveliest spring bloom, but certainly one finalist is Virginia bluebells. A plant common to alluvial floodplains, bluebells carpet the forest floor as far as the eye can see in some locations. Sky-blue trumpet-or bell-shaped flowers occur in hanging clusters above light green, fleshy leaves. Bluebells are pollinated by bees and butterflies. The flower buds are a gorgeous shade of pink, converting to blue upon full expansion. Albino flowers seem to occur in most populations. Virginia bluebells have a short season, blooming for only about two weeks in mid-April. Interestingly, while the flower is abundant in the floodplains of some Maryland rivers, such as the Potomac, Susquehanna, and Patuxent, it is missing entirely from others, like the Patapsco. Virginia bluebells form natural gardens covering many acres of alluvial floodplains at several locations in central Maryland.

Where to find Virginia bluebells: Extensive stands of bluebells occur at Susquehanna State Park, along the C&O Canal towpath, at Patuxent Research Refuge (North Tract), and at Bull Run Regional Park (Virginia).

Bryan MacKay is a senior lecturer emeritus in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of A Year across Maryland: A Week-by-Week Guide to Discovering Nature in the Chesapeake Region; Hiking, Cycling, and Canoeing in Maryland: A Family Guide; and Baltimore Trails: A Guide for Hikers and Mountain Bikers.

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Filed under Animals, Birds, Botany, Conservation, Life Science, Nature, Regional-Chesapeake Bay, Wild Thing

Meet us in Pittsburgh: The Wildlife Society

Guest post by Vince Burke

It was one of those days that every editor dreams of having. Just as I was beginning to plan my trip to The Wildlife Society annual conference in Pittsburgh, I received word. The two big book awards for 2014 had been announced and Johns Hopkins University Press had published both of them. The first award was for the best edited volume, and Nova Silvy’s The Wildlife Techniques Manual, seventh edition, was the winner. The second award, for best authored book, was won by C. Kenneth “Ken” Dodd, Jr.’s Frogs of the United States and Canada. On Sunday night, October 26th, I’ll be in the audience at the awards dinner, happy about the small part I played in helping Ken and Nova complete their masterpieces.

For the rest of the meeting, however, you’ll find me at the Johns Hopkins University Press booth in the exhibit hall, standing near the new revised edition of the classic book, Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America. Following in the footsteps of Francis Kortright and Frank Bellrose, this new edition is a 2-volume masterpiece by Guy Baldassare. A proven bestseller (the last edition of Ducks, Geese, and Swans sold over 250,000 copies), this 2-volume set retails for an amazingly low $69.95. During the meeting you’ll be able to purchase this title, and all our books, for 7 cents on the dime (that is, for 30% off)!

doddvols1&2I hope you will stop by and see the large collection of wildlife books that we publish, especially those we are proud to publish in association with The Wildlife Society. Sightings at the booth of TWS book series editor Paul Krausman are common, as are occasional visits by Johns Hopkins authors (past, present, and future) such as Kimberly Andrews, Jerry Belant, Travis DeVault, Dan Decker, George Feldhamer, Stan Gehrt, Bruce Leopold, Jim Miller, Mike Morrison, Priya Nanjappa, Nils Peterson, Russ Reidinger, Seth Riley, Shawn Riley, Amanda Rodewald, Nova Silvy, and others.

We are very proud of the high-quality books we produce at Johns Hopkins, but even more proud of the talented authors and volume editors with whom we work. If you have an interest in creating a book, please take that first step and stop by our booth so we can chat. Our goal is to work with the members of The Wildlife Society to produce the finest books in the field. Whether you are a reader of these books, or aspire to write your own, we look forward to chatting with you in the Steel City.


New and forthcoming:

Wildlife Management & Conservation, edited by Paul R. Krausman and James W. Cain III, eds.
The Wildlife Techniques Manual, edited by Nova J. Silvy
Roads and Ecological Infrastructure, edited by Kimberly M. Andrews, Priya Nanjappa, and Seth P. D. Riley
Wildlife Habitat Conservation, edited by , Michael L. Morrison and Heather A. Mathewson


Executive Editor Vincent J. Burke, PhD, acquires books in science and mathematics for the JHU Press; follow him on Twitter at @VBurke2. In Pittsburgh from October 25-30 at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference,  meet Vince  at the JHU Press exhibit in booth 102; follow The Wildlife Society and read more about the conference on Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Animals, Baldassarre, Biology, Conservation, Ducks, Geese, Life Science, Nature