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Vietnam: A Natural History - Sterling, Eleanor Jane; Hurley, Martha Maud; Minh, Le Duc; Powzyk, Joyce A. - Yale University Press
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Vietnam: A Natural History

  • Eleanor Jane Sterling, Martha Maud Hurley, and Le Duc Minh; with illustrations by Joyce A. Powzyk
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Out of Print.


Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.

Named One of the Best Science Books of 2006 published by Library Journal

Winner of the Professional Scholarly Publishing Award in the Biological Science Category, given by the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers

To learn more about the organization's research and projects in Vietnam or view an interactive online exhibition, visit the website for The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Musuem of Natural History.

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.

A majority of the authors' royalties earned from sales of this book will be contributed to an educational fund supporting Southeast Asian students working in biodiversity conservation.

The authors gave a lecture on Vietnam's natural history at the American Museum of Natural History. Listen to the podcast here: AMNH Podcasts Selected Lectures.

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