The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Fiona A. Reid, Twan Leenders, Jim Zook, Robert Dean
This full-color field guide is an indispensable companion to the most popular neotropical ecotourism destination: Costa Rica. Featuring all the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods that one is likely to see on a trip to the rainforest (as well as those secretive creatures such as the jaguar that are difficult to glimpse), The Wildlife of Costa Rica is the guide to have when encountering trogons, tapirs, and tarantulas.In addition to providing details for identifying animals along with interesting facts about their natural history, this guide offers tips for seeing them in the wild. Costa Rica, a peaceful nation with many and diverse animal species, is one of the best places in the world for wildlife watching and nature study. It has an excellent system of national parks and reserves, a wide choice of ecolodges, and many professionally trained tourist guides. It is possible to leave the capital city of San José and, just a few hours later, visit a high-elevation cloud forest, dense rainforest, savanna-like plain, or coastal habitat, each with a unique collection of animal species.This new lightweight field guide provides nature enthusiasts visiting Costa Rica with the best introduction to the country's amazing diversity of wildlife. It is the first general field guide to Costa Rica to combine the most sought-after features:•treatment of all major phyla in the country;•coverage of the animals most likely and most desirable to be seen;•more than 600 detailed illustrations integrated with the text (the preferred method of animal identification in the wild);•full species accounts including ID points, range and habitat, size, and behaviors;•a wealth of natural history information, including more than 20 photographic natural history features; and•tips for seeing animals.
Wild Costa Rica: The Wildlife and Landscapes of Costa Rica (The MIT Press)
By: Adrian Hepworth
An exploration of the most biologically diverse country on the planet, with more than 200 stunning color photographs.The small Central American country of Costa Rica―less than one-eighth the size of California―boasts the highest density of plant and animal species in the world. Its wild and rugged landscapes include dense rainforests where jaguars roam, a volcano that spews rivers of molten lava, and beaches as unspoiled as they were when Christopher Columbus first anchored his ships off the Caribbean coast in 1502. Costa Rica's rich biodiversity is the result of a hugely varied topography that creates a wide range of natural habitats, and of the presence of animals and plants native to both North and South America. In Wild Costa Rica, photographer Adrian Hepworth explores the natural riches of Costa Rica, providing engaging reports from the field and more than 200 stunning color photographs. We learn about Costa Rica's rainforest, cloudforest, and paramo (high, treeless plain); the abundance of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects these habitats support; and the country's network of protected areas―a system of parks, reserves, and refuges that makes up over twenty percent of Costa Rica's land. These areas―including such flagship wildlife-watching locations as Tortuguero and Corcovado―attract more than a million visitors every year. The money generated by responsible eco-tourism is central to the survival of Costa Rica's wild places. Hepworth's photographs show us breathtaking vistas and introduce us to distinctive native wildlife, including the scarlet macaw, the resplendent quetzal, the three-toed sloth, and spider and howler monkeys. Wild Costa Rica gives us a fascinating picture of the most biologically diverse country in the world.
Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Barbara Ras, Oscar Arias
Journey into the Costa Rican imagination through twenty-six remarkable stories, selected and organized regionally for the curious traveler. Here, for the first time in English, the best of Costa Rica's writers conjure the country's allure and vitality, its coffee fields and palm groves, cicadas and songbirds, shrouded mountains and blazing savannas, while telling stories unique to Costa Rican life. Contributors include Alfredo Aguilar, Fernando Durán Ayanegui, Alfonso Chase, Quince Duncan, Fabián Dobles, Louis Ducoudray, Carlos Luis Fallas, Mario Gonzáles Feo, Joaquín Gutiérrez, Carlos Salazar Herrera, Max Jiménez, Carmen Lyra, Carmen Naranjo, Yolanda Oreamuno, Abel Pacheco, Julieta Pinto, Uriel Quesada, Samuel Rovinski, José León Sánchez, and Rima de Vallbona.
This is the first interpretive history of Central America by a Central American historian to be published in English. Anyone with an interest in current events in the region will find here an insightful and well-written guide to the history of its five national states―Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Traces of a common past invite us to make generalizations about the region, even to posit the idea of a Central American nation. But, as Hector Perez-Brignoli shows us, we can learn more from a comparative approach that establishes both the points of convergence and the separate paths taken by the five different countries of Central America.The author offers a concise overview of the region's history from the sixteenth century to the present, beginning with human and cultural geography in the first chapter and ending with the present crisis in the last. He deals with the fundamental themes and problems of the area: the characteristics of the colonial heritage, independence and the crisis of the Federal Republic, the formation of nation-states during the nineteenth century, and the development of export agriculture based on coffee and bananas. The narrative moves finally into the twentieth century to look at the growing impoverishment that multiplies inequalities and leads to the shipwreck of liberal democracy. The case of Costa Rica, exceptional in more ways than one, receives special attention.
Costa Rica - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Jane Koutnik
Costa Rica is renowned for its tropical beauty, the warmth and charm of the “Ticos”—its people’s own name for themselves—and its political stability. This “Switzerland of the Americas” is widely regarded as an oasis of democracy in turbulent Central America. Since the first edition of Culture Smart! Costa Rica was published in 2005, however, there have been some important changes and, with rapid economic development, some growing pains. Over the past few years there has been a movement of population to the towns of the Central Valley. Higher education is now the norm for young Ticos, and the middle class has expanded—but so has the gap between rich and poor. Tourism took a dive after the 2009 recession, and the national debt has grown, while the arrival of multinationals and significant Chinese investment has been welcomed. Unemployment has risen, people are prepared to go on strike more readily, and there is a general disillusionment with politicians. In the face of mounting difficulties the Ticos remain remarkably peaceable, relaxed, and fun-loving. Their enthusiasm for life is seen as much in their passion for soccer as in their demonstrations in support of human and political rights. Culture Smart! Costa Rica explores and explains the complex human realities of modern Costa Rican life. Armed with this information, you will be better equipped to understand your hosts and to enjoy your visit to this beguiling and beautiful country to the full.
The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica
By: Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz, Richard Biesanz, Karen Zubris Biesanz
Written with the perspective of more than half a century of first-hand observation, this unparalleled social and cultural history describes how Costa Rica's economy, government, education and health-care systems, family structures, religion, and other institutions have evolved, and how this evolution has affectedCand reflectedCpeople's daily lives, beliefs, and their values. The authors are particularly concerned with change and continuity since the economic crisis of the early 1980s and the structural adjustment that followed. Providing a comprehensive introduction to a country they know well, the Biesanzes also contribute astutely to an understanding of the reciprocal influence of structural adjustment and national culture.
By: Richard V. Fisher, Grant Heiken, Jeffrey Hulen
Whenever a volcano threatens to erupt, scientists and adventurers from around the world flock to the site in response to the irresistible allure of one of nature's most dangerous and unpredictable phenomena. In a unique book probing the science and mystery of these fiery features, the authors chronicle not only their geologic behavior but also their profound effect on human life. From Mount Vesuvius to Mount St. Helens, the book covers the surprisingly large variety of volcanoes, the subtle to conspicuous signs preceding their eruptions, and their far-reaching atmospheric consequences. Here scientific facts take on a very human dimension, as the authors draw upon actual encounters with volcanoes, often through firsthand accounts of those who have witnessed eruptions and miraculously survived the aftermath. The book begins with a description of the lethal May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens--complete with an explanation of how safety officials and scientists tried to predict events, and how unsuspecting campers and loggers miles away struggled against terrifying blasts of ash, stone, and heat. The story moves quickly to the ways volcanoes have enhanced our lives, creating mineral-rich land, clean thermal energy, and haunting landscapes that in turn benefit agriculture, recreation, mining, and commerce. Religion and psychology embroider the account, as the authors explore the impact of volcanoes on the human psyche through tales of the capricious volcano gods and attempts to appease them, ranging from simple homage to horrific ritual sacrifice. Volcanoes concludes by assisting readers in experiencing these geological phenomena for themselves. An unprecedented "tourist guide to volcanoes" outlines over forty sites throughout the world. Not only will travelers find information on where to go and how to get there, they will also learn what precautions to take at each volcano. Tourists, amateur naturalists, and armchair travelers alike will find their scientific curiosity whetted by this informative and entertaining book.
Nature of the Rainforest: Costa Rica and Beyond (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Adrian Forsyth
A Zona Tropical Publication"The words 'tropical rainforest' may conjure up vistas populated by jaguars, brilliant macaws, and flowers amid the grandeur of towering buttressed trees. But the eager, expectant visitor is not regaled with the sight of charismatic vertebrates, gaudy birds, and luminous orchids. In the rainforest, close encounters with life that moves are usually rare but brilliant episodes; one is bedazzled for an instant and then left alone in the quiet greenery. Under such conditions, one must see the episode as part of a process; tracing the connections between organisms is the essence of rainforest appreciation."―Nature of the RainforestNature of the Rainforest is a breathtaking tour of an environment that is the pinnacle of biodiversity and evolutionary sophistication by an award-winning author and two photographers who love the rainforest, understand its intricacies, and have spent considerable time there documenting its wildlife and complexity. Adrian Forsyth draws on four decades of personal encounters with the animals of the rainforest―including poison-dart frogs, three-toed sloths, bushmasters, and umbrellabirds―as a starting point to communicate key ecological topics such as biodiversity, coevolution, rarity, chemical defense, nutrient cycling, and camouflage. The luminous photographs capture stunning and rare creatures in action, including the now- extinct golden toad mating, a jaguar on the prowl, and the hermit hummingbird feeding. The behaviors and characteristics of the rainforest inhabitants featured here not only illustrate the text but also advance the scientific narrative and exemplify the critical importance of conservation. Thematic chapters are interspersed with four chapters devoted to specific habitats and regions of Costa Rica and Peru, areas with some of the most diverse arrays of plant and animal species in the world. The result is an exuberant celebration of the rainforest in text and images.
The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Richard Garrigues
This is the one compact, portable, and user-friendly field guide the novice or experienced birder needs to identify birds in the field in the diverse habitats found in Costa Rica. It features descriptions and illustrations of all 903 species definitely known from Costa Rica, including pelagics and species regular to Cocos Island. Fifty-six of these species are placed in a "Rarities" section that includes accidentals, rarer pelagics, and species that have not been reported in more than twenty years.The detailed full-color illustrations show identifying features―including plumage differences among males, females, and juveniles―and views of birds in flight wherever pertinent.Robert Dean has supplied more than 360 new illustrations, including sixty-four species that are illustrated for the first time in this edition. These include recent additions to the country list, pelagic species, Cocos Island species, and all accidentals recorded from the Costa Rican mainland. Range maps and nomenclature have been updated for this edition, which also has a new user-friendly organizational scheme and an alphabetical quick-find index of groups on the inside back cover.
Costa Rica: A Journey through Nature (Zona Tropical Publications)
By: Comstock Publishing Associates
Adrian Hepworth's Costa Rica: A Journey through Nature takes readers on a spectacular photographic journey through one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet. Above a trail, a puma stands majestically on a tree limb surveying the forest below; an iridescent blue butterfly flutters through the air; the jewel-like feathers of a resplendent quetzal sparkle in a cloud forest; a female sea snake and her newly born offspring struggle across a beach under a relentless sun; and early morning light reveals a turtle spraying clouds of sand over its nest.The second edition of this book includes over 100 new photographs, new maps, a new introduction, and updated text throughout. Bringing together dramatic images and informative descriptions, this book provides a remarkable account of wild animals in Costa Rica, their behavior, and the sublime landscapes that they inhabit.
The Monkey's Bridge: Mysteries of Evolution in Central America
By: David Wallace
Central America is a fascinating evolutionary artifact. Three million years ago, the Panama land bridge emerged as a link between what is now North and South America, and as flora and fauna traversed this great bridge between worlds, they cross-fertilized extensively and one of the Earth's most rich and varied environments developed. The Monkey's Bridge is the story of this extraordinary environment. The culmination of ten years of research and travel, the book combines a vibrant travelogue with personal insights on the landscapes, cultures, and ecosystems of Central America. David Rains Wallace creates an astounding portrait of a captivating part of the world.