The Dominican Republic. A country between rain forest and desert
Contributions to the ecology of a Caribbean island
1997, 456pp., paper, 71 figs., 11 tables, 48 photos of which 24 in colour (Margraf)
ISBN 3-8236-1276-X € 49
This work gives a wealth of information on the ecology of the Dominican Republic. The author draws from his own experience (having visited the Dominican Republic numerous times in the past 15 years), and from the experience and information of a great number of scientists involved in various aspects of Dominican ecology and conservation. After the introductory chapters dealing with the historical as-pects of the Dominican Republic and Haïti (the two countries constituting the island of Hispaniola), the geography is treated. It is followed by a chapter treating the Plant and Animal Life. Agriculture and Forestry with their socio-economic aspects are treated in 6 subchapters, and are followed by the chapter on Selected Areas, containing descriptions of the separate geographical regions - many of which constitute a national park or a national reserve. The chapter 'Selected aspects' gives an insight into a number of important aspects of the national economy and national conservation, through subjects as diverse as sugar, pigs, speleology, bauxite exploration, fisheries, crustaceans & aquaculture, whales, marine turtles, contamination of the surrounding seas. The book closes off with 4 articles on the Dominican environmental movement, on exploitation of natural resources, on conservation of biological diversity, and on the tension between preservation of natural resources and rural development. An extensive literature list concludes the book, and is followed by 19 appendices giving a wealth of information on the floras, reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies of the various national parks, marine life, and birds endemic to the Dominican Republic. Of interest to ecologists, anthropologists, biologists, and to visitors with more than a casual interest in this fascinating country.
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