Wildlife books about China

Green China

China is a vast country, now very much in the news in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games, and as a result of her burgeoning economy. The wildlife of China is still not well known in the West, as it is only relatively recently that the country has opened up to eco-tourism. China is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, whose habitats range from the vast deserts of the northwest and the Tibetan Plateau, through forested mountain slopes, to a myriad of rivers and lakes and the steamy tropical forests of the far south. China is home to many rare and threatened species, and conservation is now a firm priority for the Chinese government. Interest in China s green heritage has never been greater, and this is growing fast as eco-tourism takes off and as the Chinese Government starts to grapple with problems of conservation and environment protection. Although much of China s fertile lowlands are intensively cultivated, there remain plenty of wild areas rich in unusual animals and plants, from giant pandas to colourful pheasants and peacocks, and the Chinese alligator (probable model for the famous Chinese dragon). China is also home to beautiful and intriguing plants the rare ginkgo tree, thousands of herbs as well as species with healing properties. Richly illustrated throughout with specially commissioned world-class photographs, Green China is both a celebration of China s natural world and a general introduction to the flora, fauna and landscapes of one of the world s most diverse countries.

Exploring Natural China

In this vast country – the third largest in the world – varied climate conditions produce an array of habitat types, from the snowy wastelands of the frigid northeast to the tropical paradises of the far south. Spectacular scenery – much of it unique – includes breath-taking karst stone forests, multiple columnar peaks, dramatic caves and solitary pines clinging precariously to bare rocky peaks reminiscent of a Chinese ink-brush painting. Heather has had unusual access to little-known parts of China for many years. Over 26 million foreign tourists visited China in 2007, up 17% on the previous year, and the numbers continue to increase.

Wild China [DVD and book] here from Amazon

Wild China [DVD]

Beautifully filmed, Wild China takes an expansive look at the fourth largest country in the world. Over a period of more than six hours, the miniseries–which was co-produced by the BBC and China’s CTV–lets viewers into a world that is straddling the line between modern-day efficiency and old world traditions. Fans accustomed to travelogues with personable hosts such as quirky Anthony Bourdain or perky Samantha Brown leading them through far away places may get a little bored with the hands-off approach here. But the beauty of this production is in the country and the people, and the way the filmmakers present them in crisply edited vignettes. We see the jumping spiders atop Mount Everest, the winding grace of the Great Wall, and of course some shy pandas that many people equate with China. But some of the best moments are the simple ones–children in a classroom, fishermen working the waters, and monks meditating in monasteries. As did the Planet Earth series, Wild China makes viewers wish they were there. The film doesn’t touch heavily on the politics of China, but it isn’t lacking because of the omission. As it is, Wild China ends all too soon, leaving viewers longing for more for a country that once didn’t welcome foreigners Wild China (book here)

A Field Guide to the Birds of China

China is one of the largest countries in the world, covering 7% of the earth’s land surface, and encompassing a hugely diverse range of habitats. As a result it boasts a rich and diverse avifauna, including some of the most spectacular and fascinating birds to be found anywhere in the world. John MacKinnon and Karen Phillipps’ important new guide will be the first truly comprehensive, taxonomically modern, and fully illustrated field guide to the birds of China. Over 1300 bird species are illustrated in 128 original colour paintings, by Karen Phillipps and Dave Showler. The species accounts stress the key points for field recognition and give a full description of the plumage, voice, range, distribution, status, and behavioural characteristics for every bird, with additional descriptions provided for hundreds of subspecies. Colour distribution maps are provided for all illustrated species. The book also includes a useful introductory section that presents a background to the ecology of China, a brief history of Chinese ornithology, and plenty of practical hints on birdwatching in China. The guide’s portable format means it will fit easily into a backpack or pocket. John MacKinnon lived in China and Hong Kong for eight years, and has extensive experience of watching and writing about Chinese birds. He has been working in ecology and conservation in Asia for over 30 years, and his work in China included co-authoring the master plan to save the Giant Panda and its habitat. He has written and co-authored many books on the natural history of Asia, including a number of other bird guides. Karen Phillipps was born in Borneo, lived in Hong Kong for over 20 years, and has illustrated several other books on the birdlife of the region.

Chinese Wildlife -I love the Bradt guides

China is home to a remarkable variety of unusual wildlife, including many rare and threatened species under conservation. This new wildlife guide provides a colourful introduction to the species of a country that is beginning to emerge as a fascinating destination for natural history enthusiasts.
Visitors can discover a range of habitats: the huge deserts of the northwest and the Tibetan Plateau, forested mountain slopes and the rivers, lakes and steamy tropical forests of the deep south. Interesting features on medicinal plants, rare cranes and, of course, the giant panda supplement animal and habitat listings. Accessible and beautifully illustrated, “Chinese Wildlife” will appeal both to the first-time visitor and the serious naturalist seeking a compact volume. It is also a great souvenir.
* The only guidebook on the market dedicated to China’s wildlife. * Around 200 first-class photographs illustrating China’s most interesting species. * All major animal groups covered: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, with habitats and plantlife.

A Guide to the Mammals of China A very useful reference for anyone with an interest in Chinese mammals

A Guide to the Mammals of China” is the most comprehensive guide to all 556 species of mammals found in China. It is the only single-volume reference of its kind to fully describe the physical characteristics, geographic distribution, natural history, and conservation status of every species. An up-to-date distribution map accompanies each species account, and color plates illustrate a majority of species.

Tiger Bone and Rhino Horn

In parts of Korea and China, moon bears, black but for the crescent-shaped patch of white on their chests, are captured in the wild and imprisoned in squeeze cages, where steel catheters drain their bile as a cure for ailments ranging from upset stomach to skin burns. Rhinos are being illegally poached for their horns, as are tigers for their bones, thought to improve virility. Booming economies and growing wealth in parts of Asia are increasing demand for these precious medicinals while already endangered species are being sacrificed for temporary treatments for nausea and erectile dysfunction. Richard Ellis, one of the world’s foremost experts in wildlife extinction, brings his alarm to the pages of “Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn”, in the hope that through an exposure of this drug trade, something can be done to save the animals most direly threatened. Trade in animal parts for traditional Chinese medicine is a leading cause of species endangerment in Asia, and poaching is increasing at an alarming rate. Although most of traditional Chinese medicine is not a cause for concern because it relies on herbs and other plants, as wildlife habitats are shrinking for the hunted large species, the situation is becoming ever more critical. Ellis tells us what has been done successfully, and contemplates what can and must be done to save these rare animals from extinction.

Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe

Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe

The vast remote Tibetan steppe, the Chang Tang, is home to a unique assemblage of large mammals, including the Tibetan antelope, gazelle, argali sheep, wild ass, wild yak, wolves and snow leopards. This text is the result of the author’s research into the natural history of this little-known eco-system. The plains ungulates are the main focus of the book, especially the Tibetan antelope or “chiru”, whose migrations define this eco-system much as those of the wildebeest define the Serengeti. Descriptions of mammal numbers and distribution, behaviour and ecology are provided, information which may allow wildlife, grasslands and pastoralists to continue to coexist harmoniously in this region. This project led to the creation of the 130,000-square-mile Chang Tang reserve by the Tibetan government in 1993, and conservation and management efforts continue.

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