Produced by Mexican non-for-profit initiative Viva Natura, The Viva Natura: Field Guide to the Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals of Western Mexico is the first publication of its kind written about the fauna of this region. The purpose of the field guide is to introduce the reader to the wealth of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of Western Mexico and help identify them in the field. This guide contains the vast majority of the conspicuous animals of the region. There are 160 species in this guide and a total of 325 full-color photos. The guide is extremely easy to use. The book is completely bilingual (English and Spanish). The book commences with a brief introduction to the study area, its geography, climate and ecosystems. Chapters dedicated to the four groups of fauna (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) follow. Each chapter begins with an introduction followed by photographic plates that depict conspicuous species of the study area. All photos were taken by the author himself and with few exceptions, show animals in their natural habitat under completely natural conditions. Each species is described by both its common and scientific names and also by a set of icons that illustrate the species characteristics, such as its habits, diet, preferred habitat, protection status, ect. Color bands on the outer edge of each species plate indicate one of the three principal habitat types (Ocean, Coast and Islands, Freshwater, Forest and Gardens) where this particular species can be observed most frequently. Silhouette thumbs on the plates edges portray a typical member of each group of fauna, making browsing the guide more efficient. The final chapter of the book is dedicated to the conservation issues inside the study area. The book is supported by a companion website where additional texts, photos and also videos and sounds can be found.
More on Mexican nature and its conservation at: www.vivanatura.org
Petr Myska is zoologist, conservationist and photographer of Czech origin, since the year 2002 resident to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He has traveled extensively in Latin America. He has worked as a researcher for the Czech Academy of Science and as a correspondent for the BBC radio. He is the founder and manager of Viva Natura online source on Biodiversity of Mexico.