TROPINET, Vol. 8, No. 2, July 1997

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Graduate Training in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology in Latin America by Christopher Vaughan, Co-editor Vida Silvestre Neotropical, Former Director and Co-founder, Regional Wildlife Management Program for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica <>


The conservation and management of wildlife in Latin America is at a crucial period during which the continued existence of much of the resource will be determined. Educational institutions should play an important role in any approach to sustainable resource management. However, as recently as ten years ago, no Latin American university provided graduate level training in the fields of wildlife ecology or conservation biology. In this article, I describe the success of Latin America's first graduate program in wildlife management: The Regional Wildlife Management Program for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean (RWMPMC) at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica.


Responsibility for maintaining the biodiversity of Latin America will rest with well-trained and motivated local professionals. In 1980, World Wildlife Fund-US estimated that Latin America would need over 400 professional wildlife administrators and nearly 3,400 researchers, instructors and managers by the year 2000. Historically, Latin American wildlife and conservation biologists were trained in the United States or Europe, and wildlife positions were occupied by professionals trained in other disciplines (biology, agriculture or forestry). Training programs of developed-country universities and government agencies provide academic excellence and abundant resources. However, the problem with this approach includes prohibitive expenses, lack of a Latin American socio-economic context, "brain drain" of scientific talent abroad, and possible difficulty for graduates in readapting to a developing country's economic reality. Short-course training in resource management has been provided in Latin America since the 1960's by international and developed country agencies, foundations and NGO's, but short courses cannot substitute for an integrated, comprehensive degree program. The best alternative is to train scientists and managers in regional centers and university programs in developing countries.

With support from the World Wildlife Fund-US, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Organization of American States, RWMPMC was established in 1987. Since then, three other wildlife ecology graduate programs have been created: Universidad de los Llanos, Venezuela, in 1988; Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1990, and Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina, in 1991. The International Affairs Office of the USFWS has been an important continual source of economic support and guidance for all four programs. Although each has unique characteristics, the general objectives are similar: to produce professionals in the field of conservation, administration and management of wildlife with an emphasis in the rational exploitation for sustainable use of natural resources, and to develop techniques of wildlife conservation within national strategies of sustainable development.


The focus of RWMPMC is best understood in a regional context. The Mesoamerican region includes seven countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) and the tropical region of Mexico, and covers 945,690 km2. Mesoamerica contains some of the world's most diversified terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems and wildlife resources. Its cultures are diverse with people of European, Native American, African and West Indian descent. The human population is expanding at one of the fastest rates worldwide, and is heavily dependent on the rich, renewable natural resource base for their economic development. This creates a dynamic yet fragile balance between human population, natural resources, and economic development. Economic activity is placing great demands on natural resources, causing wildlife habitat degradation and wildlife exploitation, leaving many species and ecosystems in a critical state.

Many important conservation issues concerning species and habitats are shared between Mesoamerican countries. However, as of 1987, there were only five well-trained wildlife researchers and managers in the entire Mesoamerican region. Governmental and public support for wildlife management policies and programs was absent, and research, outreach and management of wildlife species was rare. No regional coordination existed to enhance training opportunities, provide assistance for important wildlife management projects, or enable communication within the Mesoamerican region for transfer of educational and technical information.

The need for efficient regional technical training and communication in the wildlife field inspired representatives of governmental wildlife institutions from Central America and the Dominican Republic to meet in Panama in 1984. They unanimously approved the formation of the RWMPMC in the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica (UNA). UNA was a regional pioneer in development of programs in Neotropical wildlife management, and had necessary institutional support. Three program priorities (objectives) were identified: training at the graduate and short course levels, developing model wildlife-biodiversity projects, and outreach through information and technology transfer.


Admission to the graduate program is highly competitive with 10-12 students chosen for each class from 60-80 candidates. Thus far, 102 students from 15 Latin American countries, Spain, Japan, Germany and the United States have begun graduate training in 9 different groups (usually spaced a year apart): 45 have graduated, 22 are working on their theses, 33 are pursuing course work and only two have left the program.

The curriculum consists of 27-months divided into three blocks: a) 2.5 months of refresher undergraduate courses, b) 12 months of ten graduate courses, three seminars, and two field courses (Vertebrate Field Ecology and Integrated Project); and c) 12 months of thesis work (in many cases, thesis projects are the first research carried out on a wildlife species in a student's country or region). Emphasis is placed on wildlife management-conservation biology techniques, community outreach and communication, and learning to work as biopoliticans within the system with local and regional conservation issues. About 40% of the 27 months is spent under field conditions. Innovative courses in Sustainable Development Theory, Conservation Biology, Rural Sociology, and Natural Resource Economics, as well as traditional wildlife courses (Habitat Evaluation, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Management Techniques, Wildlife Disease) prepare our students for working in today's complex society. The interdisciplinary nature of the graduate program, with its emphasis on a strong wildlife background, living and working with rural communities and in field conditions, developing communication skills, learning computer theory, Internet and GIS, and development of a 12-month thesis results in competent, confident, well-trained graduates.

What has been the success of RWMPMC in its first ten years? A four-year evaluation of the graduate program by experts from the Costa Rica University President's Council determined that it was one of the best, if not the best graduate program in Costa Rica. At biannual meetings of Latin American wildlife graduate programs, RWMPMC is consistently considered the forerunner, both for the key positions our graduates occupy, the innovative curriculum and the exciting staff. RWMPMC was awarded the "Ally" award by the Rainforest Alliance in 1996 for its "inspired work in the training of neotropical conservation managers." The real test of success, of course, is how our graduate wildlife professionals evolve in the natural resource field at home after graduation, but to date we are highly satisfied. Graduates of RWMPMC are now involved in the cutting edge of conservation work from Mexico to Patagonia, as directors of governmental wildlife agencies, university professors, heads of NGO's, and researchers, while several have continued their studies towards doctorate degrees. All are working in Latin America, thus we have experienced no "brain drain"!


Existing model research projects are aimed at: a) providing alternative natural resource uses necessary to achieve "sustainable development", b) providing stable resources for local communities to benefit from ecotourism, and c) conserving and/or restoring habitats or wildlife populations. RWMPMC staff presented 150 papers at international meetings and published over 125 books, papers and reports from 1987-1995.

Outreach projects at RWMPMC disseminate and transfer information and technology throughout the region. One such project, BIODOC, is the first wildlife documentation center in Latin America. BIODOC recovers and systematizes existing wildlife literature, and provides researchers with books, scientific journals, reprints, theses and unpublished "gray" literature concerning wildlife from all over the world, with emphasis in the neotropics. A second outreach project is the Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System Laboratory, which offers graduate courses, short-courses and research possibilities. The third project is the international journal, Vida Silvestre Neotropical, which serves the needs of wildlife and wildland professionals, technicians, students and decision-makers in Latin America. Subject areas include wild fauna and flora; terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats; and research and management of species, ecosystems and wildlands. In 1994, two staff members of RWMPMC became editors, and 15 neotropical scientists became Associate Editors of VSN. Since then, 6 numbers and over 45 articles and short communications have been published, based on original research in 8 Latin American countries (ed.: see Publications section of this issue of Tropinet for VSN subscription information).


Between 1990-1996, cooperative agreements had been signed or renewed between 15 institutions and RWMPMC. Four institutions have participated in cooperative training or exchange programs. Fundraising is a continuous task and RWMPMC is dependent on funding to continue. Of $3,442,400 contributed between 1987-1995, approximately 53% was provided by Universidad Nacional and 47% from external sources. The most important outside donors have been USFWS, German Academic Exchange Program, John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and World Wildlife Fund-US. These funds have been used for student scholarships, administrative salaries, student thesis projects, equipment and materials purchase, and academic incentives and operations.


Our experience at RWMPMC has highlighted factors that will help determine the success of a regional graduate program in wildlife and conservation biology. Institutional support must be tangible and the funding base heterogeneous to avoid dependence on a few funding sources. The curriculum should address relevant issues in your region and emphasize fieldwork. Both professors and students must be enthusiastic, committed and willing to carry out research and field projects. Success of projects will depend on the availability of key resources (such as a specialized wildlife documentation center-library and relevant technology). Maintaining excellent relationships with your host institution is very important. International connections with practicing professionals and a program's international reputation will provide additional resources to participants. Model wildlife management and outreach programs should be developed to disseminate the results of projects and integrate findings into the regional socio-economic context. Finally, the interdisciplinary nature of natural resource management (economic, social and ecological) should be emphasized throughout course work and thesis work.


MesoAmerican Biology and Conservation Society. The First Congress of the Sociedad Mesoamericana para la Biolog¡a y la Conservaci¢n will be held 23-27 June 1997 at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Centroamerica. The program includes various symposia and workshops. Information on the WWW: <<>>, or Gerardo Borjas, Apdo. 30-357, Toncontin, Tegucigalpa, M D C, Honduras, Tel: (504) 33-9576, Email: <>.

The 7th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas. 13-17 June 1997. Bahamian Field Station, San Salvador, Bahamas. The objectives of the symposium are: to provide a forum for the presentation of the results of current natural scientific research being conducted throughout the Bahamas archipelago and similar areas such as Florida and parts of the Caribbean; to provide an informal setting for the stimulation of contacts and cooperation between scientists working in the Bahamas and similar areas; and to promote the growth of knowledge in the general area of Bahamian terrestrial and marine sciences. Information: Dr. Daniel R. Suchy, Bahamian Field Station Ltd, c/o Twin Air, 1100 Lee Wagener Blvd., Suite 113, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315. Tel: (809) 331-2520.

Fundacion Jatun Sacha Volunteer Program. The Jatun Sacha Foundation offers opportunities for volunteer interns to participate in research, education, community service, station maintenance, plant conservation and agroforestry activities. Information: Ana Lucia Benitez, Fundacion Jatun Sacha, Casilla 17-12-867, Avenida R¡o Coca 1734, Quito, Ecuador. Tel: 02-441-592, 250-976, 253-267. Fax: 02-441-592, 253-266. Email: <abenitez@jsacha.ecx.ex>.


1998 North American Ornithological Conference. From 6-12 April 1998, St. Louis will host the annual meetings of the American Ornithologists' Union, Association of Field Ornithologists, Cooper Ornithological Society, Colonial Waterbird Society and the Wilson Ornithological Society. The Raptor Research Foundation is a co-sponsor of the Conference and will hold a special symposium on dispersal in hawks. There will be four plenary lectures covering diverse themes in ornithology. After the morning plenary lecture, concurrent paper, poster and symposia presentations will follow. Limited travel funds are available from the sponsoring societies to attend the meetings and will be awarded on a competitive basis. To organize a symposium or workshop or for general information on the Scientific Program contact: Jeff Brawn, Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, IL 61820 USA, Tel. (217) 244-5937, Email: <>. Local arrangements: Bette Loiselle, Dept. Biology, Univ. Missouri-St. Louis, 8001 Natural Bridge Rd., St. Louis, MO 63121 USA, Tel: (314) 5166224, Email: <>. Meeting information on the WWW at: <<>> or <<>>.

Field Station Profile: Estacion Cientifica San Francisco

The frontier region of Ecuador and Peru is one of the world's most diverse areas. Low passes in the Andean chain permit migratory movements between the Amazon basin and the coast. A rapid climatic transition occurs from the humid northern Paramos to the drier Central Andes and the Northern Peruvian lowlands. This makes southern Ecuador an ideal site for biogeographical studies in very different ecosystems.

Estacion Cientifica San Francisco (ECSF) is located in southern Ecuador at the northern limit of Podocarpus National Park, midway between the provincial capitals Loja and Zamora. This new research station was established to investigate the ecology of the southern Ecuadorian forests and to provide information for sustainable development and preservation of the biological and cultural diversity of the region. The founders of the station hope to preserve the traditional knowledge of the population of the Southern region and promote its systematization, diffusion and use. Objectives include repatriation and translation of scientific knowledge about southern Ecuador gained by national and international scientists, and contributions to the training of local scientists. They also hope to promote the use of the scientific knowledge in formal and informal education programs, thus strengthening the environmental conscience of the population.

The research area of ECSF, bordered by the 146 ha of Podocarpus National Park, is the only protected area in Southern Ecuador and includes about 1000 hectares of primary tropical mountain forest, as well as small Paramo areas. These forests range in altitudes from 1800 to 3400 m, allowing a complete transect of the different forest types on the eastern slope of the Andes. Additionally, the station owns Finca "El Romerillo", about 8 km south of Loja, with 200 ha of primary and secondary forests. It also includes deforested areas in different succession stages, after having been used for agriculture and livestock (all well-documented). Other research areas, from the Amazon basin to the dry coastal areas are also accessible, allowing a complete transect through all ecosystems of the region.

The station can accommodate up to 30 long-term researchers and has 11 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a large kitchen and common area. Short-term accommodations can be provided for larger groups. Research facilities include an herbarium/laboratory, with basic equipment for soil analysis and taxonomic investigations, a small herbarium and drying and storage facilities. In the library, the computer infrastructure allows data processing and analysis. Installation of two digital telephone lines is planned. For transport of scientists, ECSF will have 2 Toyota Landcruisers and a small bus.

Possible research projects center principally on vegetation studies, fauna, forest ecology, anthropology, zoology, hydrology, soils, etc., to generate directions for a sustainable development of the region. The station plans on publishing the results of all research results obtained at the station in an annual report. Information: Dr. Rainer W. Bussmann. Vice-President ECSF, University of Bayreuth, Department of Plant Physiology, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany. Tel:+49-921-552638. Fax: +49-921-552642. Email: <>.


Meetings and Events (Items marked * are new this issue 1997)

*Evolution of Biological Diversity: From Population Differentiation to Speciation. London, UK, 9-10 July. Information: The Science Promotion Section, The Royal Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London, UK. SW1Y5AG.

*Tenth Annual Meeting of the Society of Caribbean Ornithology. Dutch West Indies, 1-6 August. Information: T. E. De Kort, Dept. Housing Development and Environment, Frankrijkstraat #7, Oranjestad, Aruba. Tel: 297-8-32345. Fax: 297-8-32342

Orthopterists' Society. Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 26-30 October 1997. Symposia include Conservation and Biodiversity, Biological Control of Orthoptera, Orthopteran Biochemistry and Molecular Endocrinology. Information: Dr. D.C.F. Rentz, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia. Tel: (06) 246-4286. FAX: (06) 246-000. Email: <>, WWW: <<>>.

*World Forest Congress. Forestry for Sustainable Development: Towards the 21st Century. Antalya, Turkey, 13-22 October. Information: Mr. J Lahaussois. Fax: +39 6 52252151. Email: <>, WWW: <<www.FAO.ORG/WAICENT/FAOINFO/FORESTRY/WFORCONG>>.


*SICB Annual Meeting. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 1998 Annual Meeting. Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. 3-7 January. Information: SICB Business Office. 401 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60611, USA. Tel: (312) 527-6687. Fax: (312) 245-1085. Email: <>, WWW: <<>>.

New Tasks for Ecologists After Rio '92. INTECOL: VII International Congress of Ecology. Florence, Italy. 19-25 July. Information: Almo Farina, INTECOL Vice President, Secretariat VII International Congress of Ecology, Lunigiana Museum of Natural History, Fortezza della Brunella, 54011 Aulla, Italy. Tel: +39-187-400252. Fax: +39-187-420727. Email: <>, WWW: <<>>.

Second International Canopy Conference. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida, USA. 4-9 November. Extensive methods workshop and post conference field trip to major canopy site. Information: Meg Lowman, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Ave. Sarasota, FL. 34236. Tel: (941) 955-7553. Fax: (941) 951-1474. Email: <>.

Graduate Opportunities

Systematic Biology. The Graduate program in Ecology and Systematics of the Instituto de Ecolog¡a AC at Xalapa Veracruz (Mexico) announces the availability of fellowships for graduate studies in Systematic Biology. Applicants may apply for a M.Sc. or a Ph.D degree. Applications must be received by 14 July 1997. Graduate students are normally admitted for the fall semester. Applicants are encouraged to correspond directly with faculty members whose work is of particular interest. Dissertation projects can be undertaken with any animal or plant group. For further information on faculty members and research areas, or for application to the graduate program in Systematic Biology visit our web site at: <<>> or send an Email to: <>.


Postdoctoral Position: Plant Physiological Ecology. A National Science Foundation-funded postdoctoral position is available for research on the functional interactions between crown and hydraulic architecture in tropical forest understory shrubs (Genus Psychotria). This position is funded by a collaborative grant with R. Pearcy (UC Davis), M. Tyree (USFS, Burlington, Vermont), and J. Wright (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama), as the co-PI's. The research will take place primarily at the STRI Barro Colorado Island Field Station and will involve field measurements of hydraulic architecture, light capture, carbon balance and water relations of species exhibiting a range of canopy architectures, leaf longevities, and light and moisture requirements. The research has the general aim of understanding the functional consequences of the diversity of crown architectures in these species and specifically of understanding the tradeoffs between investment in crown architecture versus the necessity for providing hydraulic sufficiency and minimization of the vulnerability to capitation in the different light and moisture environments. The Barro Colorado Island Field Station has excellent laboratory facilities and access to field sites, and provides a stimulating environment for research. A Ph.D. in ecology, plant biology, botany or related field is required. The appointment will initially be for one year with the expectation of reappointment for a second and third year. Information and application: R.W. Pearcy. Tel: (916) 752-1288. Fax: (916) 752-5320. Email: <>.

School for Field Studies: Overseas Faculty Positions. All positions are residential. Forest Resource Management: Center for Coastal Studies, Bamfield, British Columbia. Coastal Zone Management and Social Scientist: Center for Wetlands Studies, Baja, Mexico. Detailed requirements and application information: Human Resources Dept., The School for Field Studies, 16 Broadway, Beverly, MA 01915, Fax: (508) 927-5127, Tel: (508) 922-7200 ext. 304.

Funding Opportunities

Bernard Lowy Fund for the Study of Tropical Botany in Latin America. The family and friends of the late Bernard Lowy, tropical mycologist and long-time professor at Louisiana State University, established the Lowy Fund in recognition of his research in the Neotropics and his concern for the conservation of tropical ecosystems. The Lowy Fund will provide up to $1000 for research travel and related expenses. Eligibility is limited to graduate students or recent graduates from Latin American colleges and universities for study at LSU or LSU graduate students or recent graduates for study in Latin America. For further information and application requirements, see the LSU Plant Biology home page <<>> or contact the Lowy Fund Committee, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-1705, USA Fax: (504) 388-8564 or Email: <>. Deadline for submission for the 1997 award is 15 August 1997.

Mellon Awards for Workshops in Tropical Biology. The Organization for Tropical Studies and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute invite proposals for two workshops focused on synthesizing research objectives for tropical forest ecology in Costa Rica and Panama. Funding is up to $15,000 for each workshop. Proposals should describe the general topic, the specific objectives, the venue and projected products (publications, etc.) of the workshop, as well as list the participants and their special contributions to the workshop. Application deadline is 2 September 1997. Information: Bill Wcislo, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Unit 0948, APO AA 34002-0948. Fax: (507) 232-5978. Email: <>.

Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force (DAPTF). Seed grants, usually intended as one-time awards of between $500 and $2000, are available for the support or intitiation of research projects that further DAPTF's mission. Succinct proposals of less than 4 pages should to addressed to Dr. Tim Halliday, Biology Department, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, United Kingdom. There is no required format, but each proposal should include a description of the intended work and a statement as to how the project will fulfill Task Force objectives. Award criteria are based on scientific rigor and current DAPTF priorities. The deadline for receipt of proposals is 15 July 1997. Information: Email: <>, WWW: <<>> or mail queries to John Wilkinson at same address as T. Halliday.

BP Conservation Programme: Grant Support for Conservation Research. The March 1997 issue of Tropinet announced the BP Grant Program, but failed to mention details for applications. The BP web site <<>> has full details including on-line application form, proposal guidelines (all in English, French and Spanish) and profiles of some past winners. The deadline for applications is the 31 December every year. Information: Katharine Gotto, Expeditions Officer, BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge, CB3 0NA, UK. Tel: +44(0)1223 277318. Fax: +44(0)1223 277200. Email: <>.


Manual of Forest Fruits, Seeds and Seedlings CD-ROM. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), CD-ROM Publication No. 1. Descriptions of 310 genera of trees, supported by 390 drawings, 470 black and white and 310 color photographs. The CD is based on the book by the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. The manual is a guide for the identification of living seedlings in Malaysia, but most of the genera described occur throughout Southeast Asia, India and the South Pacific. $15.00. Orders: CIFOR, P.O. Box 6596, JKPWB, Jakarta, Indonesia. Email: <>

CIDA Forestry Advisers Network Web Site. The CIDA Forestry Advisers Network has developed a Web site on tropical forests. Non-scientific material on the social, environmental, and economic issues related to sustainable development and conservation of tropical forests. International forestry Email directory, a calendar of events page, and summaries of selected CIDA-supported forestry projects. WWW: <<>>.


Vida Silvestre Neotropical. This bi-annual wildlife conservation journal is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese. See Feature article in this issue of Tropinet for full description. Topics (all with a neotropical focus) include: Sustainable-use management of wild flora and fauna, natural forest management, conservation of endangered species and ecosystems, maintenance of biotic diversity, indigenous use of wildlife, biological inventories with broad or unique conservation implications, new research and management techniques, biological basis for the design of protected area systems, control of pest species, and research on wildlife biology and ecology. Information and subscription: Tel: (506) 277-3440/237-7039. Fax: (506) 237-6942/237-7036. Email: <>

Software Tools for the Management and Visualization of Biodiversity Data. R. Podolsky. 1997. The United Nations Development Programme. The text can be viewed on the WWW at: <<>>

Neotropical Biodiversity and Conservation. A.C. Gibson (ed). 1996. Authors contributed to the 1995 Neotropical Symposium held at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden in the University of Los Angeles, and a short biography of Mildred E. Mathias, including her lifetime publications. 202 + xxi.pp. ISBN: 0-9655575-0-2. $25.00 Orders: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1606, USA. Tel: (310) 825-3620. Fax: (310) 206-3987. Email: <>

Economics of the Tropical Timber Trade. E. Barbier, J. Burgess, J. Bishop, B. Aylward. 1995. St. Lucie Press. Presents a broad discussion of the tropical forest resources and international trade, markets for tropical timber products, and tropical forest policies and the environment. Orders: 100 E. Linton Blvd. Suite 403B. Delray Beach, FL. 33483. Tel: (407) 274-9906. Fax: (407) 274-9927. Email: <>

Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana. Volume 3. Spermatophytes. J.A. Steyermark. 1997. Oxford University Press. Paid orders will receive a free copy of C. Doyle's The Lost World, in the recent paperback edition. The Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana is the first full account of the plants of the region, a botanically rich and geologically ancient part of South America located in the southeastern half of Venezuela. More than 180 botanists are contributing to the flora, which will occupy nine volumes. 774 pp. 628 line drawings. ISBN: 0-915279-46-0. $67.50 U.S., $69.50 non-U.S. Prices include postage. Add $3.00 handling fee per order. Orders: Department Eleven, Missouri Botanical Garden. PO Box 299. St. Louis, MO. 63166-0299. USA. Tel: (+1) 314-577-9534. Fax: (+1) 314-577-9594. Email: <>, WWW: <<>>.

Forest Canopies in Paperback. M. Lowman, N. Nadkarni (eds). 1995. Academic Press. This book summarizes the "state of the art" of canopy studies, with contributions from 30 researchers on topics including canopy microclimate, epiphyte biology, plant-animal interactions, biodiversity, methods of canopy study and human impacts on forest canopies. $34.00. Orders: Academic Press, 525B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA, 92101-4495, USA.

Leaf Stand: Protected Areas and the Defense of Tropical Biodiversity. R. Kramer, C. van Schaik, J. Johnson (eds). 1997. Oxford University Press. During the past century, tropical rain forests have been reduced to about half of their original area, with a consequent loss of biodiversity. This book takes a close look at how this has happened and what the consequences may be, with an emphasis on strategies that have proven successful in stemming the loss of plant and animal inhabitants. It describes the use of protected areas such as sacred groves, royal preserves and today's national parks. The book integrates ecological, economic and political perspectives on how best to manage tropical forests and their inhabitants throughout the world. 240 pp.; 15 illus. $ 39.95. #163/509554-5. Orders: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Rd. Cary, NC, 27513, USA. Tel: 1 (800) 451-7556.

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. F. Reid. 1997. Oxford University Press. This is the first comprehensive field guide to the mammals of Central America, one of the most diverse and species-rich regions in the world. Detailed accounts include complete descriptions, measurements, range maps, and comparisons with similar species. The entire distribution, habitat, endangered status, and behaviors are also described with sources of scientific references. For travelers to the region, a guide to the major parks and preserves is provided, with lists of the animals likely to be found in each. 400 pp. 263 maps. 11 illus. 48 color plates. Paper: $29.95 #213/506401-1. Cloth: $55.00 #363/206400-3. Orders: see above.

East African Ecosystems and Their Conservation. T. McClanahan and T. Young. 1996. Oxford University Press. East Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting tropical areas on the planet. This book draws on the expertise of leading ecologists, each intimately familiar with a particular set of East African ecosystems, to provide the first in-depth and integrated account of the ecology, management, threats and conservation of these diverse ecosystems. 480 pp.130 illus. $70.00 #100/510817-5. Orders: see above.

Paperback edition of Vanishing Rain Forests: The Ecological Transition in Malaysia. S. Aiken and C. Leigh. 1996). Oxford University Press. 224 pp. 14 plates. $38.00 #194/854858-8. Orders: Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Rd. Cary, NC, 27513, USA. Tel: 1 (800) 451-7556. Orders: see above.

From the World Resources Institute. Natural Resource Management in Africa: From Planning to Action. World Resources Institute. 1997. Problems and opportunities surrounding natural resource management in Africa and some promising strategies for improvement. Examines environmental planning, forests, farms, the roles of civil and public society, and information development and use. A 20 page appendix of maps, data, and indicators provides a quick guide to Africa's natural-resource conditions and trends. 250 pp. ISBN: 1-56973-208-6/Order Code WRNMP. $19.95. Beyond the Frontier: The Last Wild Forests. D.Bryant. 1997. Shows the dramatic decline of original pristine forest and the status of the large remaining tracts with full-page, full-color maps. Country rankings of the state of forests today. Systematic, easily comparable forestry profiles for Oceania, Asia, Europe and Russia, South America, North and Central America, and Africa. Analysis of threats to remaining forest areas. 25pp. ISBN: 1-56973-198-5/Order Code BRBFP. $14.95. New Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture. L.A. Thrupp (ed.). 1996. The nine case studies featured in this report - from Asia, Africa, and Latin and North America - show how ecologically-oriented integrated pest and crop management practices can maintain or increase yields, increase soil quality and resilience, reduce agrochemical inputs and costs, and achieve other benefits. 148 pp. Large format paperback. ISBN: 1-57973-102-0. $14.95. Profit Without Plunder: Reaping Revenue From Guyana's Tropical Forests Without Destroying Them. N. Sizer. 1996. Governments in Guyana and many other economically strapped developing tropical countries are under intense pressure to sell their invaluable forest resources to foreign firms for quick cash. This book shows how Guyana can avoid the mistakes other countries have made and maximize both the economic and environmental benefits of its extraordinary natural resources. 68 pp. Large format paperback. ISBN: 1-56973-103-9. $14.95. Orders: WRI Publications, PO Box 4852, Hampden Station, Baltimore, MD 21211. Tel: (800) 822-0504 or (410) 516-6998. Email: <>, WWW: <<>>.