VANISHING WILDLIFE OF LATIN AMERICA by Robert M. McClung

VANISHING WILDLIFE OF LATIN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Completing the survey begun with Lost Wild America and Lost Wild Worlds, McClung takes us on an area-by-area wildlife tour of Latin America, exclusive home to more than 80 percent of the world's mammal species and 40 percent of its birds. But many are dying out: McClung quotes the Milnes' assertion that more species have vanished from the West Indies in the last 400 years than from all the continents of the world in the last 4000; and he quotes Norman Myers' The Sinking Ark to the effect that we are losing one species a day in the vanishing Amazon rain forest and will probably lose one species an hour there ""before too many years go by."" McClung provides status reports on a variety of individual animals--among them the Mexican grizzly (probably now extinct), the Central American green iguana (hunted for food) and the Anegada Island rock iguana (threatened by development and competition with introduced, domestic animals), the Peruvian vicuna (long shot for meat and wool but making a spectacular comeback under a government protection program), the jaguar of Brazil (killed by ranchers and for its coat), the pampas deer (victim of flooding and cattle-transmitted disease), the monkeys of the Amazon (captured for medical research), and the West Indies parrot and macaw (imported by American pet shops though only one in five survive the trip). Besides descriptions of the individual animals, McClung gives us a general history of each area and the disruption that the conquistadors began, and he enriches the accounts with references and selections from the accounts of Darwin and other early naturalists. Essential.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow