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Old 4th December 2008   #1
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Default Book Review: Amphibians of Wisconsin

Amphibians of Wisconsin
44 pages
Published by the Endangered Resources Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

I was with my girlfriend in her hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin over the weekend. While we were there we went to a Wildlife sanctuary (Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary) that she used to visit frequently. The sanctuary also serves as a wildlife rehabilitation center and thus houses a great deal of wildlife, mainly raptors, that cannot be returned to nature. I'd recommend anyone in the area to check this place out! The important part of this story is the gift shop where I purchased the book.

First of all, this book is only $4. Brand new. It is printed on thick, glossy paper with full color. You can have the book mailed to you for the same price. If you have any interest in Wisconsin's amphibians, this is a good buy.

The first half of the book is basic information about amphibians and describes them and their life history briefly. It also includes some rather good information about frog malformations, global (and local) amphibian declines, and why should anyone care about amphibians anyway? The information is presented simply, but isn't patronizing at all and the tone is leagues better than any other introductory text I've read.

The conservation status of all Wisconsin species is listed along with the legal collection limits and procedures and contact information for the local Department of Natural Resources. Very useful for a hobbyist! Other really useful features are a chart of usual breeding times for each species and a pie chart identification key that includes pictures of useful identification tools (i.e. dorsalateral fold.) Top notch stuff.

The last half of the book contains a brief species account with a full color picture for each animal. These are quite limited in scope and are a bit smaller than those from the Peterson or Audobon field guides, but they are a nice start. The book is small enough to easily fit into a bag or back pocket so if you're in Wisconsin this is a lightweight field guide.
Honestly, the average herper doesn't need a field guide for Wisconsin's species. It is a nice book and a great primer.

The Amphibians of Wisconsin can be purchased here.

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