Nature and Environmental Book Reviews

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books



Rainforest Animals

One and one-half acres of rainforest are being clearcut and burned every second. We are losing irreplaceable biological treasures – before we even know what is there. Scientists estimate that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every day due to rainforest deforestation.

The indigenous cultures and the animals that depend upon rainforest habitat are being severely affected. When Columbus “discovered” the New World, there were an estimated ten million indigenous people living in the Amazon basin. Now there are less than 200,000 remaining in the surviving rainforest. There is no comparable estimate for the diminished animal population.

Without habitat, animals cannot survive. Without critical stopover area habitat, migrating birds and insects cannot complete their migrations, and do not survive. There are many efforts underway to form cooperative programs with indigenous people so that their habitat, and the animals with whom they live, can survive in the new millennium. The books in this section offer vivid evidence of the riches and challenges of conservation in the rainforest.

Recommended Books and DVDs on Rainforest Animals

Cloud ForestCloud Forest
Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed 10,000 miles of the South American wilderness, from the Amazon rain forests to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, down to Tierra del Fuego and back. He followed the trails of old explorers, encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins, and discovered fossils in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. The Cloud Forest is his incisive, wry report of his expedition into this vast world to the south. 1987, Penguin

Frans Lanting

In this oversized portfolio of striking color images made over two decades on four continents, Lanting chronicles the life of the world's jungles, organizing the work by themes - water and light, color and camouflage, anarchy and order, form and evolution. The photographer's essays bring to life the challenge of jungle photography: "Whatever you take into the jungle becomes part of the food chain, whether it is your equipment or yourself." 2005, Taschen

Short List of Best Nature and Environmental Books

Thomas Marent

In this evocative work of dazzling photographs, each inhabitant of the rainforest becomes memorable for its clever camouflage, ingenious coexistence with the other species of this fragile world, or even its sheer size, in the case of the 42-inch wide Rafflesia flower. An invaluable survey of the rainforest's abundance and diversity of life. 2010, DK Publishing