Texas A&M University Press

W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series

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W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series

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Amphibians and Reptiles of the US–Mexico Border States/Anfibios y reptiles de los estados de la frontera México–Estados Unidos

Julio A. Lemos-Espinal

In the first bilingual work on the reptiles and amphibians of the US–Mexico border, top herpetologists come together to describe the herpetofauna of the states of this region, which includes more than 600 species of toads, frogs, salamanders, turtles, sea turtles, alligators, lizards, snakes, and sea snakes that are found along the almost 2,000-mile border between the two countries.
Each chapter is devoted to one state—four in the US (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) and six in Mexico (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas)—with text in both English and Spanish.
The chapters contain an introduction to the area, a review of the research, a sketch of the state’s physiography, and a description of the species present as well as the pertinent conservation issues they face. A color photo gallery includes images of nearly all species.
Almost 40 percent of the featured native species are shared between the US and Mexico, reminding us that animals depend on the integrity of natural landscapes and proving the need for a comprehensive, bilingual reference to help lead a shared effort in the management and conservation of the borderlands.

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Bats of Texas

Loren K. Ammerman, Christine L. Hice, and David J. Schmidly; Illustrations by Carson Brown; Photographs by J. Scott Altenbach

With all new illustrations, color photographs, revised species accounts, updated maps, and a sturdy flexible binding, this new edition of the authoritative guide to bats in Texas will serve as the field guide and all-around reference of choice for amateur naturalists as well as mammalogists, wildlife biologists, and professional conservationists.
Texas is home to all four families of bats that occur in the United States, including thirty-three species of these important yet increasingly threatened mammals. Although five species, each represented by a single specimen, may be regarded as vagrants, no other state has a bat fauna more diverse, from the state’s most common species, the Brazilian free-tailed bat, to the rare hairy-legged vampire.
The introductory chapter of this new edition of Bats of Texas surveys bats in general—their appearance, distribution, classification, evolution, biology, and life history—and discusses public health and bat conservation. An updated account for each species follows, with pictures by an outstanding nature photographer, distribution maps, and a thorough bibliography. Bats of Texas also features revised and illustrated dichotomous keys accompanied by gracefully detailed line drawings to aid in identification. A list of specimens examined is located at batsoftexas.com.

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Birding Hot Spots of Santa Fe, Taos, and Northern New Mexico

Judith Liddell

In their second guide to birding in New Mexico, Judy Liddell and Barbara Hussey share their experiences and intimate knowledge of the best places to find birds in and around Santa Fe and other areas in northern New Mexico.

Following the same format as their book on the Albuquerque area, the authors describe 32 sites organized by geographic regions. Along with a general description of each area, the authors list target birds; explain where and when to look for them; give driving directions; provide information about public transportation, parking, fees, restrooms, food, and lodging; and give tips on availability of water and picnic facilities and on the presence of hazards such as poison ivy, rattlesnakes, and bears. Maps and photographs provide trail diagrams and images of some of the target birds and their environments.

A “helpful information” section covering weather, altitude, safety, transportation, and other local birding resources is included along with an annotated checklist of 276 bird species seen with some regularity in and around Santa Fe.

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Building an Ark for Texas

The Evolution of a Natural History Museum

Walt Davis

Recounted through the eyes of a major participant, this book tells the story of the Dallas Museum of Natural History from its beginning in 1922 as a collection of specimens celebrating the plants and animals of Texas to its metamorphosis in 2012 as the gleaming Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The life of this museum was indelibly influenced by a colorful staff of scientists, administrators, and teachers, including a German taxidermist, a South American explorer, and a Milwaukee artist, each with a compelling personal investment in this museum and its mission.

From the days when meticulously and skillfully prepared dioramas were the hallmark of natural history museums to the era of blockbuster exhibits and interactive education, Walt Davis traces the changing expectations of and demands on museums, both public and private, through an engaging, personal look back at the creation and development of one exceptional institution, whose building and original exhibits are now protected as historical landmarks at Fair Park in Dallas.

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Insects of Texas

A Practical Guide

By David H. Kattes

This practical, non-technical introduction to insect classification offers a well-illustrated, straight-forward primer in entomology. Whether you are part of a master naturalist program, are interested in environmentally friendly pest management, or simply enjoy knowing what to call that strange-looking bug on your back porch, Insects of Texas will be your first resource for insect classification and identification.   This book will help you sort out many of the millions of insect species by learning the readily distinguishable field characteristics needed to identify groups most commonly seen in Texas. David H. Kattes provides short tutorials on morphology and metamorphosis and uses a simple color-coding scheme to present the five classes of arthropods and the orders, suborders, and families of insects most relevant to Texas observers. Photo keys, pronunciation guides, illustrated tables, abundant photographs, and highlighted accounts of physical and biological characteristics help introduce readers to the various tiny creatures that inhabit our world, steering them through arachnids, crustaceans, millipedes, centipedes, and hexapods. Within each account, Kattes comments on habits and other interesting information, reflecting his long experience in teaching and speaking to a variety of receptive audiences.

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A Naturalist's Guide to the Texas Hill Country

Mark Gustafson

In this guide, biologist Mark Gustafson introduces residents and visitors to the history, geology, water resources, plants, and animals found in the nineteen counties occupying the eastern part of the Edwards Plateau, the heart of the Hill Country.

He profiles three hundred of the most common and unique species from all of the major groups of plants and animals: trees, shrubs, wildflowers, cacti, vines, grasses, ferns, fungi, lichens, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates. Color photographs are included for each species along with a brief description.

He closes with a chapter on significant state parks and natural areas in the region as an invitation to visit and explore the Texas Hill Country.

As large metropolitan areas continue to encroach on the Hill Country, newcomers are moving in and more people are flocking to its many attractions. This guidebook will enrich the appreciation of the region’s rich and unique biodiversity and encourage conservation of the natural world encountered.

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Nature Watch Big Bend

A Seasonal Guide

Lynne Weber and Jim Weber

In this information-packed, month-to-month guide to the wildlife, plants, and natural events that define the seasonal cycles in Big Bend National Park, naturalists Lynne and Jim Weber offer a richly illustrated guide to the natural rhythms of this beautiful and remote region in far West Texas. 

If you're on the lookout for deer in January, tracking hummingbirds in August, photographing wildflowers in September, or listening to frog choruses after a summer rain—the authors provide "Where to Watch" suggestions on when and how to see these and many other park inhabitants, from beavers and bats to lizards and dragonflies. Each chapter features a weather and temperature chart, photographs, and eye-catching illustrations (by Lynne Weber).

Whether you are a casual tourist or a frequent visitor to Big Bend, the authors hope that knowing what to look for during your stay in one of the nation’s largest national parks will heighten your awareness, sharpen your observation skills, and enhance your overall experience in this iconic Texas landscape.

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Texas Cacti

A Field Guide

By Brian Loflin and Shirley Loflin

In Texas Cacti, authors Brian and Shirley Loflin present a concise, fully illustrated field guide to more than one hundred of the cacti most often found in Texas and the surrounding region. The book opens with an illustrated introduction to cactus habitat and anatomy. The species are then organized by stem shape, with each account featuring detailed color photographs, specific identifying features (including spines, flowers, fruits, and seeds) and information about common and scientific names, habitat, flowering season, and more. The photographs, range maps, and icons designating shape, conservation status, and blooming period, along with easy-to-understand descriptions, make this book a quick and friendly guide to cactus identification for botanists, amateur naturalists, and cactus enthusiasts alike.  

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Texas Waterfowl

William P. Johnson

In this beautifully illustrated guide, two practicing wildlife biologists describe the life histories of forty-five species of ducks, geese, and swans that occur in Texas. For common species and those that breed in the state, each account begins with an interesting fact (such as, “Red-breasted Mergansers have been clocked at over 80 mph, the fastest recorded flight speed for a duck . . .”) and provides information on Texas distribution and harvest, population status, diet, range and habitats, reproduction, and appearance.

Exquisite photographs, informative distribution maps, and a helpful source list accompany the species descriptions, and the book offers a glossary and full bibliography for those who want to explore the literature further.

With the degradation and disappearance of the inland and coastal habitats that these birds depend upon, the natural history of these waterfowl species provides a vital reminder of the interconnectedness and crucial importance of all wetlands.

Birders, biologists, landowners, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and all those interested in the health and preservation of our coastal and inland wetland resources will enjoy and learn from this book.

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Wildlife of the Concho Valley

Terry C. Maxwell

The Concho Valley, named from the abundant mussel shells found in its principal river by seventeenth-century Spanish explorers, occupies a transitional position between the Chihuahuan Desert to the west and the Balcones Canyonlands to the east. As veteran field biologist and educator Terry C. Maxwell notes, the region has experienced wide-ranging changes in the makeup of its vertebrate populations, especially in the decades since farming and ranching began here in earnest, in the mid- to late 1800s.

In Wildlife of the Concho Valley, Maxwell provides the first comprehensive summary of the animal life in this undercovered region of the state, which also happens to be his home territory. Uniquely qualified after a lifetime of study and field work, Maxwell places the region in its biogeographic context and then charts the history of vertebrate investigation there from the seventeenth century to the present. Following this ecological and historical perspective are accounts of all the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals reliably known by zoologists and naturalists to have occurred in the Concho Valley over the past 150 years. The species accounts include Latin and English names; distribution and abundance status; remarks, where the author elaborates on habitat preference, behavior, and other aspects of natural history; specimens reported; and subspecies and synonyms.

This important work of traditional natural history is liberally illustrated with Maxwell’s own drawings, photographs, and maps. An invaluable reference, Wildlife of the Concho Valley is a major contribution from one of the state’s most respected biologists and teachers.

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