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AuthorMiguel Vences
TitleShort notes and reviews Amphibians and reptiles of Vietnam
JournalContributions to Zoology
AbstractConsidered as one of the worldwide hotspots for biodiversity conservation (Myers et al., 2001), Vietnam has been the aim of recent expeditions of several major European research institutes, such as the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris (Ohler et al., 2000), the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (e.g., Orlov et al., 2000), or the National Museum Leiden (Anonymous, 2002). The high zoological interest of Vietnam is exemplified by the recent discoveries of several new large mammal species. Although one of these, the bovid Pseudonovibos spiralis, is most probably non-existing but based on fake horns (Feiler et al., 2002; Olson and Hassanin, 2003), the fact that three new ungulate species could be added to Vietnam’s megafauna in less than 10 years loses little of its impact (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, Megamuntiacus vuquangensis, Muntiacus truongsonensis; Vu Van Dung et al., 1993; Pham Mong Giao et al., 1998; Do Tuoc et al., 1994).
Thomas Ziegler visited Vietnam during several months in 1997 and 1998. He carried out fieldwork in the lowland rainforests of the Ky Anh – Ke Go nature reserve in southern North-Vietnam, with the aim of gathering data for his PhD thesis on the amphibians and reptiles of this region. The book reviewed here is an expanded version of his PhD thesis. On 342 pages, printed in small fonts, and aided by 50 graphs and maps, 70 tables and 382 impressive and excellently reproduced colour photos, the author provides a detailed and comprehensive regional herpetofauna. Knowing Ziegler’s extreme accurateness in investigating and writing, I did not try to find typing errors or similar minor mistakes (I once proofread carefully the complete 210 pages [!] of his Diplom thesis, only to find two [!!] typos). There is little doubt that the data in this book are very reliable and that the bibliography is exhaustive and correctly cited.
Document typearticle
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