Synopses & Reviews
Coastal regions offer the observer a unique perspective on the forces of nature in conflict. The geologic forces that created and continue to shape the continent's edge in conjunction with factors of climate and oceanography produce wildlife zones of fascinating complexity. Nowhere is this truer than in the Northwest from Cape Mendocino to Cape Flattery, a young coast which also has the last vestiges of seashore wilderness in the continental U.S.A.
The author's aim has been not to provide a conventional field guide -- there are many such available -- but rather to provide insights into the relationships among the sea and the land and the living creatures they support. Starting in the coastal waters with their populations of marine animals and seabirds, the author examines the successive habitats found landward, from seashore, estuaries, dune, and freshwater wetlands to the great temperate conifer forests so characteristic of the region.
The reader will learn how the coastal environment molded the bodies and behavior of its inhabitants over the millenia, and how these creatures, in turn, changed their environments; the forces controlling their abundance, distribution, growth, and reproduction are explained in non-technical language, drawing upon several branches of scientific inquiry.
This fascinating book provides a rich synthesis of geology, climatology, and oceanography as the backdrop for an examination of the animal and plant communities of the West Coast from Cape Mendocino to Cape Flattery. It provides insight into the relationship between sea and land and the living creatures they support.