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Isla del Coco Fishes, the first synthesis of scientific information about the remote and beautiful Isla del Coco National Park (Costa Rica), adds to our scientific knowledge of the eastern tropical Pacific. Primarily a field identification guide to the more commonly observed fishes in the nearshore waters, it contains descriptions and color photographs of more than half of the 260 plus fish species known from Cocos, arranged in phylogenetic order. Many of the species are endemic to Cocos and some are new records for the eastern tropical Pacific. Descriptions include: the scientific name and common names in Spanish and English; the diagnostic characteristics for distinguishing one fish from another in the field; size; the habitat where the species occurs, what it eats, notes on reproduction and sex, and interesting behavior; abundance; distribution; similar species and how to distinguish them; and other common names and scientific synonyms. The book also presents: the first complete fish species list for the island's waters (the Lavenberg-Bussing list); complete species lists for coral, birds, marine mammals, terrestrial mammals and reptiles; an introduction to the island's natural history; and a brief human history.  The book was written with the goal of increasing our knowledge (and appreciation) of the incredible biological treasure that is Isla del Coco, thereby increasing support for its conservation. What began as a weekend and evening project evolved into a collaboration with tens of scientists, photographers, and historians, the U. S. and Costa Rican governments and non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

All work on Isla del Coco Fishes was donated - by the author, dozens of professional and amateur underwater photographers, scientists, divers, and citizens who strongly support the conservation and protection of the unique world of Isla del Coco. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), a Costa Rican non-governmental conservation and research organization successfully secured funding from UNESCO for translation of the text into Spanish and the printing of the book in Spanish and English.  The Directors of the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad believe the book fills a gap in our knowledge of the area and will help educate citizens in the need for the conservation of our natural resources. All sales revenues go to the conservation of natural resources and conservation education in Central America, specifically to INBio for producing future conservation education materials and programs, and to supplement the operating budget of Isla del Coco National Park.

 

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