“Extremely comprehensive yet concise” best describes the Arizona Antelope Foundation’s recent publication, “Arizona’s Pronghorn Antelope: A Conservation Legacy.” The authors, David E. Brown and Richard A. Ockenfels, produced a very readable publication that packs a tremendous amount of knowledge into 158 pages of text.
The readability is owed to the authors, who together have spent more than 70 years as professional wildlife biologists in Arizona, with many of these years involved directly with pronghorn and their habitats.
The publication is divided into 16 topic sections, ordered so as to build the reader’s knowledge and understanding of this magnificent creature. I urge readers not to skip sections, but to read the publication from Page 1. The Foreword, written by retired department biologist Paul Webb, provides an outstanding introduction to the book and succinctly outlines its contents.
I was especially impressed with the sections titled Description and Characteristics, Nomenclature and Taxonomy, and Prehistoric Pronghorns. These sections provide the background for the reader to better understand the origin of the pronghorn and evolutionary adaptations driven by change over geological time.
The sections describing Native American culture and the pronghorn, and the settlement era in Arizona, are especially interesting and provide a basis for understanding the present and recent past as it relates to pronghorn populations in Arizona. The section titled Pronghorn Management provides, among other pertinent information, a concise insight into how pronghorns are surveyed and the hunting season and permit process.
The section called Photographing Pronghorn is a welcome addition to the publication. Rarely does a reader find such information in a book written primarily about the life history of an animal. This section is useful not only to the hunter but also to the aspiring wildlife photographer.
The publication is well-illustrated and includes nine tables, 10 maps and 108 figures. The tables and maps are easy to read and understand. I also commend the authors for the excellent reference section. This section is quite comprehensive and provides the reader with access to literature that will allow him to dig deeper into subjects mentioned in the text.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone desiring to know more about pronghorns and especially to those who want to participate in land management decisions that may affect pronghorn.
–Guest Reviewer Tom Britt
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