April 15, 2010
41 halftones, 53 line drawings
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
1.65 Pounds (US)
1.65 Pounds (US)
$90.00 USD, £66.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Chinese Alligator

Ecology, Behavior, Conservation, and Culture

The rare and endangered Chinese alligator has long held a prominent place in Chinese culture and mythology. Here John Thorbjarnarson and Xiaoming Wang, who have been at the forefront of efforts to conserve these remarkable creatures, provide comprehensive details about the biology, behavior, history, and cultural and conservation significance of the animal thought to be the basis of the Chinese dragon legend.

Though more than 10,000 Chinese alligators live in zoos and breeding facilities, just a few hundred still exist in the wild. Much of their natural habitat has been lost to human development, leaving wild Chinese alligators clinging to small areas where the Yangtze River meets the Pacific Ocean. Thorbjarnarson and Wang recount how and why the species declined to the point where it is perhaps the most threatened of all crocodilians, discuss ongoing conservation works, and project what the future is likely to bring for the Chinese alligator. Their scientific synthesis sits in stark contrast to the alligators' unique relationship with Chinese culture, where folklore views it as a water deity related to dragons.

Illustrated throughout and featuring the most up-to-date biological information available, this volume is a complete overview of the Chinese alligator, a conservation and cultural icon.

About the Authors

One of the world's most respected experts on crocodilians, John Thorbjarnarson was a senior conservation zoologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society during the writing and designing of this book. Dr. Thorbjarnarson was a tireless advocate for conservation, and it was during one of his many conservation-related trips in early 2010 that he contracted a fatal case of malaria. Xiaoming Wang is an expert on the Chinese alligator, a professor of biology at East China Normal University, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, and one of China's leading conservation biologists.


"A well-written, well-referenced, thoughtful and sobering work. Highly recommended."—Choice

"A 'must read' for herpetologists concerned with conservation."—Gunter Gollmann, Amphibia-Reptilia

"This book is highly recommended as a comprehensive overview of a fascinating species written by the people who know it best."—IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter

"This book is probably the most up-to-date and informative account of Chinese alligators available . . . It is an incredible resource for anyone dealing with or interested in crocodilians or conservation."—James Hennessy, Herpetological Bulletin

"A model for how the natural history and conservation status of a species can be synthesized in a way that maximizes the information value to the specialist without leaving interested nonspecialists in the dust . . . Readers wanting a deeper understanding of the complexity of conservation biology , and of the balance needed between development and conservation will learn much . . . It would be tragic indeed if this book became a requiem and not a call to action."—Christopher A. Brochu, Copeia

"This really is a book about the current problems of trying to conserve biodiversity in the modern world and should be read by anyone with an interest in that subject (which should be all of us)."—Brian Livingstone, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

"Drs. Thorbjarnarson and Wang are the ideal scientists—and truly the best qualified—to write this book. The story of the Chinese alligator is interesting on its own, and it primes those new to crocodilian conservation with what caused global declines of crocodilians and how crocodilian conservation has worked in many areas."—Lee Fitzgerald, Texas A & M University

9780801893483 : the-chinese-alligator-thorbjarnarson-wang
288 Pages
$90.00 USD

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