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Herons are large, popular and, in many cases, spectacular birds found in wetlands world-wide, both tropical and temperate, natural and man-made. Some populations are very small and localized, some have decreased, some have expanded their ranges, and a few are pests of human activities. In the fifteen years since the publication of the latest monographic treatment of the family, The Herons Handbook, there has been a tremendous increase in our knowledge of heron status and conservation requirements, set against a backdrop of increasing concern about the future of the world?s wetland habitats. This book provides a comprehensive update following two distinct threads. The status and conservation needs of herons are first presented on a regional basis, in a series of chapters set at a continental or subcontinental scale. Over 200 biologists and heron conservationists have contributed to the data summarized here, and the very latest census and survey results provide the most up-to-date and detailed picture of heron populations currently available. Chapters discussing several critical issues in heron conservation follow, tending to focus on the international nature of the problems.