[Book review] The Ancient Murrelet. A natural history in the Queen Charlotte Islands

The Auk



Leadership in ecological research on north-temperate-zone seabirds has long been associated with the region of the northeastern Atlantic, which enjoys a tradition of detailed, innovative work spanning several decades. Although the temperate North Pacific is home to several of the same species that figure prominently in the Atlantic and also has a host of interesting species found nowhere else, Pacific birds had until recently received comparatively little attention. Few important advances in seabird biology had come from the northern North Pacific, which tended to leave those of us who work in the region harboring a slight inferiority complex. Happily, this situation is beginning to change. First, we are learning that in some instances the population dynamics of shared species differ greatly between the North Pacific and North Atlantic. The Pacific work, therefore, is more than just a rehash of that which was already known. It takes an important step toward understanding geographic variation in demography – variation that would not have been anticipated from any casual comparison of the environments, which appear superficially similar. Second, we are starting to see the results of in-depth work on species unique to the region. Tony Gaston’s book, the first monographic treatment of any North Pacific alcid, is one encouraging sign that seabird research in the temperate North Pacific is coming of age.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title [Book review] The Ancient Murrelet. A natural history in the Queen Charlotte Islands
Series title The Auk
DOI 10.2307/4088537
Volume 111
Issue 1
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 2 p.
First page 242
Last page 243
Public Comments This is a review of the following work: The Ancient Murrelet. A natural history in the Queen Charlotte Islands. – Anthony J. Gaston. 1992. T&AD Poyser Ltd, London, and Academic press, San Diego, California. xviii + 249 pp., 22 black-and-white plates, 69 text figures, 22 tables, 2 appendices. ISBN 0-85661-071-4. $34.95.
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