In southwest Texas, where the Rio Grande arcs southward into Mexico, lies Big Bend National Park -- 708,221 acres of river floodplain, desert, grasslands, and majestic mountains. The wealth of the Big Bend is in its dramatic landscape, which provides natural habitats ranging from desert to alpine, and its consequently impressive variety of flora and fauna.
Naturalist's Big Bend highlights the distinctive plants and animals of the region, such as the century plant, which grows twenty-five to fifty-five years, blooms magnificently, then dies; candelilla, from which wax is made; the giant dagger yucca; the javelina, North America's only native pig; the rare Texas lyre snake; the tarantula; and the Big Bend quonker katydid.
This comprehensive field guide, revised and completely updated in a new edition, recounts the area's archaeology and history, describes the characteristics and habitats of Big Bend's remarkable variety of plants and animals, and outlines walking and driving tours of the most likely spots for sighting these natural wonders.
ROLAND H. WAUER, a retired National Park Service ranger, continues his work in the field as a naturalist, scientist, and resource specialist. He is author of Birder's Mexico and Heralds of Spring in Texas. He lives in Victoria, Texas. CARL M. FLEMING served for some thirty years as natural resource specialist for Big Bend National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Big Thicket National Preserve, and other U.S. parks. Now retired from the National Park Service, he lives in Alpine, Texas.