13 August 2012
Review, Herpetoculture House Magazine, V2, I4
Frank Indiviglio, a herpetologist, zoological park consultant, and author of 5 books, has recently retired from a career of over 20 years with the Bronx and Staten Island Zoos. Frank writes and manages ThatReptileBlog http://bitly.com/Ksb7pY, where he addresses amphibian, invertebrate, and reptile conservation, natural history and captive care, and answers readers’ questions pertaining thereto. His bio is posted at http://bitly.com/LC8Lbp.
I must admit to a bit of hesitation upon being asked to review Herpetoculture House Magazine. As a career herpetologist and lifelong herpetoculturist, I view the explosion of interest in my field with both admiration and skepticism. On the one hand, wonderful books and magazines have been published in recent years, and these are much appreciated by those of us who grew up scouring libraries and used bookstores for the works of Raymond Ditmars and the other legendary authors. However, the current prevalence of often poorly-researched and hastily-published books and internet material is very disheartening. Even in well-respected zoos, where I have spent much of my career, the quality of the entry-level staff often leaves something to be desired (although there are, happily, many serious young people about as well).Of course, old-timers in every endeavor go on about such things, and are therefore not always taken seriously. So I was heartened to see that reference was made to “overnight experts” in Herpetoculture House’s introductory statement. Rare if not unknown among popular herp magazines, Herpetoculture House follows the lead of professional journals and publishes only peer-reviewed articles. As a further distinction, noted herpetologist Dr. Robert Sprackland serves as Managing Editor, assuring the future quality of the magazine.
I found Volume 2, Issue 4 to be factually accurate, well-written and a most enjoyable read. The articles addressed a uniquely balanced group of topics, including the care of both common and lesser-known species, natural history, conservation and child-oriented activities. The conservation articles were very thorough…far more than the mere “nod” to the field that often appears elsewhere. A passionate article that focused on why one might wish to work in herpetology and gave special attention to female herpetologists was a pleasant surprise. I was also happy to see attention given to volunteer possibilities in marine turtle research, an idea I have long advanced when attempting to inspire my own readers and students.
I most heartily recommend Herpetoculture House Magazine to those with any level of interest or experience in amphibian and reptile husbandry, conservation and natural history, and wish the staff a long and productive publishing career.