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Faune des Vertébrés de la Suisse


M. FATIO'S book is one which will be valuable to all Swiss naturalists, and to those who take an interest in the productions of the mountainous region of Central Europe. It fulfils its function admirably as far as it goes, but, like all works treating of local Faunas or Floras, its general interest is diminished in proportion to the diminution of the area investigated. It has not, for example, the importance or value to a distant reader which such ä volume as the “Naturgesch. der Säugethiere Deutschlands und Mitteleuropas” of Blasius possesses; but to local naturausts it will be as useful as are the various volumes on British Zoology published by Mr. Van Voorst, to British zoologists. At the same time, there is always a gain where there is a loss in these matters: what we lose in comprehensiveness we gain in detail; and accordingly in M. Fatio's book we find much that is valuable on account of the great care which he has taken in personal investigation; whilst the interest of the whole subject is enhanced by the peculiar and varied conditions of the ice-ploughed Switzerland, to which it relates. Such a valley as that of the Rhone in the Valais presents conditions of climate and vegetation comparable with those of the southern shores washed by the Mediterranean; whilst an extensive region of perpetual snow is within a few hours' walk of this favoured spot. The Alpine valleys of the Grisons, again, present peculiar conditions in their great elevation. M. Fatio finds, however, that the encroachments of man, and his destruction of forest, have a more powerful influence on the distribution of animals than mere circumstances of altitude.

Faune des Vertébrés de la Suisse.

Par Victor Fatio Dr. Phil. Vol. I. Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères. (H. Georg, Genève et Bale, 1869.)

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LANKESTER, E. Faune des Vertébrés de la Suisse . Nature 1, 281–283 (1870).

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