Free book launch event will celebrate island wildlife on July 23rd


Residents and visitors alike are invited to join in celebrating the release of the highly-anticipated second edition of The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of St. Martin. This gala book launch event will be held at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library from 6-8pm on Tuesday, July 23. The festivities will feature a fascinating multimedia presentation about the extraordinary wildlife of the island by the author, naturalist and photographer Mark Yokoyama, refreshments, and book signings. The event is free and open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy this very special evening.



The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of St. Martin has brought the unique wildlife of St. Martin/St. Maarten to the world stage, capturing the attention of the scientific community and wildlife fans of all ages. The second edition of the guide has been warmly welcomed by many of the most influential scientists working in Caribbean biology and ecology, as well as leaders in the Caribbean conservation community. "This guidebook is a groundbreaking contribution to natural history for St. Martin and surrounding islands…and will certainly prove to inspire young and old to get outside and see what wonders await them." says Natalia Collier, Executive Director of Environmental Protection in the Caribbean. Dr. James "Skip" Lazell, President of The Conservation Agency, calls it "the best, and most complete, natural history book I have read about any single Caribbean island. The text is enlightening and entertaining and the photographs are superb."

The book is a unique full-color guide to all the terrestrial wildlife of St. Martin/St. Maarten, from bats, birds and lizards to insects, spiders and snails. It includes over 500 stunning color photographs, and profiles hundreds of species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. So what else makes this book especially important for St. Martin/St. Maarten? Unlike most wildlife guides, it places wildlife in a historical and cultural context unique to the island, with detailed information about both the biology and the local history of the animals–so it preserves and promotes this important part of the island’s heritage. By showcasing nature, a currently under-appreciated aspect of our island, the book points to an important way to drive future tourism. Finally, it’s written to be accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, so this knowledge can be shared by everyone.

The second edition boasts all-new descriptions and text with hundreds of new photos, over 100 new species, and more local names and stories. It also features new sections on the habitats and ecosystems of St. Martin/St. Maarten, and the history of biology on the island–a captivating who’s who of researchers, explorers, and citizen scientists reaching back to the mid-1600s. To make it possible to include the new sections, print the book in a big, glossy, high-quality format, and drop the retail price to $20, Yokoyama successfully leveraged an international crowdsourced fundraising campaign. "With the help of supporters from this island and all over the world, the second edition is here, it’s beautiful, and it’s more affordable, which means it’s more accessible for more people," says Yokoyama, "and that’s something to celebrate!"

The July 23rd festivities mark not only the official debut of the all-new second edition of the book itself, but also the release of the free PDF version–so anyone will be able to download an electronic copy of the book at no cost, at any time. Yokoyama will launch the live download link on during the event, as part of his mission of making knowledge about local wildlife and natural heritage freely accessible to everyone, especially the young people of the island.

Yokoyama will also be speaking about his wildlife education program, which includes public presentations, school visits, field trips, and a book donation project. A "Buy One, Give One" book donation package of $30 will be available at the event, so buyers can take one book home and donate another copy to a school or library.

The second edition of The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of St. Martin will be available for $20 at the July 23rd event. Following the launch, the book will be sold on and at bookstores, museums, and gift shops on the island. The free PDF version will be downloadable at starting the evening of the event.

The book launch event will take place Tuesday, July 23 from 6-8pm at the Jubilee Library in Philipsburg.