Update: I added extra stuff to the rewards, starting at $30. The extra stuff is in addition to what is listed in the rewards section, and you can find out what it is by scrolling down to Reward Upgrades.
Update: Help us reach $6,000 so we can include additional content and improve the print quality of the book. Scroll down to "Stretch Goals" to find out exactly how your contribution will help make the book better. Thanks!
About the Guide
The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin is a wildlife guide for the island of St. Martin (Sint Maarten) in the Lesser Antilles. It covers all types of terrestrial animals, from mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians to insects, spiders, crustaceans and mollusks. It is a full-color paperback featuring over 400 photos of animals taken on the island, as well as information about the animals and their role in the ecology of the island.
Every island is ecologically unique, with its own assemblage of fauna that have arrived by natural dispersion and human transport. St. Martin is no exception, and it also has a number of endemic species found nowhere else in the world. This guide offers a unique look into the wildlife of this small island. The book is written to be accessible to a general audience, telling the story of St. Martin's wildlife through both science and local knowledge.
This book is a window into St. Martin's natural heritage. The goal is to share these wonders with as many people as possible, from the tourists who may be spending a day or a week on the island to the residents who have lived here their entire lives. Most importantly, it exists to generate interest in wildlife amongst the youth of the island, who will be responsible for taking care of St. Martin in the future.
If you're wondering if this guide is worthwhile, download a free PDF of the entire first edition here. The second edition is going to be similar, but better in pretty much every way: better photos, better design, more species and more detailed information about the animals.
About the Project
The first version was published in 2010. A totally re-written second edition with mostly new photos is almost ready to print. It is better in every way, with better photos, more species covered and more detailed information about the animals and their life on the island. This project will fund a modest print run for the second edition. Even a small print run will help reduce the retail price of this book, making it accessible to more people.
This project is relatively foolproof. The writing, photography and layout are already mostly complete and I have already made a book like this before. Successful funding of this project will cover the upfront cost of printing and shipping the books.
About the Author
Mark Yokoyama is a naturalist and wildlife photographer primarily studying the wildlife of St. Martin. In addition to publishing the wildlife guide, he conducts biological research on St. Martin, both independently and in partnership with a variety of scientific and conservation organizations. Learn more about research projects here. He is also a co-founder and member of the world's first Extreme Shallow Snorkeling team, Les Fruits de Mer.
About the Rewards
Rewards at the $5 (high-resolution PDF of the guide) and $30 (print copy of the guide) are essentially pre-orders for the book, but pre-ordering helps finance the print run, so you also help the project. Backing at higher levels is fantastic and does even more to help make this project a success.
We are planning to have a $20 retail price on St. Martin by doing a print run, but in the rest of the world, the book will probably be available on demand at $30. US-only rewards are also available on St. Martin, there is just no option to specify that when creating the rewards.
Because this project has received such amazing and generous support, I am happy to announce upgrades to the rewards, starting at $30. When I launched the project, I didn't know what kind of response it would get, and I set rewards that I knew I could fulfill, while offering something of value to my backers. Thanks to your support, I am able to improve the rewards, both for new backers and everyone who has already pledged.
The new rewards include everything listed in the rewards section, plus the following extras:
- $30 - A limited-edition, autographed print of one of the photos in the book
- $50 - 2 limited-edition, autographed prints of photos from the book
- $100 - 3 limited-edition, autographed prints of photos from the book
- $250 - An additional copy of the book, an additional t-shirt and 4 limited-edition, autographed prints of photos from the book
- $500 - 2 additional copies of the book, two additional t-shirts and 5 limited-edition, autographed prints of photos from the book
I've never sold limited-edition autographed photo prints, but if I did, I would probably sell them for at least $20. For backers at $250 and $500, I figured you would need an extra copy or two of the book to give as gifts. Otherwise, how would your friends and family know you have an animal named after you?
On a technical note, I'm describing the reward upgrades here because, for very good reasons, Kickstarter doesn't allow project creators to edit rewards once they have backers.
I know I already said it, but I am REALLY HAPPY to be able to give back a little more to the wonderful people who have backed this project. Thank you!
Even though we have hit our goal of $3,000, we still need your help to make this book as good as it can be. The fundraising goal for this project was set at the minimum level to make this project a success. If we are able to raise funds beyond the goal, there are many opportunities to make this book better. I can add additional material that has been left out to keep the page count and cost lower. This includes additional animals, as well as sections discussing the ecology of the island and island biogeography. Also, printing costs go down with volume, and our initial goal of 500 copies is a very small volume. If we are able to double our goal and print 1,000 instead of 500 copies, we can improve the paper and printing quality while keeping the price of the book the same.
If we can reach our stretch goal of $6,000 we can include:
The story of Dr. Hendrik van Rijgersma, a physician and amateur biologist responsible for virtually all of what we knew about the flora and fauna of the island in the 19th century.
How the geological history of the island influences our wildlife, from the salt ponds that support a variety of bird populations to the generally arid conditions on the island.
How our unique assembly of fauna came to be, via natural dispersal, evolution on the island and human introductions.
An overview of the different biotopes (habitats) on the island, including thorny scrub, tropical broadleaf forest and mangrove wetlands.
This book is the only book of its kind about St. Martin. The 2nd edition includes many more animals, but it is also important to include some additional scientific and historical information to give context to the wildlife. This additional information will make it a much more valuable tool, particularly for use in local schools.
To learn more about this guide, visit its website: http://www.sxmwildlife.com. There you can download a PDF of the full first edition of the guide for free and learn about our other research projects. In keeping with the goal of increasing public knowledge and interest in St. Martin wildlife, the full second edition will also be made available online for free. Backers of this project will have the option to download a higher-resolution version than the one available to the public.
What's up with the Name of the Guide?
The guide is called incomplete because it's fun and because it's true. Including all the wildlife of St. Martin would require another ten books of the same size at least. It would also be impossible to do because so little research has been done on St. Martin. No one really knows how many species are on the island or what they are. Finally, even if there was a boatload of biologists studying St. Martin's fauna, it's constantly changing as new species are introduced. Calling the guide incomplete is a reminder of how much work there is left to do on the subject, and how massively complex a faunal assembly can be, even on a tiny island.
Risks and challenges
I will do my best to mitigate any possible risk to this project by working with an established printer, reviewing actual printed proofs and working with a trusted shipping partner. The primary challenge I foresee is that some rewards may take a while to arrive when shipped internationally.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)