World Butterflies

World ButterfliesPicture a world without butterflies. Bernard d’Abrera’s beautiful guide to the identification of the True Butterflies could not have come at a better time. In a recent article in the Guardian, Sir David Attenborough, chairman of Butterfly Conservation, highlights the problem:

The declines of butterflies are deeply concerning, especially in light of the recently published declines of common moths. Together, these losses indicate that we are entering a deep biodiversity crisis that needs the urgent attention of us all.

Sharks under increased threat from fisheries

New research indicates that shark species may be under greater threat from human activity than previously thought. Results just published in Proceedings of the Royal Society by Professor Monty Priede, Director of Aberdeen University’s Oceanlab, suggest that sharks haven’t adapted to depths of more than 3,000 metres – making them absent from over 70% of the world’s oceans, and, crucially, mostly present at depths within the reach of human fisheries. This research raises the interesting question of why there are no really deep water species of shark when many species of bony fish are adapted to far deeper waters.

News of this research has been reported widely: see e.g. Guardian and BBC coverage.

Sharks, Rays and Chimaeras: The Status of the Chondrichthyan Fishes and the forthcoming Sharks of the World: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Shark Species Known to Date, Volume 1 FAO are key references for those interested in the status of shark species from a conservation viewpoint.

For more general information Collins Field Guide: Sharks of the World is hard to beat (see also the previous edition Collins Sharks and Rays) or Shark. Sharks, Skates, and Rays The Biology of Elasmobranch Fishes provides comprehensive coverage on the biology and ecology of sharks.


PenguinsDo you love penguins? Would you like to see stunning close-ups of Rockhoppers?
Do Chinstrap Penguins really look as if they’re wearing a chinstrap?
Did you know there is a Macaroni Penguin?
And which famous poet called the penguin: static traveler, deliberate priest of the cold…? Find out in this beautiful book.
Now in stock. £14.50

NHBS at the London Bookfair

London BookfairWe will be exhibiting at the London Bookfair on the 5th-7th March at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands.

We will be promoting the wide range of titles which we distribute for key conservation and scientific organisations – see our trade catalogue for details of the titles we distribute.

The Bookfair is also an excellent chance to meet librarians and promote the unique service that we offer to libraries. See our library page for more information.

Dodo: the Bird behind the Legend – review on

Dodo: The Bird behind the LegendDodo: The Bird behind the Legend

It is a sad tale indeed of how man’s selfish use of the world despoiled paradise and led to the Dodo’s demise along with other avian endemics and much more besides. Worse still is the fact that if we could turn back the clock, despite all we have learned, we would probably do it all again so long as humans see the natural world as their resource rather than their companion.

The book has collected together some excellent paintings, sculpture, and even fiction giving breadth to the myths as well as the facts and even speculates as to whether we could re-engineer a dodo from the remaining relatives not too forced into extinction. As sad as the subject matter may be this is a delightfully well written and presented work which I much enjoyed reading and looking at; it deserves a wide audience not just for its message but its intrinsic qualities.

Read the full review at

Other books about the island of Mauritius

Galapagos Islands Explorer

I’m sure anyone with an interest in biology is keen to visit these famous islands. The author, Nigel Sitwell, is Chairman of the Galapagos Conservation Trust. Their Website is an excellent source of information on the islands and efforts to conserve and study the unique biodiversity found there.

More than just maps, Ocean Explorers are a comprehensive source of information on location, fauna, flora, people and history.

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