Planet Earth – the making of an epic series

I can’t believe I missed Planet Earth last night! Especially now that everyone is talking about the ‘amazing caves‘. However, I do have the new Planet Earth book – the making of an epic series – in front of me. In this book you can read about some of the most extreme environmentalists in the world and check out behind-the-scenes photos of the making of the series. The immense Mexico’s Cave of the Swallow, the deepest cave hole in the world, looks as if it’s swallowing the Planet Earth Base-jumper! The cave is named after the thousands of swifts that roost there.

The threats were real – from angry whales and predatory mountain lions to deadly snakes and notorious bandits – but the rewards were great. What they observed and filmed ‘was spectacular… we had never seen anything like it.

Planet Earth – the making of an epic series.

Mesozoic and Tertiary Fossil Mammals and Birds of Great Britain

Mesozoic and Tertiary Fossil Mammals and Birds of Great BritainMesozoic and Tertiary Fossil Mammals and Birds of Great Britain is an invaluable reference work on British palaeontology. Describing around 30 sites which represent the diversity of Mesozoic-Tertiary Mammals and Birds, Prof. Michael Benton, E.Cook, and Jerry Hooker detail the fauna present, the interpretation, and make comparisons with fauna at other sites.

Part of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s Geological Conservation Review series, this title is the sister volume to the forthcoming Pleistocene Fossil Mammals and Birds of Great Britain.

Important Bird Areas in Zambia

Important Bird Areas in ZambiaImportant Bird Areas are benchmarks in the conservation and management of bird species and diversity. IBA’s in Zambia by Peter Leonard, describes in detail 42 sites in Zambia meeting the IBA criteria. Published by the Zambian Ornithological Society, this book contains excellent maps for every area, lists of the relevant species and their conservation status, a full description of the site and other fauna and flora present and, crucially, an outline of conservation and management issues for the area.

Important Bird Area information from BirdLife International:

The selection of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) has been a particularly effective way of identifying conservation priorities. IBAs are key sites for conservation – small enough to be conserved in their entirety and often already part of a protected-area network. They do one (or more) of three things:

  • Hold significant numbers of one or more globally threatened species
  • Are one of a set of sites that together hold a suite of restricted-range species or biome-restricted species
  • Have exceptionally large numbers of migratory or congregatory species

Field Guide to the Small Mammals of Pakistan

If you were one of the people who missed getting your hands on The Mammals of Pakistan by T.J Roberts, here is your chance to pick up a copy of the Field Guide to the Small Mammals of Pakistan by the same expert author.

T.J. Roberts is one of the foremost wildlife experts and an internationally recognized ornithologist. This volume covers seventy-eight species of both rodents and bats with concise life history accounts, and nearly every species is illustrated either with photographs, or by pen and ink drawings by the author.

Collins Field Guide to British Wildlife Sounds

“Stop!” Said Beaky, “I hear squeaking!”
“It’s Batty Bat” said Owl, “He’s speaking!”
“It’s all in code,” said Reckless Rat
Said Owl, “I’ll just decipher that.”

From Captain Beaky and His Band by Keith Michell

But seriously – imagine being able to identify most of the wildlife sounds you hear in Britain?

This Collins Field Guide will inform you when and where you’re likely to hear the sound of over 50 species of deer, bat, whale, dolphin, grasshopper, cricket and bird, and the audio CD provided contains 70 minutes of actual sound plus unique voice notes to help you with your identification.

Lemurs of Madagascar

This exciting and completely revised second edition guidebook on primates endemic to Madagascar published by Conservation International has immediate appeal.

The expressive and characterful faces of the primates on the cover will encourage any reader to thumb through all the pages to discover many more! Filled with detailed information, over 200 drawings, photos and maps, the handbook is easy to carry and use, helping readers identify the 71 species of lemurs that live on the island. Available now from NHBS.
There are many inspiring websites devoted to supporting Lemurs, including The Madagascar Fauna Group and Earthwatch Institute.

Question: Why is there a lemur named after John Cleese?

“No one interested in biodiversity issues should miss it…”

Important Bird Areas in Asia: Key Sites for ConservationIBIS, the Journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union have reviewed Important Bird Areas in Asia: Key Sites for Conservation

The fruit of 8 years’ data gathering by its Asian Partnership, and customary work at Wellbrook Court, this is the latest IBA compendium to roll off BirdLife’s production line. Packing 28 territories/countries and a quarter of the world’s avifauna into less than 300 pages (barring the prelims) makes for a densely factual read, but this and sister volumes have passed through the hands of designers who know exactly what they are about with a document destined to attract and be used. It shouldn’t fail.

Read the full review in IBIS: the International Journal of Avian Science.

Field Guide to Australian Mammals

Field Guide to the Mammals of AustraliaA Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia provides fantastic coverage of all monontreme, marsupial and mammal species ‘down under’. Compact and colourful, the guide’s photographs are equalled by key data on size, weight, distribution, breeding, habitat and conservation status. There is a great deal of biological and ecological on all the groups covered.

Packed with essential information for visitors and armchair naturalists alike, this guide includes tips on where to spot species, a map showing all of Australia’s parks and reserves and coverage of extinct megafauna. If you’ve ever been too shy to ask how to tell male and female Koalas apart, well…. that’s in here too.