The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Rare Birds of the World - A Collins/ICBP Handbook

Cover of Rare Birds of the World - A Collins/ICBP Handbook

Author: Guy Mountfort

Illustrations: Norman Arlott

Number of pages: 256

Year published: 1988

Edition: 1st

Published by: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd


ISBN: 0 00 219835 5

See also: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The Wildebeest's Review of Rare Birds of the World

The Wildebeest reviewing a book

Reading “Rare Birds of the World” is both interesting and disturbing. It is a well-researched book that can be read randomly without any need to go cover to cover. I find the content disturbing because there are so many species of birds listed in it. It is rather sad really.

Compare the front and the back cover artwork. The front of the book has beautiful macaws, parrots and other birds living free while the back cover has the same birds in small rusty cages. What a wonderful comparison to highlight one aspect of the problem.

The book covers region by region from the Palaearctic to the Pacific Islands and highlights birds at risk in these areas. Each species has a shortish account of its former and current ranges and what is impacting the species population. The book is not all bad news though as it also details how people are working to save certain species. There are some pleasing colour plates in places in the book, but it would have been nice if there were more.

Overall, this is a good and necessary book even if it makes one feel a bit down. It does, however, serve as a call to action as we can all play a part in improving the situation.

Some of the subjects in this publication

White Stork - Page: 35
Peregrine Falcon - Page: 38
Corn Crake - Page: 46
Peregrine Falcon - Page: 56
African Penguin - Page: 106
Slaty Egret - Page: 106
Cape Vulture - Page: 107
Southern Bald Ibis - Page: 107
Damara Tern - Page: 109
Wattled Crane - Page: 109
White-winged Flufftail - Page: 109
Bothas Lark - Page: 112
East Coast Akalat - Page: 114
Swynnertons Robin - Page: 114
Spotted Ground-Thrush - Page: 115


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