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A new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt's Australian Wildlife, covering habitats, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, the marine environment and where to go. Wildlife writer Stella Martin combines the encyclopaedic knowledge of David Attenborough with the enthusiasm of the late Steve Irwin to offer a unique guide which, compared to others, is variously more portable and more detailed, has a broader scope, goes beyond identification notes and includes an in-depth guide to ecosystems. It also covers all regions of Australia.
Background chapters explain how Australia's wildlife evolved in isolation and how the geology, soil and climate affect its natural history. There is also a close look at Australia's infamously dangerous creatures, avoiding the cliches and putting their threat into perspective: although most of the world's most venomous snakes are found in Australia, they are by no means the deadliest. Essential advice is offered for avoiding hazardous wildlife and there are also useful first aid tips.
Up-to-date information on conservation is included, including fire and its role in the Australian ecology and the effect of exotic feral animals and weeds. And there are tips on how to find, enjoy and identify wildlife with a 'where to go' section featuring a state-by-state overview of key wildlife sites, with maps. With a focus on interesting information about the general biology and behaviour of the animals – with some detail about the most commonly seen species – and explaining how the different ecosystems 'work', this guide is for visitors who want to know more about what they see but don't have room for an entire library of reference books. It is a book to read in bed – and encourage you to be up at dawn.
About this book
Chapter 1 The Backdrop The land, past and present, Evolution - moving with the times, The human connection, Conservation issues, Climate
Chapter 2 Habitats The Arid zone, Tropical savanna, Forests, Heathlands, The role of fire
Chapter 3 Mammals Monotremes, Marsupials, Placental mammals
Chapter 4 Birds Seabirds, Waterbirds, Ground birds, Raptors, Pigeons and doves, Parrots and cockatoos, Cuckoos and coucal, Birds of the night, Swifts and swiftlets, Kingfishers, Bee-eater and dollarbird, Songbirds
Chapter 5 Reptiles Crocodiles, Turtles, Lizards, Snakes
Chapter 6 Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes Frogs, Freshwater fishes
Chapter 7 Invertebrates Worms, Arachnids, Crustaceans, Insects
Chapter 8 The Marine Environment Tropical seas, Temperate seas, Marine mammals, Marine reptiles
Chapter 9 Where to Go New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
Chapter 10 Top Tips When to travel, What to bring, Health and safety, Spotting wildlife, Minimal impact, Wildlife photography
Stella Martin has lived in Australia for 30 years and has spent most of that time writing about the country's wildlife, including over 20 years employed as a writer by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, a role in which she received the Casssowary Award for her contribution towards the conservation and presentation of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Based in Cairns, she is involved with many environmental groups, such as Birdlife Australia, and spends much of her time exploring the natural world, both locally and around Australia. From swimming with minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef to watching a lyrebird display in the soaring mountain ash forest of Victoria's Dandenongs, and watching amassing crocodiles in Kakadu National Park, she finds Australia's wildlife a constant source of amazement and inspiration.
'Bradt Travel Guides simply have the best wildlife coverage of any of the popular guide books.' BBC Wildlife 'This guide is a must-have for wildlife lovers on their way Down Under' Wanderlust 'A definitive, well-arranged and accessible handbook on all manner of Aussie animals, from invertebrates to mammals.' Weekend Australian