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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Field Guides & Natural History  Natural History  Regional Natural History  Natural History of Australasia

Bradt Wildlife Guide: Australian Wildlife

Travel Guide Wildlife Guide
By: Stella Martin(Author)
196 pages, colour photos, 2 colour maps
Bradt Wildlife Guide: Australian Wildlife
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Average customer review
  • Bradt Wildlife Guide: Australian Wildlife ISBN: 9781784773458 Edition: 2 Paperback Mar 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1 week
Price: £16.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

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

Further Reading

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Brilliant introduction with superb images
    By Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne 12 Feb 2021 Written for Paperback
    Australia is many things; an island, a single country (the sixth-largest in the world) and a continent. It is also a very special island as it has been isolated for so long that it has evolved a fauna and flora with a high rate of endemism. It is also thinly populated with vast stretches of wilderness from desert to lush rainforests and in the ocean, the Great Barrier Reef. Australian Wildlife by Bradt is a wonderful introduction to this incredible country’s wildlife. It is lavishly illustrated with stunning photography and insightful text. Its compact size and page length mean it is not too heavy to take with you on a trip. You could probably read a fair amount of it on a flight from London to Australia. I wish this book had been available when many years ago I spent a month in Australia.

    I particularly liked the two introductory chapters titled ‘The Backdrop’ and ‘Habitats which span pages 3 to 36. Whether you are a visitor or resident it is helpful to have context. The first chapter has subsections which explain its geological history and the arrival of placental mammals from mainland Asia as the Australian plate bumped into the Asian plate. Conservation and climate issues are addressed. We learn why it is preferable to farm native animals rather than introduced hooved animals like cattle for meat as hooved animals are so destructive to Australian soils. The section on habitats describes the astonishing range of habitats from tropical, subtropical and temperate rainforests to sclerophyll forests. On my first trip to Sydney I recollect being astonished to learn that within a short drive from the city centre, temperate forests could be seen in the valleys of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

    A series of chapters cover the main groups that visitors are interested in. Sections on the vertebrate and invertebrate animals start with the mammals. Australia has all three subclasses of mammals. The familiar placental mammals (e.g. dogs and cats), the monotremes which include the amazingly different and egg-laying platypuses and echidnas, and the third subclass, the marsupials. The marsupials are found in South America as well but they are the brand icon for Australia with a number of families which include familiar species such as the kangaroos, wallabies and the cuddly Koala. Mammals, birds and reptiles have the biggest page count; not surprising as this is what most visitors would be interested in. The Australasian region has eight non-passerines and 30 passerine families endemic to it. The book covers a few of these special families along with some of the other families that a visitor is likely to see.

    The section on reptiles is no less fascinating. It is reassuring on the low rate of fatalities from snakes and crocodiles. I suspect people associate pythons with Asian forests but we learn in the book that Australia is a centre of diversity with 13 species of pythons. There are over 70 species of Agamid or dragon lizards including the spectacular Frilled Lizard. Amphibians, freshwater fishes, invertebrates and the marine environment have slimmer but nevertheless interesting sections. The end sections in its ‘Further Reading’ list a number of publications for people who wish to learn more.

    The penultimate chapter is useful at the trip planning stage. For each of the states: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia there is a map marking the flagship wildlife sites with brief details in the text. The end sections include a reference to ‘The Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia’ by Richard Thomas and others, useful for those who need more detailed information or are interested in the vast number of nature reserves found in Australia. The book also lists useful websites.

    It is not an easy feat to pack a continent as vast as Australia into the covers of a slim and portable book. But Stella Martin has done a brilliant job in creating a book that is an essential read for anyone planning a wildlife trip to Australia.
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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.

Travel Guide Wildlife Guide
By: Stella Martin(Author)
196 pages, colour photos, 2 colour maps
Media reviews

'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

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