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This is the second account of the birds of Ghana (ex-Gold Coast), the first having been published by Grimes in 1987. It presents detailed information on the some 750 species known (among which there are 150 migrants from Eurasia and North America, of which more than 100 winter locally). Extensive field-work by the authors, augmented by the contribution of visiting or resident naturalists, means that the maps (for all species except vagrants) present a clear picture of distribution in this country of nearly 240,000 km2. The text complements the maps, with a synthesis of what is known of ecology, status, movements, breeding seasons, taxonomy and conservation concerns. Some 600 published references are cited, and there are details of ringing recoveries and a gazetteer of more than 860 localities. In 116 pages, the introductory chapters review the vegetation and major bird habitats, biogeography, migration, conservation and the history of ornithological exploration in Ghana. The conservation chapter draws attention to the considerable pressure that human activities (including deforestation, danis and over-fishing) are exerting on the environment and wildlife. Six species of birds have become extinct in Ghana in the last century, and several others are heavily threatened. Forty-nine species are considered to be of global or regional conservation concem, and the importance of the country’s wildlife reserves is stressed, with forest reserves and other natural habitats being decimated at an alarming rate. Twenty-one pages of colour photos illustrate the habitats of Ghana as well as a selection of typical bird species. No bird is endemic to Ghana alone, but the country contains no fewer than 179 Guineo-Congolian forest species, including all but four of those endemic to Upper Guinea (Ghana westwards), Ghana is the one country where the striking Yellow-headed Picathartes (or Rockfowl) can be seen by all visiting birdwatchers.
"[...] Overall, this work is destined to remain the reference on the birds of Ghana far into the future. I almost wrote that this book is an astonishingly thorough and authoritative piece of work, but actually it is not. By which I mean it is no longer astonishing, since we have come to expect such thoroughness and authority from these authors. This volume is easily a match for its predecessors in scholarship, comprehensiveness and attention to detail. Anyone with more than a superficial interest in the birds of West Africa, let alone Ghana itself, will want to own a copy."
– Lincoln Fishpool, Ibis 157, 2015
"This awe-inspiring volume follows the style of the same authors' The Birds of Malawi and The Birds of Zambia [...] and anyone familiar with these already classic works will immediately recognise the same high standard and layout. [...] Available superlatives are probably insufficient for this superb and thoroughly essential, academic work. For anybody interested in Ghanaian birds and their distribudon, it should be a compulsory purchase and would ideally be used in conjunction with a field guide that covers the topic of species identification, thereby affording the user the most complete overview of the country's avifauna that has ever existed."
– Nik Borrow, Bulletin of the African Bird Club 22(1), March 2015
"Ghana, although far from the largest of countries, covers three major vegetation zones: Guinea-Congolian rain forest in the SW quarter, Soudanian savanna dominated by woodland in the northern half and a transition zone between the two. As such it is therefore an ideal country to visit if you want to see a wide range of birds in a relatively small area. For the atlas the authors have divided the country into 93 30-minute squares and all species are mapped on this grid, with many of the specific distribution records arising from a large amount of fieldwork carried out by themselves over a total of 22 months in the 2000s, although records from others are incorporated as well. The 750-odd species accounts are comprehensive with notes on Distribution, Ecology, Status, Conservation and Breeding and there is a detailed 144-page introduction covering physical characteristics, vegetation, biogeography and conservation along with a comprehensive history of ornithological work in the country. Those who know of the authors' similar previous books (on Malawi and Zambia) will know what to expect and they will not be disappointed. The detail and comprehensiveness are impressive; indeed the book makes Ghana one of the best known countries for birds in all of Africa. It is certainly a birding milestone for West Africa."
– Peter Lack, BTO book reviews