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The World's Rarest Birds

World / ChecklistArt / PhotobookFlora / Fauna

By: Erik Hirschfeld(Author), Andy Swash(Author), Robert Still(Author)

360 pages, 75 colour plates, 700+ colour photos, colour distribution maps


Hardback | Mar 2013 | #198783 | ISBN-13: 9780691155968
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £34.99 $45/€39 approx

About this book

This illustrated book vividly depicts the most endangered birds in the world and provides the latest information on the threats each species faces and the measures being taken to save them. Today, 571 bird species are classified as critically endangered or endangered, and a further four now exist only in captivity. This landmark book features stunning photographs of 500 of these species – the results of a prestigious international photographic competition organized specifically for The World's Rarest Birds. It also showcases paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist Tomasz Cofta of the 75 species for which no photos are known to exist.

The World's Rarest Birds has introductory chapters that explain the threats to birds, the ways threat categories are applied, and the distinction between threat and rarity. The World's Rarest Birds is divided into seven regional sections – Europe and the Middle East; Africa and Madagascar; Asia; Australasia; Oceanic Islands; North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; and South America. Each section includes an illustrated directory to the bird species under threat there, and gives a concise description of distribution, status, population, key threats, and conservation needs. This one-of-a-kind book also provides coverage of 62 data-deficient species.

"[...] This book is packed with information and, for its price, it provides an impressive amount of material. In total, 650 species are featured and the volume harnessed the work of 321 photographers from around the world. It represents a truly impressive feat and I challenge any travelling birder not to be obsessed with it! How sad, though, that such a work of beauty details a story that can only be described as the tragic failure of mankind."
- Keith Betton, Birding World 26(8), September 2013

"[...] The authors have produced a superb book that summarises the threats faced by far too many species in the world today. They have illustrated each of those species well, and highlighted the urgent need to conserve them. We can only hope that the book inspires people around the globe to take more interest in the plight of these endangered birds, and to work in whatever way they can to support their survival. Purchasing this book makes a small start and I encourage readers to do so."
- David Fisher, Bulletin of the African Bird Club 20(2), September 2013

"[...] Extraordinary images and design, along with authoritative text, make The World’s Rarest Birds the best book on rare birds of the world that I’ve seen. I’m very glad to have it, but at the same time saddened that it has to exist at all. But since there are birds in trouble we need a book like this to tell their stories. It belongs on the table – not the shelf – of anyone who cares about birds."
- Grant McCreary (20-05-2013), read the full review at The Birder's Library

"[...] This is a coffee-table volume that scrapes the glossy veneer from rarity, places a marker firmly in the ground in a measured manner and unflinchingly highlights the endangered and vulnerable along with the challenges that face us to make them less so. If it succeeds in raising awareness for even some of the species it highlights it will be a major achievement. Buy a copy and give it to your MP or MEP with a personal message to do more; it's the least we can do. [...]"
- Alan Tilmouth, Wednesday 5th June 2013,

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Erik Hirschfeld works in air traffic control management and is a freelance writer, guide, and consultant in ornithology. Andy Swash, a professional ecologist and former environmental adviser to the British government, runs the photographic agency World Wildlife Images. Robert Still is an ecologist, widely traveled naturalist, and graphic artist who designs books that encourage people to take greater interest in the natural world.

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