苏州吴江区美甲培训

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

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Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia. By David Andrew. CSIRO Publishing. $49.95.
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Reviewer: Ian Fraser

Some readers may be surprised to hear that there are two substantial guides in print along the lines of “where and how to find every Australian bird species”; between them they total more than 1000 pages and one is into its second revision. There are also quite a number of such books available for other countries. However there has never been an equivalent book dedicated to finding mammals, certainly not in Australia, and I’m unaware of any elsewhere in the world either. Until now.

David Andrew is a Canberra public servant and private adventurer, who has previously collaborated in the revision of the classic Thomas and Thomas’s Complete Guide to Finding the Birds of Australia. He has studied giant pandas in China and whales in the Antarctic, and tracked snow leopards in the Himalayas. There is no questioning his credentials for writing this ground-breaking text.

Pretty much wherever you go in Australia, this book will enhance your natural history experience. And of course one of the benefits of such guides is to direct you to places you might not otherwise have found, and which are always intrinsically interesting, regardless of whether you find your “target” or not.

The book is very logically presented, and you can use it either to find out what you might see in a locale or along a route that you’re planning to visit, or to target a species that interests you and make plans for setting out to find it. To this effect the “where to find” section is first divided into states and territories (plus a chapter on “Oceanic islands and external territories” and another on boat-based whale-watching as bonuses). Then, with the use of simple but clear sketch maps, regions and sites are defined; in all Andrew discusses some 210 sites in some detail, but in fact some of these are rather larger than this implies. For instance south-west Queensland, the Kimberley and the Barkley Tableland are all included as single “sites”.

The rest of the book (and there are more than 400 pages of it) comprises a generously annotated list of all Australian mammal species and where you might hope to encounter them. It’s fair to say that mammal watching is much harder than birdwatching; more than half the species are either bats or small nocturnal rodents, and most of the rest are also nocturnal. But with a decent torch, some patience and this book you might surprise yourself with what you can discover.

Ian Fraser is a local naturalist, broadcaster, natural history blogger and author, whose most recent book is Australian Bird Names; a complete guide.

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