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Wildlife Book Reviews

The Naturalized Animals of Britain and Ireland

Reviewed by Elizabeth Mills

The Naturalized Animals of Britain and IrelandPumpkin Seed Fish, Italian Crested Newt, Fire-Bellied Toad, all very exotic sounding and along with the familiar Rabbit and Little Owl are all examples of naturalized species in Britain today.

This book gathers together a huge amount of research into the surprisingly large number of naturalized, feral, re-introduced and ephemeral species in the UK.

Each species account has a history of introduction, species requirements and characteristics and an assessment of its ecological and economic impact,some also have distribution maps. Practicalities of control and their success or failure are also covered. The account of the effects of myxomatosis on the rabbit population and subsequent effects on other native species is particularly informative.

It raises important conservation issues, especially as climate change will result in the expansion and contraction of species ranges and we have to decide what to conserve and why and also what constitutes a "natural" flora and fauna anyway?

Its a hugely readable and very entertaining book to keep dipping into or give students ideas for research. I know very little about fish so read this bit first and I wouldn't have missed learning about the commensal relationship between Bitterling and Swan mussels for the world - how on earth did that evolve? At least the Swan Mussel gets to return the insult. Its almost worth buying the book for this alone. And pity the poor householder in Amersham who had 60 Edible Dormice removed from their home.

Christopher Lever is a well respected figure in conservation and this updated, revised and expanded version of his 1977 book The Naturalized Animals of the British Isles makes for a highly readable and informative account of an often overlooked issue about which we may possibly be being too complacent.

The Naturalized Animals of Britain and Ireland is available from New Holland Publishers, normal price £35.00.

To buy online from New Holland Publishers Click Here Enter the discount code NAOBI at the checkout for your exclusive 50% discount.

Some of the animals featured in The Naturalized Animals of Britain and Ireland






Some books we can recommend.

Pocket Guides  
Roger Phillips guides too large to carry but good.
For the enthusiast

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