Disentangling the facts from the hype, this 'Domesday book' of the British and Irish countryside offers a definitive and up-to-date survey of the state of our wildlife today. Norman Maclean, editor of the bestselling Silent Summer, examines the latest findings of Britain and Ireland's top wildlife experts and interprets them for a wider audience. Each chapter provides reliable estimates of animal populations, showing which species are thriving and which are in decline. The book also considers the effects of climate change on our wildlife and how human population growth is influencing its development. Beautifully illustrated with colour plates and wood engravings throughout, this accessible and timely study reveals just how rapidly our countryside and its wildlife are changing, why we should be concerned, and what we can do about it.
Norman Maclean is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Southampton and a lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He has visited and studied wildlife in more than 50 countries around the world and has given numerous radio and TV interviews on the subject. He is the editor of Silent Summer (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Foreword Chris Packham; Introduction; 1. Living with change; 2. A short dose of Earth history; 3. Climate change; 4. Down on the farm and into the woods; 5. Plant and animal introductions (and recent arrivals); 6. Our overcrowded isles - human population and aspiration; 7. The availability of fresh water; 8. Hunting, shooting and fishing: the enigma of field sports and wildlife; 9. Wildlife conservation at home and overseas; So how is our wildlife faring? The details: 10. Mammals; 11. Birds; 12. Reptiles and amphibians; 13. Freshwater fish; 14. Butterflies and moths; 15. Other insects - dragonflies, beetles, bees etc.; 16. Other invertebrates - spiders, snails, crayfish etc.; 17. Trees, shrubs and flowering plants; 18. Fungi; 19. Life in the open sea; 20. Where sea meets land; 21. Top wildlife sites; 22. What does the future hold?; Further reading; Abbreviations; Glossary; Latin names of species; Index.