Basics: hardcover, 2000, 852pp., 1,186 species with color illustration, detailed map, and concise text; another 500 lower risk birds with brief paragraph of status; useful list of birds by status and country
Of the several books to focus on rare, endangered, or extinct birds, this is easily the best one. This is a wonderful tome in terms of information and illustrations. The core of this large book is its coverage of 1,186 threatended species across the globe.
Each bird receives a half-page which includes an illustration, a map, and data-packed and descriptive information. The maps are customized to accurately display even the smallest or fragmented ranges of some of these very restricted species. The illustrations, all in color of the adult male, are of very good quality. The text is the most impressive aspect of the book.
The textual account for each bird consists of an overview of its status and population along with its range, ecology, threats, and related conservation efforts. This information proves to be very concise as well as potent. Another nifty inclusion is the "Target" information. This gives pointed tips on what should be done to more accurately identify the bird's status and distribution along with further conservation efforts that should be adopted. These efforts include specific localities in need of protection.
Another 500 birds are included at the end as lower risk or near threatened species. For these birds, a single paragraph is provided to cover the bird's distribution, habitat, and population status. A section listing and summarizing all extinct species has also been provided.
An excellent tool found at the end of the book is a presentation of every country with a listing of its associated threatened birds. I especially like this feature, having looked for this without success in the past.
The first 30 pages of the book introduce the reader to the pertinent issues of our threatened species. It covers the causal problems, solutions, what and where we should focus conservation efforts, and the categorization of the various threat statuses.
Without a doubt, this is an exceptional book that would be of interest to nearly every birder and naturalist with conservation at heart. This is definitely the best compendium available on our threatened birds.
1) Rare Birds of the World by Mountfort
2) Extinct and Vanishing Birds of the World by Greenway
3) Birds in Jeopardy by Ehrlich
4) Rare and Vanishing Australian Birds by Slater
5) Threatended Birds of the Americas by Collar
6) Threatened Birds of Africa and Related Islands by Collar
7) Endangered Birds of the World: The ICBP Bird Red Data Book by King
8) Extinct Birds by Fuller
9) A Guide to Threatened Birds of Taiwan by Fang
(written by Soleglad at Avian Review or Avian Books, June 2009)