London: Academic Press, 1999. Large octavo, laminated boards, colour photographs.
Wetlands are special places whose complex ecosystems provide homes for rich and varied assemblages of bird inhabitants. Herons, storks, ibises, spoonbills, anhingas, shorebirds and birds of prey all make a living there, each according to their own special needs. Although similar in many ways, the different wetland areas show many peculiarities in their individual habits and ecology, and make for fascinating comparisons and contrasts.
Wetlands are also a dwindling part of the world's rich mix of habitats, everywhere endangered by pollution, land drainage and the overuse of water resources for urban and agricultural development.
James Hancock has fed his lifelong love of these often wild, but always exciting places with years of travel and expedition to most of the great wetlands of the world, both as a tourist and explorer or as a tour leader, visiting lecturer and ambassador for various conservation bodies. His skill as a photographer has found ample scope in documenting the birds he has observed and the splendour of the wetlands in which they live.
But there is more in this book than fine photographs. Hancock's appreciation and understanding of the biology and ecology of wetlands and their birds and his concern for the conservation problems facing them inform his lively text. Anecdote and science alike are used to plead for a better understanding of wetlands and the need to conserve them for the future.
Price: $10.00 AU