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Birds of Somalia (Hardcover)
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Birds of Somalia (Hardcover)
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Somalia, with seven endemic species, is one of the most important
bird areas in Africa; it is also one of the least well-known. Birds
of Somalia is a model of its kind and will inspire many other
similar volumes. Its essence is to provide an atlas of 654 maps
showing the distribution of all the species known from the country;
each species account gives where relevant a bird's preferred
habitat, its relative abundance, and details of migration, breeding
season and clutch size. Much of the ornithological content of the
book is based on personal experience. About 70% of the observations
on the maps were provided by the authors and they claim to have
seen all but one of the 654 birds on the Somali list. Besides
adding over 50 first time records to it, they were also responsible
for finding and adding to science one new species and four new
subspecies of birds in Somalia. Chapters summarise the available
knowledge on bird migration and breeding seasons within Somalia.
The records are astonishing when it is considered that they come
from such a little-known country. The results of the rather limited
amount of ringing carried out in the country are also summarised,
and the recoveries of ringed birds are of extreme interest.
Christopher Hemming contributes what amounts to a major treatise on
the soils and vegetation of Somalia, Carlo Violani and Fausto
Barbagli provide a historical review of ornithology and
ornithologists, Professor Celia Nyamweru describes the geology, and
Peter Robertson gives an up-to-date perspective on the state of
bird and habitat conservation and the issues involved. A
magnificent series of coloured plates by Martin Woodcock is
included which depict 25 little-known birds special to the region,
including the new species and races. There is also a selection of
habitat photographs and excellent maps showing the topography,
geology and vegetation of the country. There are further lists
detailing hybrids, doubtful records, species offshore and
borderline and unacceptable records. Of much interest and value to
many, including museum workers and those not directly involved in
ornithology, will be the gazetteer of localities throughout
Somalia. Its value is greatly enhanced by being cross referenced in
Somali (with the old and new spellings), English and Italian.
Lastly, a full bibliography lists more than 550 titles.
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