Book Review: Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia
David Andrew’s new book, The Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia, is essential reading for anyone wanting to find some of Australia’s fabulous critters.
The paperback is organised in two parts. The first 250 pages cover key sites in the eight Australian states and territories, with a section on cetacean watching too. The last 150 are organised by species. Its well set out and – so far as I could tell – all very accurate: I’ve been to many of the sites and seen many of the mammals at them, but there was new information here too and I’ll be packing the book next time I head home.
The guide gives very detailed and specific information on where to find some species. Other times the information is a bit more general and is limited to national parks where species occur, so you are going to need to do a bit more research or ask the rangers when you get there (often good practice in any case, as many species fluctuate according to fire and weather patterns). But it is required reading if you are sitting down and trying to get your head around a mammal watching itinerary across what is a very large country. There are also useful contact details for organisations you can volunteer with to take part in small mammal surveys and so on: pretty much the only realistic chance you have of seeing quite a large proportion of Australia’s smaller mammals.
The book’s available from CSIRO publishing in Australia. It’s also on Amazon.com and presumably all good book stores. I’d have saved a fortune in fuel and phone calls if this had been in print 20 years ago.