Working for birds in Africa

The Birds of the Banc d'Arguin

Fri, 21/12/2012 - 12:21 -- abc_admin
Paul Isenmann (translated by Starr Pirot), 2006. Arles: La Fondation Internationale du Banc d'Arguin. 191 pp. Softback. ISBN 2–9514914–6-8 (French edition) and 2–9514914–7-6 (English edition). UK£19.95.
page 234

The Banc d'Arguin, in Mauritania, is one of those places revered by just about every African birder, as well as all those many birdwatchers who thrill to the spectacle of huge numbers of waterbirds. Those lucky enough to have visited or worked there can really appreciate just how special this place is. Home to some 300 species and over two million wintering waterbirds, the site is rightly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This book was published to coincide with the Banc d'Arguin's 30th anniversary as a National Park. Its appeal will be wide - the book provides information concerning the park's history, the habitats contained therein, an annotated checklist of the species recorded, and separate chapters on the park's colonial nesting waterbirds, wintering shorebirds and future. The volume concludes with an extensive ornithological bibliography that covers publications issued as recently as June 2006. Very well produced and packed with many fantastic photographs (some spoilt by sub-standard reproduction), it will be required reading for all visitors to the park. Although I found parts of the book frustrating, in that some chapters only provide a small taster of the wealth of data collected on the park's birds, the large bibliography clearly points to more extensive and detailed works.

Phil Atkinson

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