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Britain's Reptiles and Amphibians (WILDGuides) Paperback – Illustrated, 21 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (21 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903657253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903657256
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Amateur naturalists will be armed with all the tools they need to identify an array of reptiles and amphibians in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands, from Great Crested Newts to Hawksbill Turtles. Species photos are accompanied by detailed descriptions, and the handy ID charts will be perfect for quick references when out in the field."--BBC Wildlife

"In addition to useful quick identification charts, each species receives a full treatment in an account awash with excellent photographs. It is a stunning book, well thought out and eminently practical."--Mike Toms, BTO News

"Whether trekking with the aim of field-study, or whether simply interested in reptiles and amphibians, I would recommend Britain's Reptiles and Amphibians to anyone with interests in herpetology and native wildlife."--Ian Millichip, Lacerta

"[T]his guide is a worthy addition to any naturalist's library."--Rachel Thompson, Surrey Nature, Surrey Wildlife Trust

"This slim but extremely useful and profusely illustrated new book, written by life-long herpetological enthusiast Howard Inns, helps to spotlight the creatures that rarely make headlines and can be difficult to observe really well."--Ron Toft, TheTravelEditor.com

"An absolute 'must have' for all nature lovers whatever they may already know about our reptiles and amphibians."--Chris Davis, RAUK

"Absolutely fascinating. . . . A terrific book."--Lee and J.J. MacFadden, Bristol Herald Courier

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams on 27 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Difficult to fault. As someone who prefers good quality artworks to photographs in identification guides, I must admit that these photos could not be bettered. If anything, the book almost suffers from an overdose of them. I have never seen such a 'picture heavy' guide, but that's no bad thing. Aside from New Naturalists, there doesn't seem to have been a guide devoted solely to the British fauna in living memory, presumably due to the difficulty of producing a meaningful book covering so few species. And yet Howard Inns has done it, filling 160 or so pages without ever resorting to padding or waffle. Perhaps this explains the number of pictures. The marine turtles, and Channel Isles species such as the agile frog are given fuller treatment here than in the New Naturalist volumes too.
Trying hard to find something to nitpick, I am disappointed that in amongst all the pictures of sand lizards there isn't a single one of a non-breeding male. Perhaps the differences in throat / belly markings between the smooth and palmate newts are not always as clear cut as the guide suggests? And why are the smooth and palmate newts separated by the great created? And finally, while the plastic jacket is a nice touch, its not actually going to stop the book turning to pulp if you drop it in a pond.
All pretty trivial criticisms though. This really is an excellent guide.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sharpe on 3 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
For several years now, WILDGuides have been setting the standard for small, handy field guides that focus mainly on the identification of neglected groups of wildlife. Their approach is characterised by portability, emphasis on visual utility (the use of computer enhanced photographs) and a significant contribution to conservation. The latter is achieved in two ways: firstly by getting these guides into the hands of the public at very competitive prices (WILDGuides is a non-profit publisher) and secondly by donating all profits to conservation organisations that work on the area or organisms treated by each guide.

True to form, WILDGuides' new guide to Britain's Reptiles & Amphibians covers a group that has not received much attention in recent years. But the guide recommends itself not just by simple default: a lot of care has clearly gone into ensuring that this will be the definitive guide for years to come. To begin with, all Britain's species are included: thirteen species native to Britain and Ireland, plus five marine turtles (the "native" Leatherback and the four vagrants), six well established non-native species and eight other exotics.

Foremost are the photographs, more than 200 of which handsomely illustrate the introductory chapters as well as the species accounts themselves. Needless to say, the images are of the highest quality. The text matches them, being succinct, informative and authoritative, both on identification features and on natural history. It is heartening to see a strong emphasis on conservation too. WILDGuides' trademark annual activity clocks - a highly effective way of portraying life cycles - and crystal clear, up-to-date distribution maps, complement the text.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. F. J. Holmes on 14 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is the most detailed and well informed of all the British field guides I have read. Inns writes in a style that lends itself to easy understanding managing to make even the most dull of technical detail interesting.
The guide is awash with stunning colour photographs (a marked improvement over even the most detailed of illusrations)and useful pointers on every page that tells you everything you need to know in order to observe and conserve these much maligned yet very attractive members of British fauna!
The guide is well laid out and comes in a protective sleeve, a nice touch for those who take their guides into the field.
My only complaint really is the price, a little hefty but at least its discounted on Amazon.
An essential up to date and complete tome. Recommend!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik Paterson on 10 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one which I am very fond of. I thought I knew my way around British Herpetofauna but it seems i've only scraped the barrel!

Fully illustrated with colour photographs of every species written about in the book, the images are of superb quality, showing the details required to identify these magnificent creatures. There are even photographs of the Tadpoles of these species with several size comparisons to boot. There are even photographs of various colour variations which have been noted with the species discussed. There are also photographs of the habitats of several species which is useful too. The distribution maps are easy to understand and there is even an activity map which is superbly handy and very easy to understand also.

The diverse nature of the species is great, I was apprehensive at first - thinking that this book would be a mere pamphlet but I have been proven wrong - gladly. Covering even the Marine Turtles, escapee species and some which are non-native but welle stablished, this is a magnificent and essential little guide.

The text is easy to understand and well written making this book essential for beginner herpers and enthusiasts alike.
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