This is a magnificent book, with a huge amount information rarely found outside academic publications, but presented in an accessible and very readable fashion. Sir Christopher Lever is an acknowledged expert on the naturalized animals of Britain, and this is evident in the content of the text. The photographs are brilliant and show the reader exactly what the 'invading' animals look like, and the detailed maps provide exact locations in Britain and Ireland. There are some surprising animals in the book - like wallabies - which many people don't realize live in the wild in Britain. Highly recommended - there's nothing else like this book available to the general reader as well as the specialist naturalist.
I had seen this book reviewed in a bird watching journal I subscribe to and thought it might be interesting. Amazon came up trumps on a tremendous discount so I bought it thinking it would be a good reference book to have on the shelf.
However I had a quick look inside and thought I just have to read this, so I am currently ploughing through it. The amount of effort that has gone into the research is staggering yet it is highly readable. Each species is dealt with in a similar way and I found the history (e.g. when it was introduced and what happened since then) and the effect that it has had on the UK as a result of its introduction the most interesting sections.
I have just finished reading about the rabbit and the effect of myxomatosis was fascinating benefiting some species but not others (certainly not the rabbit). The idea of let's kill off rabbits by introducing a disease in hindsight was perhaps not thought through - species that were reliant on the rabbit e.g. fox then changed to smaller mammals which removed food sources for e.g. owls. Birds that like short grass suffered, but those that like long grass thrived - our ecosystem is so delicate.
And that's why this book should be compulsory reading for anyone who thinks animals in cages should be released - are you really thinking your actions through to the end point?
Excellent book, congratulations to the author for a fine work.
This book covers all the naturalized animals in Britain and Ireland, providing information on the history of the species in terms of timings of introduction, and the source (e.g. escaped from private zoo). It is ordered by species so can easily be dipped into when required. I wouldn't call it a mainstream book, but is perfectly accessible and well written. The author (Sir Christopher Lever) is an impressive CV and has applied an enormous amount of research to the book. Very impressive and a book that I have been searching for since I caught the end of a radio 4 programme about it several years ago. Finally there are numerous maps and photos which make it even more enjoyable to read.