Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland | hardback | 2014 |280 page | colour photos, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781906698492 | British Dragonfly Society| Field Studies Council (FSC)
Like many birders I’m a huge dragonfly fan, their aerial skills are unmatched and their pre-historic look is a subject I’m always keen to photograph (the odonata family has been around for millions of years). However, often seeing certain species really means you need to be in the know, but now that the dragonfly society have released the Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland those of us not connected have a great resource.
Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland
Stuffed with 280 pages of brilliant and in-depth information as well as loads of amazing photos, this book is a must for any dragonfly enthusiasts.
Individual Species Accounts
I’m going to start with the individual species accounts, although this is not how the book starts, every species recorded in the UK and Ireland has some sort of coverage and only those that are extremely rare (1 or 2 records) don’t have at least a couple of pages.Each species account covers the same elements, firstly a small identification piece with a stunning photo of the species, then details on distribution, a map of the British Isles (with markers for locations), Habitat details, conservation and status threats and finally national trends.
The Remainder of the Book
The rest of the book (start and end) cover a great range of topics, at the start you will find; Environmental factors, a huge section on Dragonfly habitat, recording and data collection, mapping the data, Trends in the status of Dragonflies, Phenology, after this follows the species accounts, followed by; Other Species (covering the few species not given pages of their own), appendices, references and the index.
The monumental effort that has gone into producing this superb volume should not be underestimated, the editors (Steve Cham, Brian Nelson, Adrian Parr, Steve Prentice, Dave Smallshire and Pam Taylor) have done an amazing job, sifting through the reams of records and putting together a book that any Dragonfly enthusiasts should rush out to buy.The information packed in makes for interesting reading, learning what is affecting our odonata lets us know what is affecting the rest of our planet! Moreover, as dragonfly enthusiasts, knowing where to see which species gives us all a chance of recording these amazing creatures (it could also lead to further species being recorded).Some stunning photos included, and this alone would warrant the purchase!
If you love dragonflies and damselflies like I do then this book is a must have. Full of as much information as you will need (until the next update) to fully appreciate the habitats and distribution of these wonderful creatures.
Guest Reviewer – Ashley Beolens