Field Guide to Invasive Plants & Animals in Britain

By Olaf Booy, Max Wade & Helen E Roy | Paperback | Bloomsbury | 2015 | 304 Pages | 250 Colour Photos | Black & White illustrations | 200 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781408123188

Publisher’s View: The impact of invasive organisms is second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity and yet, despite increasing ecological awareness, people remain largely unaware of these plants and animals and their potentially devastating impact. Although most biological introductions fail, many prove successful and these can prove disastrous for native fauna and flora.

Field Guide to Invasive Plants & Animals in Britain will enable the identification of a range of invasive plants and animals now found in Britain. Though these species are of particular concern to conservationists there has previously been no unified guide devoted to their recognition. Field Guide to Invasive Plants & Animals in Britain will act both as an ID guide, appealing to the amateur naturalist, and as an important tool for ecologists and land managers attempting to tackle the problem posed by invasive species.

The Authors: Working at the sharp end of biological introduction, professional ecologists Max Wade, Olaf Booy and Helen Roy are well placed to write the definitive guide to invasive organisms. Between them they have written several books and academic papers, developed key species management techniques and established removal programmes for invasive plants across the UK.

Fatbirder View: This is an important first step in raising awareness about the increasingly pressing problem of invasive species. We may well be aware of Grey Squirrels, Japanese Knotweed and Oxford Ragwort, but I for one was surprised at just how many plants and to a lesser extent animals have spread right across the country. No doubt many are past possible eradication but there is nothing to stop us all from being vigilant in our own backyards and removing those, which out compete their local rivals or damage other native flora and fauna. Those of us who care can make a start and this volume will help.

Lest we be despondent there are some real success stories around the world. Maybe they don’t measure up to the many environmental disasters we have brought about, but there is nothing to stop us all trying to stop it happen further and maybe, just maybe start to turn the tide.

This is a well written and well illustrated book with much to offer.

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