Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
By S Aulagnier, P Haffner, AJ Mitchell-Jones, F Moutou and J Zima | ISBN: 9781408113998 | Christopher Helm | Hardback | 2009 |

I have long yearned for a pocket Field Guide to the Mammals of the Western Palearctic region and at last one has been published. This superbly illustrated guide (by Chevallier, Norwood and Varelo Simo incidentally) provides Species Accounts for no less than 403 species, although it does not cover or include the majority of marine species, such as Whales and Dolphins (although all 40 that occur are listed on page 10).

The layout is very much of what you find in a Bird Guide, with text on the left and the plates on the right. All of the species mentioned are represented by accurate artwork but I was surprised at the odd omission – no Scilly Shrew mentioned for example. It is a nice format and easy-on-the-eye, each account summarising the identification, habitat and biology of each species. It made for fascinating reading – I didn’t realise it was still possible to find Cheetah and Musk Ox in the Western P still for example.

This is an essential and excellent companion to any Field Guide on Birds of the region and could not come recommended highly enough. The book features over 100 plates, comprising over 600 colour artworks, the information provided being generally concise and authoritative. Distribution maps are included and where relevant, variation between the sexes is illustrated and anatomical diagrams are provided to assist identification of those more tricky separations.

Guest Reviewer: Lee G R Evans – British Birding Association, UK400 Club, Rare Birds Magazine, Ornithological Consultant and Conservationist

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Lee Evans