Silent Summer: The State of Wildlife in Britain and Ireland

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Over the past 20 years dramatic declines have taken place in UK insect populations. Eventually, such declines must have knock-on effects for other animals, especially high profile groups such as birds and mammals. This authoritative, yet accessible account details the current state of the wildlife in Britain and Ireland and offers an insight into the outlook for the future. Written by a team of the country's leading experts, it appraises the changes that have occurred in a wide range of wildlife species and their habitats and outlines urgent priorities for conservation. It includes chapters on each of the vertebrate and major invertebrate groups, with the insects covered in particular depth. Also considered are the factors that drive environmental change and the contribution at local and government level to national and international wildlife conservation. Essential reading for anyone who is interested in, and concerned about, UK wildlife.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is absolutely terrific. An all-star cast of conservation scientists and practitioners document powerful stories of loss - and of hope for the future - among Britain and Ireland's many non-human inhabitants. Gripping and rigorous - a core foundation for students of Conservation Ecology and Environmental Science."
Gretchen Daily, Director, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University

"The season haschanged but the silence is deeper and that's why this important book must be read. Its not a catalogue of doom -its a pragmatic snapshot of reality and a desperate plea for action. Your action."
Chris Packham, Naturalist, Wildlife Photographer and TV Presenter

"If we are concerned about the environmental future of Britain and Ireland, then we must know as much as possible about its present condition..That is why this book is so important. It gives us a benchmark...It is invaluable now - and in years to come it will be irreplaceable."
From the Foreword, by Sir David Attenborough

"Silent Summer will surely become essential reading for anyone who is interested in, and concerned about, Britain's and Ireland's wildlife."
Bulletin of the British Ecological Society

"This is an ambitious work designed for both the layperson interested in wildlife and as a reference text for undergraduates."
Mary M. Peacock, Ecology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521519663
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2010
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman Maclean is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at Southampton University and has a strong interest in wildlife, conservation and river management. He has helped to run student field courses for more than 20 years and has authored and edited more than a dozen textbooks and reference books in Genetics and Cell Biology. He is an Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society and the Institute of Biology.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors viii

Foreword xii

Preface xv

Acknowledgements xvii

List of abbreviations xviii

1 Introduction Norman Maclean 1

Part I Factors Driving Changes in Wildlife 7

2 Climate change T.H. Sparks, CD. Preston D.B. Roy 9

3 Agriculture, woodland and semi-natural habitats Ken Norris 22

4 Vertebrate animal introductions Christopher Lever 36

5 Plant introductions Andrew Lack 53

6 Urbanisation and development Kevin J. Gaston Karl L. Evans 72

7 The Great Game: the interaction of field sports and conservation in Britain from the 1950s to 2008 Robin Sharp 84

8 Going fishing: recent trends in recreational angling Robin Sharp Norman Maclean 107

9 Impacts of hormone-disrupting chemicals on wildlife C.R. Tyler R.M. Goodhead 125

10 Water pollution: other aspects Michael Hughes Carl Sayer 141

11 Twenty-five key questions in ecology Norman Maclean 156

Part II Conservation in Action 165

12 Conservation in action in Britain and Ireland Andy Clements 167

13 Wildlife in the UK Overseas Territories Mike Pienkowski 184

14 The United Kingdom's role in international conservation N. Leader-Williams A.M. Rosser 216

Part III The Case Histories 243

15 Mammals in the twentieth century D.W. Yalden 245

16 Bats Karen A. Haysom Gareth Jones Dan Merrett Paul A. Racey 259

17 State of bird populations in Britain and Ireland Robert A. Robinson 281

18 The conservation of the Grey Partridge N.W. Sotherton N.J. Aebischer J.A. Ewald 319

19 Reptiles Chris P. Gleed-Owen 337

20 Amphibians Tim Halliday 363

21 Freshwater fishes: a declining resource Peter S. Maitland John F. Craig 383

22 Riverflies Cyril Bennett Warren Gilchrist 401

23 Bumblebees Dave Goulson 415

24 Butterflies J.A. Thomas 430

25 Moths Richard Fox Kelvin F. Conrad Mark S. Parsons Martin S. Warren Ian P. Woiwod 448

26 Dragonflies (Odonata) in Britain and Ireland Peter Mill Steve Brooks Adrian Parr 471

27 Flies, beetles and bees, wasps and ants (Diptera, Coleoptera and aculeate Hymenoptera) Alan Stubbs 495

28 Hemiptera Alan J.A. Stewart Peter Kirby 512

29 Grasshoppers, crickets and allied insects Judith Marshall 531

30 Aerial insect biomass: trends from long-term monitoring Richard Harrington Chris R. Shortall Ian P. Woiwod 540

31 Other invertebrates Richard Chadd Brian Eversham 556

32 Land and freshwater molluscs Ian J. Killeen 576

33 The seashore S.J. Hawkins H.E. Sugden P.S. Moschella N. Mieszkowska R.C. Thompson M.T. Burrows 591

34 The offshore waters John M. Baxter 615

35 Plants Andrew Lack 633

36 Conclusion: what is the likely future for the wildlife in Britain and Ireland? Norman Maclean 667

Glossary 692

Name index 697

Subject index 738

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