Field guides, bird names, and conservation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Pacific Conservation Biology




School of Natural Sciences


Recher, H. F. (2017). Field guides, bird names, and conservation. Pacific Conservation Biology, 23(4), 315-323.


This is an essay that began as a book review. The book reviewed is: ‘The Australian Bird Guide’ by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin, and published in 2017 by CSIRO Publishing, Clayton, Victoria, Australia (paperback, AU$49.95, ISBN 9780643097544). I enjoy reviewing books and particularly enjoyed reading and reviewing this one. I enjoyed it because the illustrations of birds are superb and because the decision of the authors to follow a global list of bird names provided me with an opportunity to once again raise questions about the names given to Australian birds. Thus, the review morphed into an essay: in part an account of my experiences over the past 60 years with field guides, names, and nomenclature, in part a book review, and in part a bit about the conservation of Australia’s birds.



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