Twenty years after the last summary publication on the region, this volume presents the most complete modern summary of the latest surveys and research on all the birds now found in the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Over 380 species are described using data derived from field and museum research, as well as previously unpublished or poorly distributed data from local compilers, diaries, and personal records. More than 70 spectacular full-page color plates show almost all of the species covered. This volume also includes a fully referenced bibliography of over 800 sources. An extensive introduction covers aspects of history, biogeography, and ecology of the region's birds, plus the main conservation issues which face them.
* Over 380 species are described in modern handbook format using data derived from field and museum research
* The only detailed handbook of the birds of the region; supplies a benchmark synopsis (first in 20 years) of the bird fauna and ornithological research in the Peninsula, much of it published for the first time.
* Over 70 color plates
* Many species illustrated for the first time
* Serves as an introductory text which describes the region and its conservation crisis
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This volume covers the avifauna of the Republic of Singapore, peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and the tip of Tenasserim (Burma), with their associated island archipelagos to latitude 11oN. This classic region of high biodiversity is home to a rich and special resident avifauna that is joined in season by a host of migrants from north Asia to create a fascinating faunal mix. Most of its bird species, and nearly all of those endemic to the region, reside in tropical forest habitats. Until surprisingly recently, these forests clothed most of the area. Now, one of the tropical world's fastest rates of agricultural conversion has swept them from all but a fraction of their former range, opening space to newcomers with quite different ecological requirements - a truly dramatic conservation problem under constant watch by ornithologists in all places accessible to field workers.
Twenty-two years after the last synoptic publication on the region, this volume, and its companion on passerine species (currently in preparation), bring together the most complete modern summary of field survey work and other research on all the birds found in the Peninsula.
During 30 years of residence in the region, David Wells has acquired an unrivalled understanding of its birds, which he brings in full measure to this superb first volume. Over 380 species are described in contemporary handbook format. Historically complete accounts draw on a full range of recent field and museum research, together with much previously unpublished and little-circulated data from local compilers and the diaries and personal records of many enthusiasts. Each species account comprises 16 standard sections dealing with topics such as systematics, distribution, plumage, biometrics, status, haitat, food and foraging, voice, behaviour, breeding biology, moult and conservation - all fully referenced to a bibliography of over 800 sources.
General introductory material will be divided between the two volumes. Here are included an explanatory guide to the species treatments, a full account of the biogeographical, including palaeo-environmental, background of the avifauna, and of its relevance to current conservation issues, plus a gazetteer of all sites mentioned in the text, keyed to essential maps. Volume 2 will cover ecological analyses, including of migration, built on data from the full set of species accounts, and feature a short history of ornithology in the area.
Sixty-none full-page colour plates show almost all the species covered and provide a unique collection of portraits by a team of internationally respected artists.
David Wells was born in Sussex, England, in 1939, into a family raised on natural history, and with a special interest in Asia. Birds became a main enthusiasm during early school years, and a decision to study them in the tropics had been reached by the time he graduated from the university. Armed then with a commonwealth scholarship, and the 100 pounds needed for six memorable weeks of early 1961 to be spent watching over-sea spring migration from the deck of a ship, he moved to Malaya to work on munias for a PhD. While there, he also assisted with the general ringing then being run in connection with arborvirus studies (later, Dr H.E. McClure's M.A.P.S. programme) and, in addition, helped found and edit (and some years later returned to) the Malayan Nature Society's Bird Report - for 25 years the main repository of records from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. A first job offer took him to Nigeria, where most time out was spent on faunal surveys in the flood-basin of the upcoming Kainji dam, middle Niger river. Other highlights of this two-year W. African sojourn included an expedition to Fernando Po island (Bioko). In mid 1967, he returned to SE Asia as a staff-member of the University of Malaya, and settled into Malaysia long-term. Personal research interests there have included sustained, fixed-site ringing studies in Lowland rain forest; migration and the biology of wintering migrants, especially in forest; shorebird biology; and taxonomic and faunistic issues, in connection with which quests for specimen-data have taken him to the main museum collections of three continents. On an occasional basis, he has made many exploratory trips in the region, including to proposed conservation areas, and participated in internationally organised expeditions, to Mts. Benom and Lawit in the Peninsula, Mulu in Sarawak and Ulu Temburong in Brunei. Other, more applied areas of interest have included work on Barn Owls as controllers of paddyland rats (owl nest-boxes are now
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