Threatened Birds of Europe. Edited by Robert Hudson with introduction by Stanley Cramp. Macmillan, London, 1975. 128 pages; 56 coloured and 3 black-and-white plates; 9 line drawings; 59 maps. £4.95.
Profound is my hope that no reviewer will have the impertinence to label this as a coffee table book, despite its shape and pictorial wealth. For here is a publication to inform rather than to decorate; it is a working dossier into which coloured photographs have been injected to widen the sales appeal. From the conservation angle this is a most worthy objective; there has been a significant awakening of British and Irish public interest in events across the English Channel and the more this particular fire can be stoked the better for the birds. The book's genesis lies in a Council of Europe commission to ICBP to study endangered species in Europe--outside Russia-- which are in need of special protection, and the subsequent report, based on this study, was adopted in 1973. Stanley Cramp, in a model of lucid compaction, has written the introduction outlining the threats and the necessary action, and Robert Hudson has edited the case histories of the 59 species. The lay-out is admirable; with four exceptions, each species has a page of text and a map, with a facing page of illustration; the text is divided between background, covering range and breeding data, and detailed notes--some very detailed indeed--on European status.