The Breeding Birds of the United Arab Emirates. By Simon Aspinall. Hobby Publications, Liverpool, 1996. 173 pages; 66 colour photographs; 100 breeding maps. ISBN 1-872839-04-5. Paperback £14.99. Collating data collected over years of research for a number of projects, including the 'Atlas of Breeding Birds of Arabia', Aspinall's excellent book clearly and concisely details the status and conservation of all of the UAE's 101 breeding bird species. Brief introductory sections cover the area's history, geomorphology, climate and conservation initiatives. The species texts follow. Each account includes the species' Arabic name, and details of its World range, breeding season and the subspecies involved in the UAE. Habitat preferences and breeding status in the UAE are then described. Distributional information exists for 45 of the 48 50-km squares in the country and the now-familiar three sizes of dots clearly map breeding distributions. Population estimates are given for most species, these ranging from 'Nil ?' for Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata to '150,000-200,000' for the regionally endemic Socotra Cormorant Phalarocorax nigrogularis. The regional and global significances of these populations are described and population trends highlighted. The conservation status of any site holding significant concentrations of any species is also discussed, as are any particularly urgent threats, along with some proposed solutions. The book has attractive maps and a number of equally clearly laid-out and informative tables. There are also ten habitat photographs and 56 first-class bird photos. Recommended to anyone with an interest in the birds of or conservation in this fascinating region.Hamlyn, 1995. 126 pages; 17 colour plates; 4 colour illustrations; 16 line-drawings.

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Holt, P
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