Global warming might destroy tundra worldwide within the next century. There are many pleasing illustrations by the first author; diagrams, however, are frequently so complex and printed so small that they fail to make their points clearly, and typographical errors and editing inconsistencies are too frequent. Taking the book as a whole, the authors can claim a first-rate achievement, well worthy of these thrilling birds. JOHN MARCHANT  By Ingvar Byrkjedal & D. B. A. Thompson. T. & A. D. Poyser, London, 1998. 422 pages; 124 figures and tables; 1 colour plate; 56 black-and-white photographs. ISBN 0-85661-109-3. £27.95. The Pluvialis plovers form a distinctive genus or subfamily, now the subject of an admirably thorough monograph. The authors, who claim a joint 50 years of study and whose expertise on these species is widely recognised, reveal themselves not only as scientists, but also as enthusiasts for the birds and their habitats. We learn how tundra plovers behave, in the Arctic, on their wintering grounds and on migration, and about their biogeography and morphology. Plumages are described, including the littleknown eclipse, and identification is explored sufficiently to satisfy most readers. Estimates of total population are revised sharply upwards for all four species, but there is speculation on the effects of continued habitat loss and, alarmingly, on how globalBy Herbert Raffaele, James Wiley, Orlando Garrido, Allan Keith & Janis Raffaele. Christopher Helm/A. & C. Black, London, 1998. 511 pages; 86 colour plates; distribution maps. ISBN 0-7136-4905-4. £35.00. This book will set the standard for regional guides.

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