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Australia: Nature Page 1

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Australia: Nature Page 1

ABC of Calf Rearing, The by Sharyn Munnerley. Published by Bloomings Books. ISBN 095790861X. Recommended retail price $31.95.

Sharyn Munnerley has succeeded where so many others have failed – she has made calf rearing simple.

As Professor James K. Drackley, of the University of Illinois’ Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences department says, ‘the information in the book provides a step-by-step guide and covers all topics necessary for the for the proper care and management of young calves, from what to look for when purchasing calves to the importance of colostrums, to topics on feeding, housing, health and management concerns.’

The ABC of Calf Rearing will help everyone engaged in rearing calves (from large scale operations of more than 1000 head to hobby farmers who just want to rear 5 or 6 calves) to raise their livestock successfully and profitable.

Sharyn Munnerley was nominated Victorian Rural Woman of the year in 2001 for the innovative work in her industry of calf rearing. Also in 2001 she was a Celebration of Ability Award finalist for her volunteerism in getting young people with disabilities into agricultural pursuits. Sharyn is a director of the Australian Calf Rearing Research Centre.

Soft cover, 167 pages. Published in 2003.

Australia: An Ecotraveller's Guide by Hannah Robinson. Published by Interlink Books. ISBN 1566564794. Recommended retail price $23.95.

This book shows ecotravellers how to discover the best experience in each destination, including the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Wet Tropics, Kakadu, Tasmania, Ayers Rock, Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Hannah Robinson helps you understand the local woldlife and geology to find it all, from echidnas to emus, pademelons to platypuses, and much more. Soft cover, 219 pages. Published in 2003.

Australian Bats by Sue Churchill. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1-87633-407-X. Recommended retail price $24.95.

Australian Bats is a comprehensive identification guide to the over 75 species of bats found in Australia. Appealing to both the amateur enthusiast and biologist alike, it examines many aspects of the natural history of these remarkable creatures. Where bats live, how they navigate, what they eat and when they breed are all discussed, as well as practical tips on the capture and handling of bats.

Each species' account includes a description, photograph, distribution map and measurements, together with detailed notes on roost, diet and reproduction for each species. The test, photographs and maps are carefully integrated to provide easy comparisons between species.

Designed for use in the field, the illustrated keys are the first to allow the identification of every Australian bat. Soft cover, 230 pages, published in 1998.

Australian cicadas by M. S. Moulds. Recommended retail price $35.

For many Australians the crescendo of cicadas in November signals the real onset of summer. However, beyond recognizing the more common species by their highly descriptive names - Green Grocer, Black Prince, Red Eye or Floury baker - most of us know little about these creatures which seem to appear mysteriously and erratically from nowhere.

This book, written by Australia's foremost expert on cicadas, Max Moulds, will fill the gap in our knowledge, and we can now not only identify Australian species using the superb color illustrations, but also establish their locale with the aid of the map provided with each entry.

Cicadas includes much new information not previously available. Detailed distributions are included for all species together with notes on habitat, song and life cycle wherever possible. There are also explanations of cicada sound production, classification and notes on collection and preservation.

For both the amateur and the professional naturalist and entomologist this is the definitive text. Hard cover, 217 pages. Published 1990

Click on thumbnail for photo of a cicada from Australian Cicadas (51.92K)

Australian Crocodiles: A Natural History by Grahame Webb and Charlie Manolis. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1-87633-426-6. Recommended retail price $24.95.

One of the great things about a trip to Australia's far north is the very real danger of being attacked by a crocodile. Of course, if you know what you are doing you can reduce the risk to the point that it becomes negligible.

I can't count senior author Grahame Webb amongst my close friends but I have met the man and seen him in operation. The man is a legend amongst crocodile circles and deservedly so.

In Australian Crocodiles: A Natural History, Grahame Webb and Charles Manolis uncover the "private lives" of crocodiles, with comprehensive studies on reproduction, growth, movement, behavior, habitats and foods. The authors explore their anatomy, physiology and embryology of these fascinating animals. They also examine attacks on humans, the history of crocodile hunting and farming, surveying, catching and handling. Soft cover, 160 pages, published 1998.

Click on thumbnail for photo of freshwater crocodile from Australian Crocodiles

Australian Fungi, Field Companion to by Bruce Fuhrer. Published by Bloomings Books. ISBN 1876473401. Recommended retail price $22.95.

Although fungi are included in the plant kingdom, they differ fundamentally from our usual idea of plants. They have been sadly neglected, partly because of their unusual form, but mainly because few books have presented an easy and interesting guide to their study.

Bruce Fuhrer is noted for his knowledge of natural history and his accomplished photography. In A Field Companion to Australian Fungi he has compiled a fascinating collection of photographs with informative text to enable the layperson to develop a knowledge of these fascinating plant forms. He gives information that allows for the identification of fungi, their natural habitats, whether the fungi are edible and much more.

The range of fungi is surprisingly vast, their colors and forms often beautiful. They truly represent an exciting part of nature to study, whether it be a serious study or simply the enjoyment of observing while bushwalking.

Bruce Fuhrer is a Senior Technical Officer with the departments of Botany and Zoology at Monash University, Victoria. Soft cover, 162 pages. Published in 2003.

Australian Goannas by Matt Vincent and Steve Wilson. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 186436548-X. Recommended retail price $26.95.

Australia is home to the greatest diversity of monitor lizards, or goannas, in the world. A total of 26 species are found here ... over half of the world's total species.

Australian Goannas describes each of the 26 species in detail, supported by 65 full-color photographs. In addition, the first part of the book provides information on the care of goannas, including practical details on breeding, keeping and feeding goannas, making it the essential reference for all goanna enthusiasts. Soft cover, 152 pages, published in 1999.

Australian Grasshoppers and Locusts, A Guide to by D.C.F Rentz, R.C. Lewis, Y.N. Su and M.S. Upton. Published by Bloomings Books. ISBN 983812074X.   Recommended retail price $105.95.

This book provides an aid to the identification of both adult and nymph stages of Australian grasshoppers, using nothing more than a 10x hand lens. Technical terminology is kept to a minimum, as easy-to-understand diagrams illustrate the morphological structures necessary to make determinations.

The introduction provides details on grasshopper habits, biology, habitats, collecting, rearing, preserving as well as an illustrated key to major groups. The provided classification scheme will prove useful in arranging collections and understanding the relationships of species to one another. A bibliography lists all relevant literature references on Australian grasshoppers.

• Full color photographs of the grasshoppers in nature and characteristic structural features;
• Concise notes on habitats and related species, and a distribution map provides simple identification; and
• Appendices contain glossary, details on grasshopper photography and organizations one can contact for further study.

Hard back, 419 pages. Published in 2004.

Australian Insects; A Natural History by Bert Brunet. Published by New Holland Press. ISBN 1876334436. Recommended retail price $29.95.

Insects are survivors. Since their evolution in the Devonian, some 365 million years ago, they have penetrated almost every habitat on Earth. Today in Australia there are over 100,000 species crawling, flying, hopping and hurrying across the continent. Their responses to the challenges of this vast and often inhospitable land have been an array of clever adaptations. Every major insect group has found a way to live here successfully and some of the world's oldest lineages of insects continue to survive in Australia despite their extinction elsewhere. Australian Insects: A Natural History records the physical attributes and lifestyle developments that have made life on this continent possible for insects. It reveals worlds that we often glimpse at but rarely stop to consider.

If there is one thing that defines insects, it's endurance. Nowhere on Earth is this endurance this capacity to survive, better illustrated than in Australia.

Sixty million years ago, Australia began to break away from the great landmass of Gondwana. As it drifted north, it carried with it all the plants and animals that had developed there. Now an island continent, Australia became subject to very different conditions. Despite the rigors of a harsh landscape and an unpredictable climate, the insect cargo persisted, and in many remarkable cases, survived.

Today Australia has the oldest living crickets, lacedwings, beetles and ants, and the only silent cicadas in the world. While these ancestral forms have disappeared from other continents, they have hung on in Australia, maintaining their close associations with the native plants and animals, enduring and adapting through the millennia.

With an authoritative text, 300 superb full-color photographs and many detailed illustrations, Australian Insects: A Natural History turns the spotlight on the lives of these ingenious and magnificently adaptive animals. Hard cover, 288 pages. Published in 2000.

Click on thumbnail below for photo of a longhorn beetle from Australian Insects

Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters by Graham Edgar. Published by New Holland. ISBN 187633438-X. Recommended retail price $59.95.

Few people know of the immense variety of marine plants and animals that inhabit the temperate waters of the southern half of the Australian continent and Tasmania. Here, many species rival their better-known tropical relatives in color and ornamentation.

In Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters, marine scientist Dr Graham Edgar describes 1200 of the most commonly seen plants and animals of the region, including notes on their habitat and distribution. Detailed enough to be valuable to academic biologists, this book contains a wealth of information for divers, beachcombers and those who fish professionally or for recreation. With over 1300 color photos this is the definitive reference work of its kind. Soft cover, 544 pages, published in 2000.

Australian Wildflowers, Field Guide to, by Denise Greig. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 186436334-7. Recommended retail price $36.95.

There are more than 20,000 recognized species of flowering plants naturally occurring in Australia. These include some of the most varied and fascinating plants in the plant kingdom. From tiny annuals and terrestrial orchids to large perennials, shrubs and trees, Australian plants vary greatly in size and their beautiful flowers come in a wide array of shapes and colors.

Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers describes more than 1000 of the most common species, each listed alphabetically within their family groups. Species elected represent all the key floristic regions of Australia, including the Grampians in Victoria; the Barrens and Stirling Ranges in Western Australia; Sydney's heathlands and the tropical north.

Details provided to aid plant identification include: height, leaves, flowers, fruits, habitat, distribution and flowering season. Color photography illustrates each species and, where helpful for identification purposes, line drawings of the leaf or fruit are also included.

The comprehensive introduction contains information on

how to identify wildflowers in the field, including structure, form and function
flower family groups
Classification and terminology
vegetation zones

Informative text, botanical line drawings and full-color photographs make Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers an authoritative guide for anyone interested in Australian nature. Soft cover, 442 pages, published in 1999.

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