Australia is well known for its diverse range of mammals. Some species – such as the koala and kangaroo – have captured the imagination of both tourists and locals. Despite the notoriety, many people would underestimate the sheer diversity of mammals in Australia.
This is understandable. The behavior and habitat requirements of many species mean that most people don’t get the opportunity to observe them.
A Naturalist Guide To Mammals of Australia aims to change that. The beginner-friendly field guide provides an overview of 300 species of mammals in Australia.
How Is The Guide Structured?
Like other guides in the series, the introductory content is brief. The section introducing modern-day mammals is given just two and a half pages. Half a page is allocated to the key features and measurements. This information should be enough for most readers but will leave many naturalists wanting more.
The remainder of the guide is dedicated to the species profiles. A diverse range of species are featured. They include:
- mice and rats
- marine mammals.
Two species are featured on each page. The species profiles feature information on the species physical appearance, distribution, habitat and habits. In most cases, extra notes are given. Most profiles feature just the one image.
I found that this information was enough for an introductory guide. I’m often critical of the books in the series, however the brevity suited this guide. It is allows for beginners to learn more about Australian mammals without overwhelming them.
The Guide Should Be Used For Inspiration, Not Identification.
Enough information is given to help people make basic identifications. However, some readers would struggle with the species they are unfamiliar with. This is partially due to the minimal information about telling the types of mammals apart. Comparisons with similar species are made in the notes section.
Despite that, I’m a huge fan of this guide. It is great for providing an overview of mammals that most people wouldn’t be aware of. It helps beginners discover the types of mammals that can be found in locations close to their home. It gives readers a greater appreciate of wildlife that often goes unseen.
Do I Recommend It?
This is a great guide to introduce you to the diversity of Australian mammals. It will help you figure out if mammal watching is something you want to pursue before you buy the more expensive guides.
It can also be useful for creating a bucket list. It is so easy to underestimate the mammals that you don’t see if your favourite locations due to their being nocturnal.
It is a useful book for both children and adults.