Estuaries are rightly of great interest and concern to the birdwatcher. Most teem with thousands of waders, geese, ducks, gulls and other species that use them at times throughout the year; they are also among the last of the wild places left in Britain and Europe. The 'Birds of Estuaries Enquiry' (sponsored by the Nature Conservancy Council and organised by the BTO, RSPB and the Wildfowl Trust) spanned six years, and Tony Prater's report now provides a detailed insight into the birds which use and, in many cases, depend on this special habitat. Of great interest to birdwatchers, the book also will be essential reading for professional conservationists and all involved in the planning and use of estuaries. It assesses the importance of each estuary and the distribution and numbers of all species generally present, and by setting this in an international framework demonstrates the remarkable importance of the estuaries around these islands. Threats to the fabric of the landscape and its wildlife abound, and estuaries are not exempt. Barrage schemes, industrial and agricultural reclamations and many other pressures exist and are the subject of chapters which survey the situation, now and in the future. The text is graced by John Busby's accomplished and evocative drawings and there are numerous maps and diagrams as well as photographs of typical estuaries. Jacket illustration by John Busby

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