Australian Wildlife

Recommended Reading

Here is a selection of Australian Wildlife books used as reference books for this web site (along with many online resources).

Author:Hadoram Shirihai and Brett Jarrett
Title:"Whales, Dolphins and Seals - A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World"
Publisher:London, UK : A & C Black, 2006
Note:One of these books with a great feel to it. Glossy pages with colour photos on every page, lots of detailed text, world wide distribution maps. Includes otters and polar bears - not sure if they were really needed, but a fine book nonetheless..
Author:Peter Monkhorst and Frank Knight
Title:"A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia"
Publisher:South Melbourne, Victoria : Oxford University Press, 2001
Note:A nice compact plastic covered volume covering both land and marine mammals. Good color illustrations and maps with every species, but only about one third to one quarter page of text per species.
Rating: 4/5
Author:Ronald Strahan
Title:"The Australian Museum complete book of Australian mammals"
Publisher:Nth. Ryde, N.S.W. : Cornstalk Publishing, 1991, c1983
Note:This is a large hardcover book with photos of every species of Australian land mammal. I have used this book as a reference for a lot of the descriptions and distribution maps on this web site. My copy is a bit out of date now - the book was republished in 1996 and renamed as "Mammals of Australia". If you are only going to get one book on Australian mammals the latest revision of this book is the one to get.
Rating: 5/5
Author:Clifford B Frith
Title:"Garden birds : attracting birds to Australian and New Zealand gardens"
Publisher:Lane Cove, N.S.W. : Doubleday Australia, 1986
Note:Good coverage of common garden birds explaining what garden habitat and food to use to attract birds. Not intended to be a replacement for a field guide.
Rating: 3.5/5
Author:Graham Pizzey
Title:"A field guide to the birds of Australia"
Publisher:Sydney : Collins, 1980
Note:I have used this book as reference for a lot of the descriptions and distribution maps on this web site. This old edition has separate blocks of pages for the text, the color plates, and the maps are at the back - not very convenient to use.
Rating: 3/5
Author:Joseph M Forshaw
Title:"Australian parrots"
Publisher:Landsowne Editions, 1980
Note:Large book with beautiful paintings of parrots and cockatoos. Good information about birds in the wild, and also aviary notes.
Rating: 4/5
Author:Peter Slater
Title:"The Slater field guide to Australian birds"
Publisher:Dee Why West, N.S.W. : Rigby, 1986
Note:Another good compact field. Good painting of birds and eggs. One my oldest and most well-used bird books.
Rating: 4/5
Author:Reader's Digest Services
Title:"Reader's digest complete book of Australian birds"
Publisher:Sydney : Reader's Digest, c1986
Note:This is one of my favorites. The best all-in-one book on Australian birds I have. Too big and heavy for a field guide but great for the coffee table.
Rating: 5/5
Author:Graham Gow
Title:"Snakes of Australia"
Publisher:Angus & Robertson, 1983
Note:Another of these small reptile books from Angus and Robertson. There was a series of three - Tortoises, Snakes and Turtles. OK book with nice color photos.
Rating: 3/5
Author:Harold G. Cogger
Title:"Reptiles & amphibians of Australia"
Publisher:Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : Reed, 1983
Note:The best reptile book in my collection. I have used this a lot for the reptile descriptions and distribution maps for this site. I must get the latest version as mine is a bit out of date.
Rating: 5/5
Author:John Cann
Title:"Tortoises of Australia"
Publisher:Angus & Robertson, 1978
Note:Good choice if you want a book with nothing but tortoises. I'd rather have a more comprehensive field guide to all our Reptiles and Amphibians.
Rating: 3/5
Author:Michael J. Tyler
Title:"Encyclopedia of Australian animals. Frogs"
Publisher:Pymble, N.S.W. : Angus & Robertson, 1992
Note:Part of a series of the National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Lots of excellent colour photos.
Rating: 4/5
Author:Stephen Swanson
Title:"Lizards of Australia"
Publisher:Angus & Robertson, 1980
Note:The third of these small Angus and Robertson reptile books. Has about 100 colour photos. Not a bad little book.
Rating: 3/5
Author:Steve Wilson and Gerry Swan
Title:"The Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia"
Publisher:Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : Reed, 2003
Note:This guide has excellent colour photographs. The layout is good with description and maps on left page and photos on right page. The text is a bit brief though - mind you the book is nearly 500 pages as it is..
Author:Mead & Beckett Publishing
Title:"Reader's Digest book of the Great Barrier reef"
Publisher:Sydney : Reader's Digest, c1987
Note:A typical Reader's Digest book - glossy pages, lots of photos. Good introduction to the reef.
Rating: 4/5
Author:Rudie H. Kuiter
Title:"Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia"
Publisher:Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : New Holland Publishers, 1996
Note:Good modern style guide with description and maps on left page and photos on right page. To fit in the enormous number of species, there are 5 - 8 species on each double page spread, so descriptions have to be brief.
Author:Bert Brunet
Title:"Spiderwatch : a guide to Australian spiders"
Publisher:Sydney : Reed New Holland, 2000
Note:Quite a good book on spiders. Good colour photos.
Rating: 3.5/5
Author:Charles McCubbin
Title:"Australian butterflies"
Publisher:Adelaide, S. Aust. : Savvas, 1985
Note:I've had this book for years but haven't used it very much. Now that I'm taking more insect photos I might use it more. Looks to have good coverage of the subject
Rating: 4/5
Author:Michael F. Braby
Title:"The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia"
Publisher:Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO, 2004
Note:A fine modern field guide with several colour illustrations for each species, detailed distribution maps and good descriptions.
Author:Paul Zborowski and Ross Storey
Title:"A Field Guide to Insects in Australia"
Publisher:Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO, 2007
Note:Hard to do justice to the vast number of moth species in a 200 page book. This book is a good introduction to the large number of moth families. Don't expect to identify many moths to species level from this guide though.
Author:Paul Zborowski and Ted Edwards
Title:"A Guide to Australian Moths"
Publisher:Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : Reed, 2003
Note:A good introduction to the orders and main families of Australian insects. Don't expect to identify many insects to species level from this guide though.
Author:Phillip W. Hadlington and Judith A. Johnston
Title:"An introduction to Australian insects"
Publisher:Kensington, NSW : New South Wales University Press, 1982
Note:Fairly basic book as the title suggests, but a good first book if you are not familiar with the orders and families of Australian insects.
Rating: 3/5
Author:Ramon Mascord
Title:"Australian spiders in colour"
Publisher:Terrey Hills, N.S.W. : Reed, 1977
Note:I didn't expect much from this little square book, but it a surprising amount of detail and photos.
Rating: 3.5/5
Author:Queensland Museum
Title:Wildlife of Greater Brisbane
Publisher:Brisbane : Queensland Museum with Brisbane City Council, 1995
Note:A great little book for anyone living in or visiting Brisbane. I must get the updated edition one of these days.
Author:Underhill, David
Title:"Australia's dangerous creatures"
Publisher:Surry Hills, N.S.W. : Reader's Digest Services, c1987
Note:It's great to live in a country where so many of the animals can kill you, poison you or maim you. Some good stories and photos of our dangerous animals.
Rating: 4/5