Boom and Bust

Boom and Bust : Bird Stories for a Dry Country

3.28 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the 2009 Whitley Medal, presented by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW for work of outstanding quality that makes a landmark contribution to zoological knowledge.
The authors draw on the natural history of Australia's charismatic birds to explore the relations between fauna, people and environment. They consider changing ideas about deserts and how these have helped to understand birds and their behaviour in this driest of continents. The book describes the responses of animals and plants to environmental variability and stress. It is also a cultural concept, capturing the patterns of change wrought by humans in Australia.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 130 x 195 x 27.94mm | 516g
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • English
  • 064309606X
  • 9780643096066
  • 767,939

Review quote

"A refreshing strength is that these scientists and historians do not sacrifice the facts for the story or engage in the hyperbole that characterises so much magazine-style popularisation of science. The writing is engaging yet well referenced so that students inspired by the stories will find the book a springboard for new research projects....content rich yet friendly to read."-- (11/01/2009) "This book is a brilliant idea. To have someone like Rose writing alongside ornithologists, a philosopher, an archaeologist and so on, is a heady mix. As I read this fascinating book, I asked myself whether any one person could have written it...the diversity of views here is part of what makes this book exceptional..."-- (10/01/2009) "This is a beautifully produced little hardback, with charming small black-and-white chapter heading illustrations taken from Gould (except of course for the Genyornis sketch), and it is a pleasure to handle and to read."--Marian Maddern, Park Watch (09/01/2009) "This fascinating book has something for all readers. I found many chapters were quite engaging, particularly those on Zebra Finches, Australian Pelican (always a fascinating bird to birdos) and especially the woodswallows. There are many new ideas or ways of looking at bird behaviour and their cycles which makes for lots of interesting reading. A well referenced book can be a delight to read and the current book does this superbly without interrupting the flow of ideas and text in each chapter. I can thoroughly recommend this book to both the general natural history reader and those in birding groups."-- (08/01/2009) "The introductory chapter sets the scene for this fascinating and timely book about the adaptive behaviours of Australian birds to surviving in a boom or bust situation and the effect of human behaviour on this...I would highly recommend this book to members both as a gift and for personal use."-- (07/01/2009)
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About Libby Robin

Libby Robin is a historian of ideas at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University and the Centre for Historical Research, National Museum of Australia, Canberra. She is the author of the prize-winning books How a Continent Created a Nation (2007) and The Flight of the Emu: A Hundred Years of Australian Omithology (2001). Leo Joseph is Director of the Australian National Wildlife Collection at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra. Rob Heinsohn is Associate Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, where his work focuses on the evolutionary ecology and conservation biology of birds.
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Rating details

7 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 43% (3)
3 43% (3)
2 14% (1)
1 0% (0)
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