Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Europe -- Natural History Resources

Europe's natural history interests me and I hope to study it firsthand some day. The flowering, as it were, of wildlife gardening and amateur biological study in Great Britain has been an influence in my life.

BioImages - Virtual Field-Guide (UK) -- runs the gamut of the five kingdoms of biota, with photographs of "natural history objects, mostly British" -- everything from purple sulfur bacteria to highland cattle -- 44,494 images as of today! Even so, many more remain to to be illustrated. The site includes an impressive set of European biological links, especially for the UK or for those interested in any of many discussion groups.

Flora of Europe -- a photographic herbarium, taxonomically arranged.

The Postcode Plants Database -- a project of Flora-for-Fauna, hosted by the Natural History Museum in London. It models what I'd like to see everywhere! Enter your postcode and find out what plants are native to your area and the animals each species serves -- marvelous support for the wildlife gardener!

Natural History Book Service -- this British bookseller carries an extensive selection of European natural history books in English. I love a lot of the British books and booklets.

Outstanding up-to-date field guides from Princeton University Press:

Butterflies of Europe -- lavishly illustrated, the most comprehensive field guide to European butterflies.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Europe -- most recent, comprehensive and best illustrated field guide.

Birds of Europe -- praised as the ultimate field guide for European birds, lavishly illustrated.

Mammals of Europe -- an excellent recent field guide, abundantly and beautifully illustrated, with much more natural history information than is usually found in field guides.



Princeton University Press offers several other excellent European natural history titles, including Where to Watch Birds in Europe and Russia.

Web sites:

Biological Inventories of the World’s Protected Areas -- species lists, mostly plants and vertebrate animals, for parks and preserves all over the world – get an idea of what you can find there before you go!

Araneae – Spiders of North-West Europe – includes over 700 photographs of 220 common species!

Dragonflies and Damselflies of Europe – an extensive site.

Captain’s European Butterfly Guide – especially good for the UK, lots of links for all of Europe.

Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa – impressive photographs and information! Click on the species names on the navigation bar.

Silkmoths of Europe – the Saturnidae, the largest moths; photographs and much information. Huge collection of links for silkmoths and hawkmoths of the world!

Sphingidae of the Western Palearctic – aka Hawkmoths of Europe --very informative.

Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe – wealth of beautiful photographs, organized taxonomically.

Herp Index -- see Regional Herping and Societies and Organizations pages for European herpetological sites.

The Snakes of Europe – download a free pdf copy of a book written in 1913 by a noted herpetologist, 113 pages, from this page.

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society -- plenty of information about Gibraltar natural history, including a complete flora, and links for much of Europe, especially for birds.

The Bat Conservation Trust – located in the United Kingdom.

The Shrew Site – by an Austrian enthusiast. The world’s most complete Internet source for shrew information!

The Hedgehogz Home Page – about hedgehogs, quintessential European mammals. Informative and enjoyable!

The European Polecat – a French project, presented in English here.

Badgers on the Web -- ultimate site for the European badger, and other types of badgers worldwide. Go to the Badger Pages by Steve Jackson first.

Hoof Prints – for people interested in European ungulates.

Deer-UK – learn all about British deer.

European Bison – an informative account of this fascinating bovine.

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