Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Rodents of Australia by C.H.S. Watts and H.J. Aslin (Australian Natural Science Library)

The Rodents of Australia by C.H.S. Watts and H.J. Aslin (Australian Natural Science Library). Hardcover book published by Angus & Robertson 1981, 321 pages with black and white illustrations and maps as well as a few colour photographs.

This is the first book to be published which deals solely with Australia’s rodent fauna. It provides a comprehensive study of both native and introduced rodents, drawing attention to a large section of the Australian mammal fauna which is often overlooked beside the more widely publicised marsupials.”

Once again it's the time of year when for various reasons (I think it has to do with weather) I find myself actively combating against an influx of house mice, and on at least one occasion, a brown rat, both of which are pictured in this book.

House Mouse

These are not native Australian fauna and are not welcome here at Huc & Gabet headquarters. Fortunately I have an active working plan that seems to succeed to varying degrees. ….and before anyone out there comments on my level of household and bookselling cleanliness, I will add that I am not alone with my rodent problem which is evidenced by anecdotal discussions with my neighbours and a sudden run on pest control products at all of the local hardware stores.

This book deals with both native and introduced rodents which is handy, as sometimes it is a little hard to figure out which is which. In some cases it isn't that hard and rather than looking at a small rodent with disgust or combative thoughts, one can appreciate them particularly if you are lucky enough to see them in the wild... that is those native rodents that haven't been eaten by feral cats or foxes.

There's a lot of detail in this book which is part of a series of informative volumes looking at Australian Natural History. I was recently visiting another bookseller and admiring a different volume in the series whilst wondering why I haven't found more of these titles.  And of course a week later I find this gem. I have noticed that some natural history books are slow sellers. Regardless of this sad state of book buying affairs, I still persist. This is because I like a good natural history book.

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