In the early 1980s, Josep del Hoyo, a country doctor from Catalonia, shared an idea with his friend Jordi Sargatal: a comprehensive work covering all the world’s birds. After initially questioning his friend’s sanity, Sargatal eventually agreed to take on the project. Since both men lacked the funds for such an endeavour, they approached Ramon Mascort, a lawyer and entrepreneur with a great interest in books and nature. Mascort promised them financial backing. With the recruitment of Scotsman Andy Elliott—not only an ornithologist but also an expert linguist—the epic project was underway.

HBW editors in 1989

Jordi Sargatal, Andy Elliott and Josep del Hoyo


Lynx Founded.


First volume of the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) published.

When news of the HBW project leaked out in the early 1990s, most birders were frankly sceptical, especially when finding out that the series would be produced by an unknown publishing house in Barcelona run by two Catalans and a Scotsman.

The cynicism, however, turned into amazement when the first volume of the HBW was released in 1992. The ornithological world was astounded, and HBW received excellent reviews in almost all of the world’s specialized journals. The success of the series has been ascribed to the authoritative and well-written texts, the pervasive academic rigour, the stunning photographs and the superb illustrations.

HBW Volume 1 was awarded Bird Book of the Year by Birdwatch in 1992, and by British Birds in 1993.


First edition of the bestselling and most popular Field Guide to the identification of the birds of Spain, Guía de las Aves de España, with more than 50,000 copies sold to date. Published in collaboration with SEO / BirdLife, it is one of the first guides written by Spanish authors that offers comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the birds of Spain. It begins the Lynx publication line of fauna and flora identification guides


Creation of the Internet Bird Collection (IBC), an online audiovisual library of videos, photos and sound recordings of the world’s birds, available to the general public free of charge.

Cover of Handbook of the Mammals of the World Volume 1 Carnivores


The huge success of the Handbook of the Birds of the World clearly demonstrates that works of such scope, excellence, consummate expertise and beauty provide a vital foundation for the appreciation and conservation of the species they describe. This fundamental principle also underlies a new companion project, the long-awaited Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW).

First volume of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World published.


Volume 16 of the Handbook of the Birds of the World, the last one to cover the passerines, published.

The HBW series is the first work to describe and portray each species of an entire Class of the Animal Kingdom.

“The Handbook of the Birds of the World, regarded by ornithologists as the definitive work in the field.”
The Economist, 7 Nov. 2015


The Handbook of the Birds of the World goes online! HBW Alive, the online version of the series, incorporates many additional resources, including constant updating.

With the publication of the Special Volume: New Species and Global Index, the 17-volume series of the Handbook of the Birds of the World is completed.

HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. SET of TWO Volumes book cover image


The taxonomy of the global project of the HBW is completely updated.

Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, pooling the experience and expertise of both organisations, publish this new taxonomy in the first ever checklist to illustrate every species of bird in the world.

HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World Volume 1: Non-passerines, is published in 2014. Volume 2: Passerines completes the series two years later.


Launch of the new collection of Lynx and BirdLife International Field Guides. A modern, standardized collection of Field Guides, prioritising countries which lack a recent or country-level guide.

Lynx Edicions, together with Bernat Garrigós, establish the Alive Fundació, a non-profit organisation whose mission is the dissemination of knowledge of the Earth’s biodiversity. Its initial project is the Sealife Collection: based on our experience with the highly successful Internet Bird Collection, the Sealife Collection is a collaborative website where photographs and videos of all the underwater species of the world are collated, classified and displayed. The Sealife Collection site is free and open-access, making this rich material readily available to underwater photographers, the wider scientific community, and marine-species enthusiasts everywhere.

3D cover of Handbook of the Mammals of the World Volume 8 Insectivores, Sloths and Colugos


Volume 9 of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World is published, completing the important series.

The Sealife Collection project developed by the Alive Fundació migrates to a global project called iNaturalist for an increased impact on education and conservation.


Initiation of the new Lynx Illustrated Checklists Collection, with each title covering all the mammals of a given region to equip residents and visitors to the region with an easy-to-use resource to learn about all the local mammal species and to support their conservation.

The Internet Bird Collection migrates to a new home at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s wildlife media archive, the Macaulay Library, where it will be permanently preserved for future generations. Thanks to the efforts of 4,300+ contributors, the IBC contains over 460,000 pieces of media, representing more than 96% of all the world’s birds. This includes over 300,000 photos of 10,000+ species, close to 128,000 videos of almost 9,000 species, and more than 20,000 audio recordings of nearly 7,000 species.

The content of HBW Alive is incorporated into The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online project Birds of the World, where it continues to grow and serve the ornithological and birdwatching communities.

The Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World, in a two-volume boxed set, updates the taxonomy of the HMW series and serves as a complete, stand-alone summary of the current taxonomy and distribution of every currently recognized species of mammal in the world.

All the Birds of the World is the first book to cover all the birds of the world together in a single easy-to-use, fully illustrated volume. Created for a broad public, from novice birders to expert ornithologists and anyone interested in the spectacular diversity of birds, this book has something for everyone.


The Lynx Edicions publishing brand and its activity in the world of natural history publishing continues under the management of the new company Alada (Alada Gestió Empresarial, S.L.). The company is formed by members of the Lynx team and is in charge of the commercialization of all Lynx publications and the continued development of new projects in-line with the mission and vision defined by Lynx.