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Our commitment with the Handbook of the Birds of the World Series has been to cover in detail and illustrate every species of bird in the world. This task has taken from 1992, with the publication of Volume 1, to 2011 with the publication of Volume 16, covering the last families of birds. However, a number of species genuinely new to science have been described since the publication of their respective volumes, and therefore are not featured in the 16 volumes of HBW. The Special Volume covers and illustrates all of these species, 69, with texts, plates and distribution maps in the classic HBW format.
Also, in response to the many requests from subscribers over the years, the Special Volume includes a comprehensive, global index to the collection, a useful tool which will enable users swiftly to find the species they are searching for in the more than 12,500 pages of the 16 volumes.
An unexpected addition to this volume is a section including the original scientific descriptions of 15 species, all totally new to science. These descriptions are the combined work of a number of renowned Amazonian ornithologists, and highlight the massive importance of the world’s largest area of tropical forest.
The inclusion of all these scientific descriptions in the Special Volume is of some additional significance because to find so many species described simultaneously, in the same paper, one has to go back well over a century. From our initial projected list for the volume of 53 species, we are happy now to present an overall total of 84 new species, including those described directly in the volume.
Foreword by BirdLife International
90 years and growing: how BirdLife went from a council of experts to everybody’s global partnership.
An informative chapter on the history and other important aspects of the BirdLife International organization, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the BirdLife Partnership and the 90th anniversary of its predecessor, the International Council for Bird Preservation.
Avian classification in Flux by Jon Fjeldså
A comprehensive introduction to the changes in avian macrosystematics over the last 20 years or so. Many relationships have been significantly revised, most often on the basis of results provided by improved molecular techniques. These are particularly useful and informative at higher taxonomic levels.
The Discovery of New Bird Species by Jon Fjeldså
A fascinating essay about the continuing discovery in recent years of species new to science. It analyses in depth the how, why and where of many of these discoveries, as well as providing a useful overview.
Species Accounts of New Species
Each of the 69 new species has a species account, illustration and map, just as in the main HBW series.
Original Scientific Descriptions
The original scientific descriptions of 15 Amazonian species appear in print here for the very first time. Each description is accompanied by the requisite illustrations, map and assorted figures.
HBW Photo Gallery
A collection of 200 stunning bird photos selected from the images presented in the HBW World Bird Photo Contest 2012, in homage to the wonderful birds of the world, to dedicated and inspiring nature photographers, and to our loyal supporters, the HBW subscribers!
Global index to the entire series to enable readers rapidly to find what they are looking for in the 16 HBW Volumes. The index can be searched by scientific name, or by common names in English, French, German and Spanish.
- 214 bird illustrations
- 50 figures
- 319 colour photographs
- 94 distribution maps