Urban Raptors: Ecology and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Cities

Urban Raptors
Clint W Boal & Cheryl R Dykstra (editors)
Publisher:  Island Press, Washington,DC
2018
Hardback
Page Count:  232
ISBN Number:  9781610918398
£
60.00

I have been researching urban raptors for the last few years, so I was really looking forward to reading Urban Raptors: Ecology and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Cities and was not disappointed. The book is edited by Clint Boal and Cheryl Dykstra and contains contributions from many other experts in the field.

The book is divided in to three parts; the first part starts with a general overview of raptors in urban environments, how they colonised our towns and cities and how they have adapted to a lifestyle in a modern world. I think this section is a worthy exploration of how raptors (or some species, at least) are functioning in these novel environments, and brings together research conducted over many years by many researchers.  The second part focuses on specific species, showing how species with vastly different ecology can adapt to living in close contact with humans. The final section is on the conservation and management of urban raptors; a really important topic given the history of human-raptor conflicts. It draws on the vulnerability and challenges some species are faced with.

Overall, the book has a very natural flow and I enjoyed reading about the story and future directions of urban raptor research and management. The book is informative and is an important read for students and academics researching urban raptors. Although likely written for a scientific audience, I think the book would be an enjoyable read for those with a more casual interest in urban ecology or raptors. My one criticism is that the book is heavily focused on urban raptors in North America, and I would have liked to have seen more examples from other parts of the world. Nevertheless, I certainly would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about raptors, urban wildlife or birds in general!

Esther Kettel