Extinct Birds. An attept to unite in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times…
Extinct Birds. An attept to unite in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times...
London, Hutchinson 1907, (ltd edition of 300 copies),Folio, (374 x 280mm). contemporary half morocco, pp. xxix, 244,(1), with 45 chromolithographs by Keulemans, Lodge, Gronvold,Smit and Frohawk, and 4 uncoloured plates.
Extinct Birds is a commemorative jewel. And, although this was not the last volume to account for extinct birds, it was a pinnacle in raising awareness about the extinction of species. It was among the first to combine prehistoric species with those of recent history, something which has only been done a few times in the ornithological literature of all time.
The comments by Rothschild were realistic, yet prophetic: "The cause of recent extinction among birds is in most cases due directly or indirectly to man, but we also have instances of birds becoming extinct for no apparent reason whatever.
"Man has destroyed, and is continually destroying species directly, either for food or for sport, but also in many other ways he contributes to their destruction. Some species have been exterminated by the introduction of animals of prey, such as rats, cats, mongoose, etc., and we know that also the acclimatisation of other birds, such as the mynah, etc. has proved to be harmful to the native birds. Again we find that the introduction of domestic creatures or others kept as pets has brought diseases which may prove fatal to the indigenous fauna. Another means by which may causes immense destruction, is by destroying the natural habitat of various species. ... The melancholy fact however remains that man and his satellites, cats, rats, dogs, and pigs are the worst and in fact the only important agents of destruction of the native avifaunas wherever they go."
Provenance; H.Bradley Martin
Anker 430; Zimmer II-533; Nissen 160295