Azores Wildlife book review

Zilda Melo Franca, Victor-Hugo Forjaz, Carlos Alberto Ribeiro, Amélia Matias Vaz, Elvira Ribeiro, Eduardo Brito de Azevedo, Jorge Miguel Tavares e Luís Miguel Almeida. 2014
Guia De História Natural Da Ilha do Pico Pico Island Natural History Handbook.   Victor-Hugo Forjaz. 400ppAzores book pic

As Pico is one of many islands in the Azores, this is a real feast of natural history and ecological information that is generally applicable to other islands. It is in Portugese and English, and lavishly illustrated. It is more a superb guide to Pico than a ‘handbook’ and is a long-awaited tome with many authors who have presented data. The first section is on volcanology and how the island was formed, and how this has created the landscape and habitats we see today. There is much on trails across the island and what to look out for. There is a detailed map of the island tucked in the flyleaf which will be excellent in the field, but the book (nearly 2kg) will stay at home as a reference. The natural history gems of the island, and the Azorean islands in general, are laid out in the pages of photographs and notes on mammals, fish, birds, invertebrates, trees, ferns, mosses, grasses and flowering plants. The endemism of species is particularly well done, as well as the invasive flora that is obvious wherever you go, and species are identified as endemic in Azores, endemic in Macronesia, native, invasive or introduced. This is a key work on the flora and fauna and is highly recommended.

Latest book by John Feltwell

bw-cover-26-oct

  • ·         The first book ever on black and white in animals
  • ·         Black and White as a colour
  • ·         Which came first black or white swans?
  • ·         Life in bright deserts is best served in white
  • ·         If you are not a Darwinist, this book is not for you
  • ·         Global warming effects on colour
  • ·         Radioactivity effects on colour
  • ·         Piedness in birds

‘Energy Revolution’ review

Howard Johns review

Howard Johns 2015. Energy Revolution – Your Guide to Repowering the Energy System.  East Meon, Permanent Publications. 2015. ISBN 978 1 85623 197 8  288pp.

Some books take decades to evolve, but this one has been borne out of one man’s enthusiasm for the subject that goes back 15 years. The author is from East Sussex whose passion for renewables has seen Southern Solar, Transition Lewes and Ovesco establish themselves in the marketplace. There is an energy spirit coursing through Johns’ veins, a passion to see renewable energy succeed, even though politics repeatedly gets in the way. Given that sunlight, wind and water are free resources it is a great pity that they have not been exploited further. In 2014 20% of the energy used in the UK was from renewables, about half of that from wind. There are people who sit back, flick the light switch, watch TV and have no idea where the energy comes from, or are that bothered. The book is not just about energy in the UK, how it is produced, especially at community level, but there are chapters on the state of repowering in fifteen countries. We learn that energy from renewables in Germany peaked in May 2014 at 73% of total energy production. The chapter on ‘100% renewable’ details the advances that companies such as Ikea, Apple, Google and J. Sainsbury’s have made, and how Iceland (the country) first produced all its electricity from renewables in 2013. Overall this is an up to date and exciting book charting the rise of renewables – a good textbook on the subject; with glossary, index and list of resources.

Solar publications in 2014

Feltwell, J. 2014a. Solar farms: gain or grain? Solar Business Focus UK. Volume 11 – 2014. p.40-41.

Feltwell, J. 2014b Observations on the effects of photovoltaic solar panels on invertebrates at Ebbsfleet Farm, Sandwich, Kent 2010-2012. The Newsletter of The Kent Field Club. Number 79. February 2014. p.4-17.

Solar publications in 2013

Publications on solar arrays and biodiversity by John Feltwell

Feltwell, J. 2013a.  Are photovoltaic solar arrays an influencing factor in avian mortality? The  Newsletter of The Kent Field Club. February 2013. Number 77, p.18-27.

Feltwell, J. 2013b Solar Farms and Biodiversity. Guest blog on Solar Power Portal. 16  September 2013.     http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/guest_blog/solar_farms_and_biodiversity_2356

Feltwell, J. 2013c Résumé of solar farms in England and Wales.  Briefing given at National Trust roundtable, 17 September 2013. http://www.solar-trade.org.uk/solarFarms.cfm 

Feltwell, J. 2013d. Solar farms for bumblebees. Buzzword, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Members Newsletter. November 2013. Issue 23, p.13-14.

Feltwell, J. 2013e. Biodiversity on solar farms – building tomorrow’s solar farms.  Solar Business Focus UK. Volume 10 – 2013. 6-7.