A Guide to the Deer of the World

BY ALEXIA JAMES

If ever a factbook on deer were ordered by the CIA, then A Guide to the Deer of the World by lifelong naturalist and countryman Charles Smith-Jones would be it. This 320-page coffee table reference book is cutting edge – including several species of deer which have only recently become known to science.

The book is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs. It details deer evolution, biology and lifestyles before covering each of the 55 true deer, 7 musk deer and 10 chevrotain species as well as their subspecies in more detail with photographs, general information and maps. In addition, there are fact boxes which include descriptions of individual recognition features, habitats, behaviour, breeding and conservation issues.

Smith-Jones’ style is straightforward and comprehensible. He has always had a special interest in deer which he has studied and worked with closely for more than forty years. Previously a lecturer in countryside management at Sparsholt College, Hampshire, he is currently Technical Adviser to the British Deer Society. He has written four books, three of them specifically on deer, and is a regular contributor to national countryside publications.

This is a beautiful book published by Quiller – an authoritative and attractive reference work with a strong conservation focus – and should sit on the shelves of every countryman’s library. It can be bought here.