Book Review: Terrestrial Gamebirds & Snipes of Africa

April 2017 - Volume 15 - 2

Book Review: Terrestrial Gamebirds & Snipes of Africa


Rob Little is a prolific author and a passionate birder and conservationist with a BSc in Wildlife Resources and a PhD on the behavioral ecology, management and utilization of the grey-winged francolin. During the early 1990s, Rob coordinated the Gamebird Research Program at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Fitztitute), University of Cape Town. Together with Tim Crowe, he published the book Gamebirds of Southern Africa. Rob was Director Conservation at WWF South Africa from 1997–2008. In 2009 he was appointed manager of the Centre of Excellence at the Fitztitute. He is the Fitztitute’s link with the South African National Research Foundation and the Department of Science & Technology and manages the research activities which are funded by the CoE using Birds as Keys to Biodiversity Conservation.

His definitive, full-color monograph on the gamebirds and snipes of Africa includes everything needed to better understand the 74 species that fall into six groups: guineafowls and Congo peafowl, francolins and partridges, spurfowls, quails, sandgrouse and the snipes and Eurasian woodcock.

Terrestrial Gamebirds & Snipes of Africa offers a concise summary of the large but scattered body of accumulated scientific research and field-guide literature on these birds. Pertinent and interesting facts about the description, distribution, habits, feeding, breeding and conservation of each species are presented in a readable fashion. Illustrative photographic plates convey the appearance, characteristic features, behavioral activities, and in many cases the habitat environment of each bird. The book will be a worthy addition to the ornithological literature and to the bookshelves of bird enthusiasts, particularly birders, wing-shooters, land owners and anyone with an interest in nature and conservation, throughout Africa and across the rest of the world.

Terrestrial Gamebirds & Snipes of Africa (Guineafowls, Francolins, Spurfowls, Quails, Sandgrouse & Snipes) by Rob Little. 2016. Flexi-Cover 240x168mm; 304 pp; ISBN 978-1-4314-2414-6; Jacana Media, South Africa. Price ZAR 280.00.