'Living on the Edge' examines the function of the Sahel region of Africa as an important wintering area for long-distance migrant birds. It describes the challenges the birds have to cope with – climate change, of course, and rapid man-made habitat changes related to deforestation, irrigation and reclamation of wetlands.
How have all these changes affected the birds, and have birds adapted to these changes? Can we explain the changing numbers of breeding birds in Europe by changes in the Sahel, or vice versa?
Winner of the BB/BTO Best Bird Book Award 2010 The Jury commented: "It is a tremendous book in every department. It marks a step-change in our knowledge of the ecology of this critically important region in the European-African migration system and of the many species (familiar to us on their breeding grounds) that winter there.
The authors combine the latest scientific information with vivid descriptions of landscapes and animals. Their book is richly illustrated with large numbers of drawings, maps and photographs by acclaimed experts.
The wealth of coloured graphics has been particularly well thought out and encourages readers to delve into the figures and learn more about the region, rather than having the (all-too-common) opposite effect.
Summing up, the jury praises not just the high quality of the texts, the information and the illustrations, but also the sheer pleasure of reading the book: "One of the key attributes of a good book is to be able to grip the reader's attention and transport him or her to another place. We feel confident that [Living on the edge] will have that effect."