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Interviews & Press

 While landscape photography doesn’t usually get much attention from Wild Planet, this book crosses the genre, mixing landscapes with habitat and, ultimately, wildlife in the form of birds. From the very first image on the cover, all photos of bird eggs were taken ethically by Prior from a collection at National Museums Scotland (NMS), in Edinburgh, which holds one of the largest collections of bird eggs, many of which were collected during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and were donated by private collectors. The curator, Bob McGowan, writes about the significance of museum egg collections and explains that illegal egg and nest collecting was discouraged from use in exhibitions “The pleasure of walking through Scotland’s beautiful landscape is greatly enhanced by the wild plants and animals found there.” 8 BOOK REVIEW and that they are now used for identification and, more recently, for research. He goes on to explain the stigma of egg collecting and why it was increasingly seen to conflict with bird conservation. He continues to explain that two pieces of legislation that were introduced (in the United Kingdom) to protect both birds and their eggs saw heavy penalties given to offenders, leading to the eventual termination of illegal egg collecting in the country. He covers this in great detail, along with several other factors that lead to breeding failure and also supplies a list of further reading on the topic. The author himself asks “Perhaps the project serves as an atonement for the sins of the past?” and goes on to say that the habitats of birds have changed over time “leaving in their wake a tangible sterility and a greatly impoverished outdoor experience”

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