"The Book"


Biodiversity on the outskirts of a major Canadian city

Fully illustrated – 148 pages

Available in PRINT or downloadable PDF formats as well as in Kindle ebook format

The price has been kept as low as possible and is charged to readers at cost + a couple of dollars – any small profits are donated to local conservation organisations.

The small town is Baie-D’Urfé in Quebec – but it could be your town or suburb as well.

Available in three formats - as PRINT or PDF

And also available as a Kindle ebook - Kindle

What this is not:

This is not a traditional field guide with detailed information about how to identify individual species. There are already plenty of those available and little need for me to reinvent the wheel.

What this is:

An overview, an introduction, an annotated catalogue if you will, of the widely diverse range of plant and animal species that are known to found in, and within a short distance of, a small suburban town to the west of the city of Montreal. Many of them can be seen in our own gardens. If you live in the area you might be surprised to discover what is living outside your front door.

Un aperçu, une introduction, un catalogue annoté si vous voulez, de la gamme très diversifiée d’espèces végétales et animales que l’on sait trouver dans et à une courte distance d’une petite ville de banlieue à l’ouest de la ville de Montréal. Beaucoup d’entre eux peuvent être vus dans nos propres jardins. Si vous habitez dans la région, vous pourriez être surpris de découvrir ce qui vit devant votre porte d’entrée.

I hope that the more people know what is around us, then the more people will care and take steps to protect our plants and animals.

The Natural History tells readers about local habitats and suggests good places to visit. There is encouragement to manage your own gardens to attract wildlife and possibly start bird feeding. There are details of species known to be in the area and lots (lots!) of photographs. There are lists for people who like lists and brief introductions to taxonomic families with comments on local examples to look out for. Do you have a fancy to do some Citizen Science and contribute your observations to help scientists studying our wildlife? I tell you how to do that as well.

Why free I have been asked? Quite simply, because my interest is in giving the most people possible the opportunity to learn about and care about our wildlife than making pocket-money that I have to declare to the tax man. BUT, in return for a no-cost book I do ask for feedback from readers – please tell me (see Contact link in the menu) what you think and what else you would like to see in the book which is, of course, a work in progress..

I am a biologist and this book arose out of over 20 years observation and study of the plants and creatures in our local peri-urban environment, as well as the strange pleasure I take in keeping lists. I have often found it rather sad when people I meet express surprise, and in once frank disbelief, that we have much more than “blackbirds, sparrows and weeds” as one person put it. The answer is that we have many more species – more even than the notional 1001 species of the book’s title. So many more.

All of this bounty is impressive for suburban gardens and nearby streets and parks … OK, there is also Canada’s largest Arboretum within a short bike ride, but it’s nevertheless good to discover how many species I have been able to see in the forest – many of which can also be found living just down the road and in my garden. In your garden too, I’ll be bound. If you live elsewhere, maybe this will inspire you to look around your own neighbourhood, because there is nothing that unusual or special about Baie-D’Urfé.

Copyright © note

This book is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA) License … which really just means that you are very welcome to share and use any of the content, but for non-commercial purposes only and you may not alter them without permission. If you wish to use any image commercially please contact me to discuss terms and licensing.

You should also show attribution – such as © Richard Gregson 2023 for example.