Eds: Jerzy M Gutowski and Bogdan Jaroszewicz ISBN 83-87647-22-5, 404 pp., ed. by Forest Research Institute, Warsaw 2001. 54 EURO. Bilingual version – in Polish and in English.
Catalogue of the animals of Białowieża Primeval Forest is focussed to the collection and verification of the data about, and the listing of all the species of the animals found in the Białowieża Primeval Forest (PB), on both Polish and Belarussian sides. PB is a large, compact forest complex covering an area of about 1500 km2. Its geographic position is described by the following co-ordinates: 23°31′ – 24°21′ E and 52°29′ – 52°27′ N. There are however open areas (meadows, pasturage’s, agricultural areas), water bodies (natural streams and artificial water reservoirs) and human sites localised inside their borders. These non-forest areas, but lying inside or right adjoining to the historical PB borders, are also taken into consideration in this Catalogue (except the particular, especially marked groups). The PB is commonly considered as the best conserved area of the primeval forests in the lowland of Europe. It is used for the long time as a pattern for the observation of the natural ecological processes, which continuity is dated from the pre-historical times – and never was broken.
Catalogue is addressed not only to the zoologists of different specialities, working on the fauna, zoogeography and ecology, but also to the natural scientists of the other specialities, for whom the presented synthetic information about all the PB animals could be useful. Catalogue can be successfully used by all those dealing with the protection of fauna, investigating the natural processes running in the forest, foresters and students of forestry, as well as the other biological faculties. We are also addressing it to the nature lovers, to whom the forests, especially its most dignified representative – the Białowieża Primeval Forest – are close.
In the Catalogue the data from the literature and all accessible original information (based on the museum’s collections or the own investigations of the authors of the Catalogue) are taken into consideration. The particular systematic groups were elaborated by the specialists, which names are given in the heading of each of these groups, and the addresses – in the footer of the page. Below the name, the name of the group and the information about the system used for the listing (if needed) are given. If the author has elaborated some equivalent taxa, for example the families, following each one in the systematic order, only the name of the first one and – after a hyphen – the last one, is given.
The genera and taxa of the higher level are sorted by the systematic order, the species inside the genera – in alphabetical order (except the especially marked ones). There is an exception of the systematic order in the group of Nematoda, which are included in two separated parts selected following their biological characteristics: 1) free-living and plant parasites, 20 animal parasites. Unfortunately, the redactors did not found the specialist of Nematoda ready to make this difficult assay of joining these two listings on one, compact systematic system.
There are also in the Catalogue some taxa with actually not precise species affiliation; these taxa were taken into consideration when there were only single representatives of the given genera in the area of PB, or the taxa new for the science (with their description in the separated publication), or the taxa undoubtedly different from these cited in the Catalogue, but unable to be precisely identified. In any case however there are species really existing tn the PB, and their precise denomination is only the question of time.
The index of the Latin names of the animals from all the taxa above the species, is given at the end of the book.