The idea for this book was conceived in 1994 by the staff at the Cornish Biological Records Unit (then part of the University of Exeter and supported by Cornwall County Council), when it was decided that there was a real need for a book on the wildlife of the region that brought together information on the rare species present in an organised way. The distribution of the species recorded here is largely based on the wildlife records held at the CBRU, which at its closure held over a million records covering over 21,000 different wildlife species. Each chapter has been written by different authors, all of whom are experts on the distribution of their chosen taxonomic group within the region and all of whom acknowledge the help they have received from consultation with local and national experts. This book is the culmination of three years of collaborative work, bringing together the knowledge of a wide range of people. It has been a privilege to work with the authors listed here.
Academic Director, Cornish Biological Records Unit (1993-1996)
Preface to the 2nd Edition
The pace of change in conservation is rapid nowadays and information very quickly becomes out of date. Since the first edition of this book was published there has been a large increase in interest in biological recording and we know much more about the distribution of wildlife in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We hope that at least part of this increased interest was generated by the publication of the 1st edition of this book. In 2007, a small group of us decided that it was timely to produce an updated version of the Red Data Book to take account of the new information available. The writing has taken longer than expected; the first edition took three years, the second has taken two years.