The Book of Vanishing Species: Illustrated Lives

by Beatrice Forshall

This is both a love letter to life on Earth, and an urgent summons to protect what is precious in this world.

Did you know that when you take a deep breath, half the oxygen that enters your lungs is made by plankton? That when a Koala gives birth, the joey is the size of an unshelled peanut? That orcas are not whales, but the largest species of dolphin? That the saguaro cacti flowers smell like overripe melons? In her absorbing new book, Beatrice Forshall celebrates the planet’s most mysterious creatures and plants and urges us to do all we can to protect them.

Hardback – 256 page
ISBN: 9781526623775
Dimensions: 265 x 180 mm
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing


‘This wonderful book, with Beatrice Forshall’s superb engravings, serves to remind us of the wonder and beauty of some of the species that may disappear for ever unless we take action to save them – now and before it is too late’

Dr Jane Goodall

‘Bea Forshall’s images make the heart sing, but her beautiful, revelatory text also makes one weep. From dung beetles to lemurs, we may lose these extraordinary creatures. Forshall makes us fall in love with them, all over again. Let’s hope, to stir us into action, so these wonders don’t join the ranks of dodos and Tasmanian tigers’

Isabella Tree

‘Through her prose and illustrations, Forshall makes a passionate case for protecting each and every one of these species’

The Times

‘Forshall’s synthesis of artisanal craft, the artist’s eye and the sensibilities of an idealistic yet clear eyed environmentalist…is thrilling’

Sir Tim Smit

‘Beatrice draws you into the sublime wonder of the Brazil nut tree, snakes head fritillary or the albatross and then, with gentle frankness enlightens you on their plight. Somehow it left me feeling more motivated, not just devastated, which is a testament to the skill of the author’

Geetie Singh-Watson

‘Forshall might not have a scientific background, but her poetic, human perspective and unique artistry are incredibly moving… The Book of Vanishing Species is both a celebration of our world and an urgent call to action’

BBC Wildlife Magazine

‘As well as a beautiful celebration, this book is a call to arms’

Chloe Ashby

‘Our disappearing flora and fauna are lovingly described and wittily illustrated in Beatrice Forshall’s homage to what we are about to lose’

Daunts Books

International Editions

Chinese edition

Other foreign editions: America, Canada, India, Australia and New Zealand

A film by Temujin Doran of Studio Canoe, commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing.