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New Zealand Wildlife (Bradt Travel Guide) Paperback – 20 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides; 1 edition (20 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841622729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841622729
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I am a pre baby-boomer, born April 1944, the generation that really made a difference, that got things moving!

At the age of 21 I found myself in the Galapagos Islands, this was before you could fly there, it was a very basic life, but also amazing and rewarding. Once there I busied myself, falling in love, getting married, hunting goats, and after a brief spell as an entirely unqualified 'profesor agregado' at the Universidad Central in Quito, I set up the first regular yacht charter operation in the islands. In 1979 the opportunity came to do something similar in the Falkland Islands, and I rashly set off on what proved to be a fairly disastrous business venture, and ended up with me spending 25 years, a quarter of a century, back in the UK! not part of the grand plan.

Fortunately in 2004 I was rescued and in 2005 found myself in New Zealand, not part of the original 'Grand Plan' and after initially being a bit mystified by the place, gradually grew to appreciate and enjoy it. Aotearoa New Zealand is not like anywhere else, very english, rather american, a bit australian and 100% kiwi! It has the most AWESOME natural history, or as we say today 'Biodiversity' of anywhere on earth, but I only really found this out by writing books about it.

My partner, Jayne Ivimey who is an artist, and I have managed to get permission to apply for residency here, and while we still have strong links back to the UK, but New Zealand offers opportunities that you do not often find elsewhere in the developed world, this is still a young country, it was the last part of the planet to be colonized by man, the Maori only arrived in about 1250, well after William the Conker made it across the Channel. So this is a very young society, rough at the edges, but exciting, and the climate is a GREAT improvement on the UK, at least here in the Bay of Plenty.

I find islands and island ecosystems fascinating, I still have strong links with Galapagos, the Falklands Islands as well as Tristan da Cunha which I visited in 2006, an amazing spot, the most remote community on earth - it takes longer to get there than it does to get to the moon!!

Conservation of the natural environment is what drives and motivates me, we only have ONE environment, if we lose it, we lose.

Product Description


'Bradt Travel Guides simply have the best wildlife coverage of any of the popular guide books.' BBC Wildlife

About the Author

Julian Fitter's interests cover natural history and conservation in New Zealand and other island groups. He spent 15 years in the Galapagos Islands and set up the Galapagos Conservation Trust as a result; he is also a key member of Falklands Conservation.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By oldhat on 12 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent little book, essential reading for anyone with an interest in wildlife, natural history, biology, before a visit to New Zealand - it makes you aware of how weirdly different the native ecology is compared to anything one is familiar with from Europe. Not sure if I will carry it with me when I go however, as it is not arranged in field guide format. I'll probably try to buy a field guide or guides once I get there.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Book isn't what it tries to be 16 Jun. 2010
By JSM - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book must have been someone's idea of providing a wildlife guide and a travel guide all in one. It doesn't do either. The wildlife section is completely useless. Here is what I expected: a book with the majority of New Zealand fauna listed in some type of logical order. For example, the book has a section called "Reptiles" but it just says that reptiles live on the island and gives a few examples of common reptiles. It doesn't have pictures of each kind of animal, it doesn't tell how to identify them from other common animals, it doesn't tell where they live on the island, it doesn't do anything that a normal wildlife identification book should do. Very disappointing. Spend the extra money and get the real identification book (this one doesn't even have pictures of the three species of kiwi, let alone any explanation of how to identify one and tell it apart from the weka (another flightless bird). Kea parrot? Apparently forgot the world's ONLY alpine parrot.

The book is set up to tell something of a story and act as a guide book for a tourist (bad idea because it doesn't do that either).

Please, save yourself and don't buy this book. You will be stuck with it half-way around the world and largely disappointed.
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