Bradt's fully illustrated wildlife guides focus on regions of the world particularly celebrated for their amazing and often unique species. With spectacular photography or exclusive watercolour drawings throughout, each visitors' guide provides an introduction to the region's principal flora and fauna alongside suggested wildlife itineraries, practical information on when to go and what to take and photography tips. Written in a deliberately engaging way, they offer something different from dry field guides, and will appeal to the interested layman as much as the wildlife devotee. Ideal as a lightweight companion to any wildlife trip they also make a handsome souvenir. New Zealand's geographical isolation has allowed an abundance of unique and unusual flora and fauna to flourish. Famous for its flightless birds such as the emblematic kiwi and the endangered takahe, it is also home to lizard-like tuataras, giant kauri trees and a rich coastal marine life. Full-colour throughout, New Zealand Wildlife provides a comprehensive overview of the natural history of the major islands of the archipelago.Thorough background information on geology, geography and palaeontology is coupled with extensive wildlife and habitat listings.
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.