Vanished and Vanishing Parrots

Hardback - October 2017 - AU $150.00

eBook - October 2017 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A detailed illustrated account of parrots which have become extinct or are facing extinction.

Joseph M. Forshaw, one of the world’s leading authorities on parrots, calls attention to the threats they face: they are one of the most endangered groups of birds, with a growing number of species nearing extinction. The main threats arise from habitat loss through deforestation and agricultural development and from the taking of birds for the international live-bird trade. + Full description

Vanished and Vanishing Parrots brings together information on species that have become extinct in historical times with information on species that are in danger of becoming extinct to increase public awareness of the plight of these magnificent birds. Vivid colour plates by the wildlife artist Frank Knight draw attention to the spectacular species that we have lost or that could be lost. Forshaw’s work gives us fascinating insight into these endangered and extinct parrots.

Vanished and Vanishing Parrots will be a valuable reference for scientific, ornithological and avicultural organisations, as well as individual lovers of birds and of illustrated natural history books.

- Short description


Sales of the print edition are limited to Australia and New Zealand only.
Customers elsewhere seeking to purchase a print copy should contact Cornell University Press.


"Comprehensive is probably not the correct word to describe this work because it is much more than that. Forshaw always produces excellent books and this one is no exception."
Talking Birds, September 2017, p. 18

"Highlighting that 45 per cent of the world's parrots are extinct, threatened or near threatened, this sobering book features them all, with detailed descriptions of the birds, their ecology and status, accompanied by Frank Knight's stunning plates."
Australian Birdlife, December 2017, p. 79

"My initial impression when I saw this wonderful book from renowned Parrot author Joseph Forshaw was "Wow". His new hard back coffee table edition is beautifully illustrated by Frank Knight... This book is a must for all aviculturists with an interest in the conservation of parrots in the wild."
Warwick Remington, Australian Aviculture 71(11), November 2017, p. 355

"As one might expect from Joe Forshaw's standing as a (some might say 'the') leading authority on the world's parrots, the text is clear, informative, authoritative and up-to-date... The Frank Knight plates are an attractive feature of the book. They are the more attractive, in my view, for their presentation with full-page backgrounds"
Geoffrey Dabb, Canberra Bird Notes 42(3), December 2017, pp. 323-325

"Reading some of the species accounts of threatened parrots I have seen in remote parts of the world quickly demonstrates the life-time of personal research and observation that Forshaw has included in this book... an important and valuable summary of the available information about many of our most colourful and attractive birds. It highlights their plight and will hopefully raise awareness of just how vulnerable even conspicuous birds like parrots can be. It provides a timely reminder of what we have lost and what we stand to lose without better conservation and habitat protection."
David Milton, Birds Queensland Newsletter 48(11), 2017, pp. 14-15


Hardback | October 2017 | $150.00
ISBN: 9780643096325 | 352 pages | 305 x 215 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour Paintings, Illustrations, Maps

ePDF | October 2017
ISBN: 9780643106499
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | October 2017
ISBN: 9780643106505
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Up-to-date and detailed species accounts of parrots that have been lost or are in danger of being lost to extinction
  • Beautiful colour paintings by Frank Knight bring these spectacular extinct and endangered species to life
  • Discusses by region the threats facing parrots and the conservation measures both underway and further needed


Fossil history of parrots
Australasian distribution
Afro-Asian distribution
Neotropical distribution
References cited
View the full table of contents.


Joseph Forshaw is one of Australia’s foremost ornithologists and is internationally recognised as a leading expert on parrots. He has made a lifetime study of these birds in their natural environment and at numerous research institutions. He has published papers and articles in journals and magazines, and collaborated with William Cooper to produce Parrots of the World (Lansdowne Editions, 1973, 1978, 1981 and 1989), Australian Parrots (Lansdowne Editions, 1969 and 1981, Alexander Editions, 2002), and A Natural History of Australian Parrots: A Tribute to William T Cooper (Nokomis Editions 2016), and with Frank Knight to produce Parrots of the World: An Identification Guide (Princeton University Press, 2005).

He is a Churchill Fellow, having been awarded a Fellowship in 1970 by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to enable him to complete his research for Parrots of the World. He is active in national and international conservation bodies, and was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for services to ornithology and conservation. Joseph Forshaw retired from a senior position in the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra. He is a Research Associate in the Department of Ornithology at the Australian Museum, Sydney, is a Corresponding Fellow of the American Ornithologists Union, and in 2016 was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, again for services to ornithology and wildlife conservation.

Frank Knight has been a wildlife illustrator for more than 30 years, producing illustrations for scientific papers, books and lectures. He has been a member of the International Society of Animal Artists. His work appears in A Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, with text by Graham Pizzey and Peter Menkhorst, in Field Guide to Frogs of Australia, with text by Michael Tyler, and he collaborated with Joseph Forshaw to produce Parrots of the World: An Identification Guide.