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Life in the Cape York Rainforest

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Life in the Cape York Rainforest

Robert Heinsohn  
Michael Cermak  

Colour photographs, Illustrations
104 pages
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

This book is no longer available in print.

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The remote, beautiful and poorly known rainforests of Cape York Peninsula tell a special story about Australia’s historic and present-day connections to New Guinea. Life in the Cape York Rainforest highlights these connections by examining the fascinating biology of some of the most spectacular animals shared between the two regions.

The author recounts his own ground-breaking research on ‘cross-dressing’ Eclectus parrots, musical palm cockatoos and multi-coloured pythons, together with the exotic lifestyles of other animals, while painting the bigger picture of the past when Australia and New Guinea were joined by extensive land bridges. Australia’s disconnection from New Guinea is probably only temporary, and even today many bird species continue to fly the short distance between the two landmasses.

Whether just browsing the beautiful photos and informative captions, or reading it in its entirety, readers will gain a greater understanding of the unique attributes of our Cape York rainforests. The book provides an excellent resource for biologists and environmentalists with an interest in the Top End and New Guinea, tourists to Cape York, conservationists and policy makers, and amateur naturalists, especially ornithologists and herpetologists.


  • Stunning photographs
  • Unrivalled and authoritative coverage of an area of great biological interest
  • Accessible writing style
  • First book solely about Cape York rainforests
  • Based on recent ground-breaking research by the author, a leading expert on the region

  View a sample from Life in the Cape York Rainforest. 

 "The chapter on the unique lifestyle of Eclectus Parrots, where male are green and females are red, is a delight to read and the illustrations are brilliant. Michael Cermak's beautiful photographs illuminate the text."
frances Ashburner, The Bird Observer, June 2009

"Any herpetologist with a passion for Australian wildlife will enjoy this book. Those people who have visited the Cape York rainforests will be inspired to return and those who have not will be inspired to go."
Mike Swan, Reptiles Australia, Vol.5 2009


 Associate Professor Rob Heinsohn is a conservation biologist with a special interest in the behaviour and social systems of Australian animals. For the last 10 years he has been studying the behaviour and ecology of large parrots and snakes on Cape York Peninsula.

Michael Cermak is a professional zoologist and wildlife photographer with 25 years’ experience photographing rainforest wildlife.

Related Titles
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