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Woodhen

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The Woodhen

A Flightless Island Bird Defying Extinction

Clifford Frith  

Colour photographs, Colour illustrations, Illustrations
240 pages, 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING


    Hardback - 2013
ISBN: 9780643108707 - AU $ 45.00
On sale until 05 Jan - usually AU $59.95

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2014 Whitley Award Commendation for Historical Zoology

This book tells the fascinating success story of saving the flightless Woodhen of Lord Howe Island. This unique large rail, an iconic and highly endangered Australian bird, was at the very brink of extinction with just 15 individuals found in 1980, when bold and risky actions were taken to save it.

The book begins with the discovery and ecology of Lord Howe Island. It then details the history of the Woodhen, its place among the rails and their evolution of flightlessness, the planning, implementation and trials, tribulations and successes of the captive breeding programme and the way in which the wild population recovered. The ecology, behaviour and breeding biology of this unique flightless island rail are also discussed. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs and drawings.

This is a story of survival, yet the bird remains highly endangered as it is under constant potential threat, which could tip it over the brink and to extinction. The Woodhen provides gripping insights into the potential for both losing and saving vertebrate species.

Listen to Clifford Frith being interviewed on Bush Telegraph and 4BC The Lounge.

 
 

 This book tells the fascinating success story of saving the flightless Woodhen of Lord Howe Island. This unique large rail, an iconic and highly endangered Australian bird, was at the very brink of extinction with just 15 individuals found in 1980, when bold and risky actions were taken to save it.

The book begins with the discovery and ecology of Lord Howe Island. It then details the history of the Woodhen, its place among the rails and their evolution of flightlessness, the planning, implementation and trials, tribulations and successes of the captive breeding programme and the way in which the wild population recovered. The ecology, behaviour and breeding biology of this unique flightless island rail are also discussed. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs and drawings.

This is a story of survival, yet the bird remains highly endangered as it is under constant potential threat, which could tip it over the brink and to extinction. The Woodhen provides gripping insights into the potential for both losing and saving vertebrate species.

 

 
  • A comprehensive account of the demise and subsequent saving of a globally significant, large, flightless, iconic bird species
  • Its demise to near-extinction parallels that of the globally familiar extinct Dodo and a number of other widely familiar extinct species
  • Provides gripping insights into the potential for both losing and saving vertebrate species
 

 Bird lovers
Tourist visitors to Lord Howe Island
People with an interest in: natural history, evolution, extinction, zoogeography, conservation and conservation politics, early Australian history, islands and island biology, rare and endangered animals, aviculture and animal pest control.
 

 "This book provides gripping insights into the potential for both losing and saving vertebrate species. The author is passionate about the Lord Howe Island woodhen and that passion comes through in this book, which is a classic tale of what can be achieved when someone really cares enough to dedicate himself to saving a species which otherwise would be a thing of the past."
Talking Birds, p. 12, July 2013

"This book is a must for any rail enthusiast or anyone keen to delve into the detail of a successful conservation recovery project."
Australian Birdlife, Volume 2, Number 4 2013

"This is a most valuable resource for general ecological study of island species, for the development of recovery and management plans for those species and for the detailed history of the impact of human settlement on island species."
D.Muir, The Sunbird, 2012

"It is a wonderful account of the trials and tribulations of the Woodhen and those that were entrusted with ensuring its survival. I commend this superbly told story and historical account, as an inspiration to all that have an interest in active intervention to enhance the survival of threatened species."
Jeff Hardy, Corella, 2013, 37(4) pg.100

 

 Clifford B Frith has authored four major ornithological monographs, two winning a prestigious Whitley Book Award, a substantial natural history of Australia's Cape York Peninsula wilderness plus other titles. He was awarded, jointly with Dawn Frith, the 1996 D. L. Serventy Medal for original contributions to Australasian ornithology. His PhD, awarded by Griffith University, involved evolutionary studies of bowerbirds and birds of paradise. He has studied many other birds, including rails. 

Related Titles
 Camera Trapping    Carnivores of Australia   The World of Birds    Glimpses of Australian Birdlife    Where Song Began    Australian High Country Raptors    Flying Dinosaurs  

  
 


 
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