Letters of a Naturalist - Susanne Hill, John Hill, Victoria Jaenecke

Letters of a Naturalist


To have a look inside and purchase this book please go to Putangi Publications.

A landmark collection of the written natural history legacy of pioneer conservationist Richard Treacy Henry (1845-1929), champion of our flightless native birds and New Zealand’s first wildlife ranger. 

Born in Ireland, raised in rural Australia, and having emigrated to New Zealand in the mid-1870s, Richard Henry was appointed curator of Resolution Island - the country’s first reserve for the preservation of flora and fauna - in 1894, consequently living and working, often alone, for fourteen years in wild and remote Tamatea / Dusky Sound in Fiordland. He was courageous and resourceful, a skilled bushman, boatman, artificer and self-taught naturalist, and he held quaintly unconventional views on many topics. Henry’s astute observations and descriptions of the birds and marine life of the Sound, his close relationship with its wildlife, his valiant efforts to save kākāpō and kiwi from the advancing tide of mustelids sweeping the mainland, and his translocation of the endangered birds to offshore islands, were all trailblazing contributions to wildlife conservation.

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Richly illustrated throughout - with numerous landscape, bird and other wildlife photographs, historic images, drawings, and maps - Letters of a Naturalist brings together his charming letters to many different correspondents describing his life and work, first around Te Anau, then Dusky Sound and much later Kāpiti Island. The book also encompasses his natural-history notes on various topics and some early reminiscences from his youth amongst Aboriginal Australian clans in rural Victoria, giving a colourful picture of this truly remarkable and important figure in New Zealand’s conservation history.

"The fascinating and beautifully illustrated Letters of a Naturalist presents, for the first time, the collated writings of Richard Henry, pioneer conservationist and New Zealand's first wildlife ranger. It is a testament to the tenacity and foresight of one man, whose efforts to save kākāpō and kiwi still provide inspiration and guidance to those of us continuing his work more than a century later."

- Dr Andrew Digby, Kākāpō Recovery, Department of Conservation

Hardback with jacket; 470 pages; 300x233mm; Over 500 illustrations.

The book is a not-for-profit publication and all proceeds will be donated to New Zealand conservation and bird recovery programmes.

This book is to be purchased directly from Putangi Publications. To have a look inside and purchase this book please go to Putangi Publications