• Another new book - Seabird Genius by Neville Peat

    Seabird Genius by Neville Peat


    The first biography of Lance Richdale, who achieved international fame as the father of Otago's albatross colony from 1936 and for his research on the behaviour of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Time magazine dubbed him 'The Dr Kinsey of the penguin world' and the sooty shearwater, or muttonbird. Richdale grew up in Wanganui, took a tertiary course in agriculture in New South Wales, and returned to New Zealand to teach mainly in rural schools in the North Island for several years, eventually taking up a position with the Otago Education Board in 1928 as an inspiring itinerant agricultural instructor and nature study teacher.
    Richdale never gave up his day job and incredibly in the weekends, holidays and evenings undertook major, meticulous and time-consuming research on penguins, albatrosses and several petrel species. His study of the muttonbird was achieved during prolonged solo camps on tiny Whero Island in stormy Foveaux Strait, where the wind blew straight from Antarctica.
    Neville Peat's biography searches the traces left by this shy and obsessed man for some answers to two questions: why? and what drove him? Richdale's legacy is a nature tourism industry in Dunedin worth $100 million a year, and the longest-running seabird population study in the world.

    Most people interested in seabirds would have heard of Lance Richdale. Lance started the protection and study of Northern Royal Albatrosses at Taiaroa Head, on the Otargo Peninsula near Dunedin, New Zealand in the 1930's. He went on to heavily contribute to the knowledge of seabirds in New Zealand and around the world. This is the first book on Lance Richdale, the man, written by Neville Peat, an author of many books on New Zealand heritage.

    Seabird Genius is available from Otago University Press as well as through many bookstores and online book providers, such as the Book Depository

    A review will soon be available.
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