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In this autobiographical account of a lifetime spent observing, researching and photographing birds, Peter Steyn shares experiences that span some 70 years.
His story starts and ends in Cape Town, South Africa, but in between we read about:
His detailed and fascinating memoir captures the author’s great enthusiasm for birds and their role in his shaping his life and experiences.
Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher is well illustrated and features more than 400 photographs taken during Peter’s lifelong journey with birds.
Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
Canned lion hunting sprang to the world’s attention with the 2015 launch of the documentary, Blood Lions. This movie blew the cover off a brutal industry that has burgeoned in the last decade or so, operating largely under the radar of public concern.
In Cuddle Me Kill Me, veteran wildlife campaigner Richard Peirce reveals horrifying facts about the industry. He tells:
Well researched by Peirce with the help of an undercover agent, and illustrated with photos taken along the way, this is a disturbing and passionate plea to end commercial captive lion breeding and the repurposing of wildlife to cater for human greed.
This guide profiles 101 garden birds likely to be found in gardens across southern Africa, informing readers about what to look and listen for, and where and when. It is also an inspirational guide to creating a bird-friendly garden that is also a reservoir of biodiversity, wherever you are in the region.
With an attractive layout and multiple colour images, it offers the following:
After centuries of relative isolation, the Karoo – South Africa’s parched heartland – is a latecomer to the tourist industry. What was once viewed as a harsh and desolate place of limited attraction is rapidly gaining popularity with visitors who now make the Karoo their destination, keen to partake of its legendary charm, its extraordinary flora and the resurgence of wildlife that once again populates its plains.
Wild Karoo documents Mitch Reardon’s 4,000-kilometre journey of discovery through the region. The book focuses on:
Beautifully written, and illustrated with evocative photographs, this book is a must read for anyone interested in travel, wildlife and the environment.
Insectopedia uncovers the fascinating and infinitely varied world of insects. It explores their intriguing behaviour and biology – from mating and breeding, metamorphosis and movement to sight, smell, hearing and their adaptations to heat and cold.
A chapter on superorganisms probes the curious phenomenon of social communities among insects; another covers the critical role that these creatures play in maintaining the fragile balance of life on our planet. The book concludes with a 60-page illustrated field guide, describing most insect orders and their main families.
Previously published as Insectlopedia of Southern Africa, this fully revised and redesigned edition includes up-to-date information throughout, an expanded ID section, and several hundred new photographs.
Elephants are arguably Africa’s most charismatic animals, and among the biggest drawcards to our game reserves. While the burgeoning game-park industry may be increasing our access to these magnificent creatures, rising human-elephant encounters are an inevitable outcome – sometimes, sadly, fatal. Such encounters could likely have been avoided had those involved understood elephant behaviour, and particularly how these intelligent animals interface with traffic through their territory.
This book describes elephant family life, from rearing of infants to establishing dominance within a herd; it unpacks regular elephant behaviour, the matriarchal system, the particular dangers of males in musth, and many other aspects of their lives. Most of all, it provides guidelines for ensuring safe and enjoyable encounters with these majestic animals.
This is an essential guide for those planning visits to reserves: aside from the interest factor, being able to read the tell-tale signs may just save lives.
For over two decades Two Oceans has been the pre-eminent book to which scientists, students, divers and beachcombers turn to identify and learn about marine life, from sponges to whales and seaweeds to dune forests.
In this exuberantly colourful, fully revised fourth edition, over 2 000 species are now covered, names and other details have been updated to refl ect the latest taxonomy and many new photographs have been added.
This stunning depiction of geology in Namibia combines searingly beautiful photography with clear explanations of how the varied landscapes formed.
Arranged chronologically (starting 13.8 billion years ago), the chapters each deal with a particular event or process that has resulted in the formation under discussion. These include the early beginnings of the Earth, meteorites, canyons and limestone caves, vast desert landscapes, moonscapes and bizarrely-shaped rocks, and Namibia’s astonishing underwater lakes and reservoirs.
Picture-driven, with accessible text, this book features all the highlights of Namibian landscapes and landforms. A treat for travellers real and virtual – those on the road as well as those in armchairs.
Here’s another batch of David Muirhead’s unrespectable creatures, following his successful earlier volume of hilarious animal accounts (The Bedside Ark ). It offers a wealth of accurate information on each of the profiled creatures, while revealing their softer sides and the near-human frailties from which they suffer – and temptations for which they fall. Delightful, humorous pen-and-ink sketches accompany many of the stories.
Muirhead’s mix of humour, mythology, anecdotal tales and folklore builds quirky and captivating portraits of each animal, and makes for a lighthearted, funny – as well as illuminating – read.
This new anthology, offering something different from the standard collection of animal CVs, will appeal to anyone interested in humorous writing and the natural world, no matter their age (from teen to adult) or level of knowledge.
Seabirds hold a special place in the hearts of birders, not least because of the challenge of getting to grips with a group of birds that is largely inaccessible, and living in an often hostile habitat. Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa is the first book focusing exclusively on the nearly 1,000 birds that occur around the southern African coastline and adjacent Southern Ocean.
This book is primarily an identification guide, but the author also includes information about these birds’ fascinating biology and behaviour. The text is richly supported with photographs, as well as distribution maps for all the birds. A detailed introduction covers, among other topics, seabird origins, havens, feeding, breeding and conservation, as well as how best to watch and photograph these enigmatic birds.
Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa is an authoritative, first-of-its-kind, essential, volume for birders’ libraries.
This book showcases the very best of the photography as judged in the Sustainable Seas Trust 2013/14 competition. The extraordinary, prize-winning photographs are accompanied by illuminating essays from leading scientists, sports people and others whose lives are intimately connected with the seas.
It also serves as a call to create a South African network of Hope Spots, which are special, people-orientated marine conservation areas.
The hope is that, with the close involvement of the communities that live near and depend on the seas, we can safeguard our natural resources.
This guide to the parks and reserves of East Africa provides a valuable overview of some 58 protected areas across East Africa. The book is divided into the four East African countries Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – and, for each park, provides essential background on geology and landscape, climate, vegetation and wildlife, capturing the essence of what each area offers. It also covers the brief history of each park.
Other features include:
This must-have guide to East Africa’s protected areas will prove indispensable to local and international visitors to the region and to all nature enthusiasts.
Cooking for birds will provide hours of fun for both children and adults who are interested in attracting birds to their gardens. It includes helpful hints and practical recipes that will entice a wide variety of bird species to your garden, as well as instructions on making different types of bird feeders and a section on feeding baby birds.
Ninety percent of the world’s megafauna (its larger creatures) have disappeared since humans migrated from Africa and fanned out across the rest of the world. Within a very short time the megafauna – mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinoceros and the huge carnivores that preyed upon them were extinct. Only Africa seems to have escaped: not unscathed, but not entirely vanquished either.
The author sounds a note of cautious optimism: conservation initiatives have gained a new urgency in the 21st century, and governments in Africa and elsewhere are showing increasing resolve to tackle poaching. Vast transfrontier parks, many still in development, have the potential to provide a sustainable habitat for the continent’s megafauna.
If we can muster both local and international support, name and shame the rogue nations, and build a practical conservation model that does not conflict with human needs, then Africa’s wildlife can perhaps be saved.
This new pocket guide covers both common and interesting insects from South Africa, making it possible to identify a wide range of local species.
Some 431 insects are featured, many of which we may have spotted in our houses and gardens. Each is described with its key identification features, a colour photograph and distribution map.
An illustrated quick reference guide on the inside front and back covers makes it quick and easy to navigate to the right insect group.
This humorous book follows the earlier successful publication of two similar books by Dr Jack. Picture driven, it features a collection of cartoons that lampoon birds on the basis of their common names. The author draws on some existing material, but also turns to the renaming of a number of southern African birds for fresh inspiration.
The book is targeted specifically at South African twitchers, as well as more relaxed bird watchers and nature lovers in general – the perfect affordable gift for the birder who already has everything else.
Kruger National Park – Questions & Answers is a compilation of the questions most frequently asked by visitors to the Park, and their answers, given by a seasoned game park official.
This new edition has been expanded, and reflects management decisions and changes that have occurred since the last edition appeared in 1992. It is packed with information on topics ranging from animals and their behaviour, ecology and poaching, to accommodation, activities, history of place names, safety, and code of conduct.
The text is easy-to-read, combining leisure and education, making it a highly entertaining companion in the vehicle.
Species sections are enlivened by simple illustrations, and two maps illustrate the ecozones and layout of the Park.
This book is ideal for both guides and visitors to the Kruger National Park.
Insektopedie lę die betowering en ryke verskeidenheid van die węreld van insekte bloot. Dit deurgrond hul fassinerende gedrag en biologie – van paring en broeigedrag, metamorfose en beweging tot sig, reuk, gehoor en hul aanpassings by hitte en koue.
’n Hoofstuk oor superorganismes ondersoek die merkwaardige verskynsel van sosiale gemeenskappe; ’n ander een dek die kritieke rol wat dié diertjies speel om die fyn balans van lewe op ons planeet in stand te hou.
Die boek sluit af met ’n 60-bladsy geďllustreerde veldgids wat die meeste insekordes en hul belangrikste families beskryf. Voorheen as Inseklopedie van Suider-Afrika gepubliseer, maar die nuwe uitgawe is nou grondig hersien en herontwerp, met die nuutste inligting, ’n uitgebreide ID-seksie en ’n paar honderd nuwe foto’s.
Southern Africa is home to more than 2,000 introduced (not indigenous) trees. These non-native species are encountered daily and form a familiar part of our urban landscapes, growing successfully in parks, gardens, along road sides, and in other open spaces. This guide features nearly 600 of the most common and familiar of these and, using the same model of identification as FG Trees of Southern Africa, facilitates ID based on leaf and stem features.
The book provides the country of origin for each species and offers key information on cultivation and uses. Each entry is supported by colour images that depict key features, and a shaded map that shows the plant’s cold tolerance (where the species can grow). An essential guide for landscapers and gardeners as well as tree enthusiasts who will struggle to find these trees in their guide to indigenous trees.
Orchids of South Africa is the first field guide to local orchids to be published in over 30 years, and presents the more than 450 orchid species found in the region, including Lesotho and Swaziland.
A comprehensive roundup of orchids in their natural habitat, the book features:
- multiple photos for each species
- distribution maps
- flowering time-bars
- succinct text, enabling sure identification of these fascinating plants.
An illustrated introduction discusses orchid structure, ecology and conservation status.
Informative, colourful and easy-to-use, Orchids of South Africa is the authoritative update enthusiasts have been waiting for.
Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & Other Reptiles of Southern Africa provides fascinating insight into the reptiles of the region.
Through full-colour photographs and distribution maps, and easy-to-read text, the beginner and budding naturalist will be able to identify the more common species found in southern Africa, discover where they live, and learn about their unique feeding and nesting habits.
First Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals, the latest addition to the popular Struik Nature series, introduces the most important and interesting rocks and minerals from our geologically exciting region.
The guide details 30 minerals and 18 major rock types, focusing on those that are best known or most commonly found. A short introduction provides an overview of the topic; colourful photographs throughout, both of the rocks and minerals and of the particular terrain in which they are found, complement the clear text and aid identification in the field.
First Field Guide to Rocks & Minerals is a useful resource for the beginner geologist, curious novice, or anyone with a budding interest in southern Africa's unique geological heritage.
These natural history guides have been developed to encourage young people and anyone with a budding interest in natural history to learn about the wonders of southern Africa's fascinating fauna and flora. They are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance: each of the species presented is described in easy-to-read text, with a photograph and distribution map. A short introduction gives context to the topic.
Back by popular demand, Checklist of Birds in Southern Africa is a new, updated edition of what was long a popular resource. It lists all the birds to be seen in the region and provides a simple way of recording where and when you have spotted them.
Pocket-sized for ease of use, it offers:
- Cross-referencing to Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, fourth edition
- Six columns for multiple recordings at sixdifferent localities
- Up-to-date names for all southern African birds
- Endemic and threat status for all birds
This revised, updated checklist will be sought after by the region's twitchers at all levels.
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