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CUP book

The Natural History of Canterbury

20 November 2023

Edited by Michael Winterbourn, George Knox, Colin Burrows and Islay Marsden


(Out of print)

May 2008
$75 (was $195)
924pp, Hardback with slipcase
260 x 190mm, Colour photos & illustrations throughout
ISBN: 978-1-877257-57-5

The third edition of the Natural History of Canterbury provides a comprehensive, up-to-date account of knowledge of the flora, fauna and environment of the region with a broad audience in mind. It will be a valuable resource for natural scientists, students, environmental managers and interested lay people, not just in Canterbury but throughout New Zealand. 

The Natural History of Canterbury

Contributions to the 27 chapters were made by more than 40 scientists and academics with wide-ranging experience and expertise in their subjects. Contents include chapters on the geology, geomorphology and geography of the region, climate and soils, and the history of Maori colonisation and life. 

Past and present vegetation are dealt with in detail, as are fossil and present-day faunas, including the birds, amphibians and reptiles, and marine mammals. The ecology of terrestrial, marine and freshwater habitats is treated in depth.

Timely and thought-provoking chapters deal with ecological restoration, conservation issues and environmental management. All chapters are exhaustively referenced to provide the reader with an entry to the primary literature. Extensive use is made of colour images, not only to enhance the visual appeal of the book but to enable the reader to visualise many of the remarkable plants, animals and landscapes found in Canterbury.

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