208 pages, 300 colour photos
Diver, undersea explorer and passionate conservationist Wade Doak has lived near the Tutukaka coast with wife Jan since 1968. Well known for his pioneering dives at the Poor Knights Islands off the coast of Whangarei, Wade has gradually shifted his focus over the years from the sea to the land. He and Jan have spent years exploring the shoreline and estuaries, walking cliff-top paths, studying the mangroves and roaming the forest. Wade's engaging text tells a remarkable story, illustrated with an incredible photographic archive of trees, shrubs, vines, orchids, ferns, birds, and attendant wildlife, displaying an area rich in diversity. With intensive pest control, the Doaks have witnessed a dramatic recovery of the native flora and fauna. In 'their coastal slice' the natural world has returned with a profusion of birdsong in the forest. Bringing Back the Birdsong is a plea for the conservation and protection of New Zealand's wildernesses, reiterating the challenge made by Sir Paul Callaghan: can we eradicate pests throughout our island nation? On a small scale, Wade and Jan Doak show that yes, it can be done.
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Wade Doak is an internationally known marine biologist, dolphin researcher, and explorer. He was a language teacher with a passion for diving when in 1969 he discovered a stash of coins when diving on a shipwreck. Treasure salvage allowed him to devote his life to studying and photographing the 'blue planet', and he has published 19 books about the ocean and its inhabitants, including A Photographic Guide to Sea Fishes of New Zealand. With his wife Jan Doak, an accomplished underwater photographer, and son Brady, an underwater camera operator, Wade has worked on the television natural history series Wild South and Deep Blue. Wade was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for his services to marine conservation in 2012.