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At last a single field guide that covers New Zealand's plants, birds, insects and animals for visitors and New Zealanders interested in this country's natural history. When author Julian Fitter first visited New Zealand he was amazed at the number of field guides to birds, plants, insects, marine life and to specific locations – alpine, forest, seashore. But for the traveller not wanting to cart around a library-shelf of books there was no single volume that described the major and most interesting species covering all NZ's flora and fauna. As author of a natural history field guide to the Galapagos, he set about compiling such a book for New Zealand.
The result is a small format, full colour guidebook packed with information on all the species that either are most important, or most obvious to those touring the country covering birds, insects, reptiles, marine mammals, land mammals, trees and shrubs, vines and epiphytes, herbs, ferns, grasses, mosses and lichens as well as a brief survey of New Zealand's varied habitats and fascinating geological history, including major geothermal areas. Over 600 species are described described in detail, with accompanying information on habitat and a full colour photograph and organised in such as way as to make identification as easy as possible.
Julian Fitter, co-author of Albatross: Their World, Their Ways (2008, finalist in the Environment category of the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards) and Wildlife of the Galapagos (HarperCollins, 2000), moved to New Zealand four years ago to research and write this and other books, and also to establish Friends of the Galapagos, an international society dedicated to preserving the Galapagos Islands. He helped to set up a similar group for the Falklands Islands in the UK, after working as a natural history guide in both places. He is currently based in Te Puke.