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No single individual did more to promote sea turtle research and conservation than Archie Carr (1909-1987). So entwined did he become with these creatures and the fight against their over-exploitation and loss of habitat that the largest wildlife refuge for loggerhead turtles in the world was named in his honor, and World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated internationally on his birthday, June 16.
Carr's work with sea turtles began in the 1940s. His many publications written for general readers, including his 1956 classic The Windward Road, alongside numerous articles for National Geographic and other publications, brought widespread attention to the plight of these animals. So Excellent a Fishe, first published in 1967, combined everything the careful researcher had learned in more than two decades of fieldwork. This groundbreaking book answered many then-unresolved questions about sea turtle behavior, including those about their remarkable migrations. In large part because of the endearing charm of Carr's narrative style, it remains a beloved and often-consulted volume in the field.
This new edition of So Excellent a Fishe captures Carr's gentle humor, his passionate fascination with sea turtles, and his intense love of sharing his knowledge with readers. A foreword by Karen Bjorndal, director of the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, brings the story up to date even as it reveals how prescient Carr was more than 45 years ago.
Archie Carr was professor of zoology at the University of Florida, a research associate of the American Museum of Natural History, and founder of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. He authored many books about his life as a naturalist, including The Windward Road and Ulendo, both now available from the University Press of Florida.