Books  Ornithology  Non-Passerines  Seabirds, Shorebirds & Wildfowl 

Who Killed the Great Auk?

By: Jeremy Gaskell

227 pages, Col and b/w illus

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Nov 2000 | #111124 | ISBN: 0198564783
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £71.99 $93 / €83 approx

About this book

Gaskell takes the reader on a tour of some of the wildest and coldest places on earth as he tries to uncover the facts behind the disappearance of the Great Auk, and the reasons why attempts to save it were in vain. It draws on material from previously unpublished sources and features some of the greatest Victorian ornithologists and pioneers in conservation.

"Gaskell combines natural history, exploration, and social history into a single gripping tale. He describes the social conditions that led to the Great Auk's demise but also tells why so little is known of the bird despite its fmiliatriy to naturalists." --Library Journal


Introduction - Who killed the Great Auk?; 1. This rare and noble bird; 2. Geirfuglasker: The Icelandic bird skerries; 3. Travels with Audubon in Labrador; 4. Westward ho!; 5. A visit to Funk Island; 6. Books of authority; 7. Wild foulis biggand - The Great Auk on St. Kilda; 8. The New-Found-Land; 9. Uncouth regions; 10. Mercenary and cruel; 11. The old wisdom of the Faeroe Islands; 12. In search of the Great Auk; 13. Last appearances; 14. Generation after generation; 15. Bird protection: A pressing need; 16. An Act of Parliament; Epilogue; Appendices: Description of the Great Auk based on a specimen acquired by Audubon in London; Discussion of Great Auk nomenclature; Abridged version of the Act for the Preservation of Sea Birds, 1869; The Victorian egg collectors

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