Dynamic naturalist Michael Blencowe has travelled the globe to uncover the fascinating backstories of eleven extinct animals, which he shares with charm and insight inÂ Gone.
‘Really, really well-written.’Â – CHRIS PACKHAM
Inspired by his childhood obsession with extinct species,Â Blencowe takes us around the globeÂ – from the forests of New Zealand to the ferries of Finland, from the urban sprawl of San Francisco to an inflatable crocodile on Brighton’s Widewater Lagoon.Â Spanning five centuries, from the last sighting of New Zealand’s Upland Moa to the 2012 death of the Pinta Island Giant Tortoise, Lonesome George, his memoir is peppered with theÂ accounts of the hunters and naturalists of the pastÂ as well as revealingÂ conversations with the custodians of these totemic animals today.Â
FeaturingÂ striking artworksÂ that resurrect these forgotten creatures, each chapter focuses on a different animal, revealing insights intoÂ their unique characteristics and habitats;Â the history of their discoveryÂ andÂ just how and when they came to be lost to us.Â
Blencowe inspects the only known remains of a Huia egg at Te Papa, New Zealand; views hundreds of specimens of deceased Galapagos tortoises and Xerces Blue butterflies in the California Academy of Sciences; and pays his respects to the only soft tissue remains of the Dodo in the world. Warm, wry and thought-provoking,Â GoneÂ shows thatÂ while each extinction story is different, all can inform how we live in the future. Discover and learn from the stories of the:
- Great Auk. A majestic flightless seabird of the North Atlantic and the ‘original penguin’.
- Spectacled Cormorant. The ‘ludicrous bird’ from the remote islands of the Bering Sea.Â
- Steller’s Sea Cow. An incredible ten tonne dugong with skin as furrowed as oak bark.Â
- Upland Moa. The improbable birds and the one-time rulers of New Zealand.Â
- Huia. The unique bird with two beaks and twelve precious tail feathers.Â
- South Island Kokako. The ‘orange-wattled crow’, New Zealand’s elusive Grey Ghost.Â
- Xerces Blue. The gossamer-winged butterfly of the San Francisco sand dunes.Â
- Pinta Island Tortoise. The slow-moving, long-lived giant of the GalÃ¡pagos Islands.Â
- Dodo. The superstar of extinction.Â
- Schomburgk’s Deer. A mysterious deer from the wide floodplains of central Thailand.Â
- Ivell’s Sea Anemone. A see-through sea creature known only from southern England.Â Â
A modern must-read for anyone interested in protecting our earth and its incredible wildlife,Â GoneÂ isÂ an evocative call to conserve what we have before it is lost forever.