Lost Gold: Ornithology of the subantarctic Auckland Islands

Book Author Colin Miskelly & Craig Symes
Rights Available World excl. NZ 

This special book-format issue of Birds New Zealand’s journal Notornis is devoted to the birds of the Auckland Islands Maukahuka/Motu Maha, the largest and biologically most diverse island group in the New Zealand subantarctic region. Its 19 chapters, written by leading ornithologists, cover a wide range of topics, including the history of ornithological discovery, biogeography, the impacts of introduced mammals and people, prehistoric bird communities based on bone assemblages, and population, ecological and genetic studies of several of the endemic or otherwise notable birds of the island group including Auckland Island snipe, white-headed petrel, and several albatross species.

Winner of the Science and Conservation category at the 2021 Whitley Awards for zoological literature

About the Author
Dr Colin Miskelly
is an ornithologist with broad interests, including conservation ecology, biogeography, and the history of science. Employed as a curator of vertebrates at Te Papa since 2010, Colin previously worked for the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a scientist and manager. His research on snipe and seabirds first took him to the subantarctic region in 1982, and has led to an ongoing interest in these remote islands and their spectacular wildlife.

Dr Craig Symes has a broad ornithological interest, with a focus, until recently, on Afrotropical birds. As an Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, much of his research focused on bird communities, bird movements and migrations, bird diets and community ecology, parrot biology and conservation, urban bird communities, and birdplant mutualisms focused on pollination in the genus Aloe. He is currently a science teacher in Rotorua, New Zealand.


Te Papa Press


240 x 175mm


Non Fiction

Science & Nature

Publication Date
October 2020

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Te Papa Press

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Te Papa's Lost Gold: Ornithology of the subantarctic Auckland Islands stands as a collation of nearly all that's known about this remote and spectacular birdland. It's a natural history and a history, too, of the birdwatchers who put in the hard work. ... Its chapters are well-researched scientific papers; there are no bold assertions, no flowery prose; it's all hard-won data based on meticulous observation and plain hard slog

Matt Vance, reviewed as Book of the Week on Newsroom's ReadingRoom (21 May 2020)