A bush capital year: a natural history of the Canberra region.

A bush capital year: a natural history of the Canberra region. Ian Fraser, Peter Marsack.
A bush capital year: a natural history of the Canberra region.

Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing, 2011. Octavo, colour illustrations.

The Australian Capital Territory is a treasure trove for naturalists, despite being without a coastline, without rainforest or without deserts. A wealth of biodiversity is found there, due to the close proximity of three major habitat types: the great western woodland grassy plains bump up against the inland edge of the coastal hinterland mountain forests, while the whole south-eastern Australian Alps system reaches its northern limit in the Brindabella Ranges. Each of these habitats has its own rich suite of plants and animals, so a great diversity of life can be found within an hour's drive of Parliament House.

This book introduces the fauna, flora, habitats and reserves of the Australian Capital Territory and includes the most recent research available. It also emphasises often unappreciated or even unrecognised urban wildlife.

For each month of the year there are 10 stories which discuss either a species or a group of species, such as mosses and mountain grasshoppers. While never anthropomorphic, many of the stories are written from the organism's point of view, while others are from that of an observer. Beautiful paintings complement the text and allow better visualisation of the stories and the subjects.

Author information:
Ian Fraser is a naturalist, conservationist, author, ABC broadcaster, natural history tour guide, environmental consultant and adult educator who has lived and worked in Canberra since 1980. He was awarded the Australian Native Plants Society's Australian Plants Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to conservation and education.

Peter Marsack is a freelance natural history artist and illustrator, based in Canberra since 1994. He was senior artist on the final three of the seven volumes of the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB), and his original plates from the HANZAB volumes are now in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. He was a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in 2003 and 2004, winning a watercolour prize in 2003.

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