Natural History

Experts in their field…

We have been incredibly fortunate to publish major studies / essays into three fascinating natural history subject areas, each written by outstanding academics.

Information sheets on all the books are available for download at the links below and trade orders can be made by emailing sales@leschenaultpress.com.

Non-trade orders can be made at most good online bookshops.

 

Ian Abbott and Andrew A. Burridge

Authors, Dr Ian Abbott and Dr Andrew A Burbidge are well-qualified to write on the topic of Western Australia’s over 3,500 islands. Graduates of Australia’s premier universities, Ian holds a BSc, PhD, and DSc having studied zoology, geography (statistics, soils), biometry (agricultural statistics), and botany. Andrew was awarded a BSc (Hons) and PhD, both in the field of Zoology. In 2014, Andrew was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO), recognising his distinguished service to the environment as a conservation biologist. Their collaborative text, Island Jewels – The Natural History of Western Australia’s Islands will become a definitive work on the fascinating and unique environments of these magnificent environments.

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David Jefford Ward

Dr. David Ward has a PhD in Landscape Ecology, was formerly a Senior Research Scientist with the West Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management, and also a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. He has been involved in research into bushfire behaviour, bushfire ecology, and bushfire history for over forty five years. Due to his father’s military career, Dave Ward attended eight different schools, including one in Addis Ababa, and two in Egypt. All this rather confused him, although he did learn a few words of Amharic and Arabic. It took him until he was thirty years old to sort things out. Having discovered essayists such as Francis Bacon, he began to enjoy essay writing, and realised that it could help to sort out some false logic noticed by Aristotle. He aims to continue to draw attention to what he thinks are dangerous errors in some refereed scientific papers on bushfire. He firmly believes that the scientific misconceptions could get people, and both domestic and wild animals killed.

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Authors Helen and Bill HendersonHelen and Bill Henderson

Dr. Helen Henderson AM, PhD (Anthropology), FRWAHS, was born in Bridgetown, Western Australia in 1934. She had a distinguished professional career with the WA Museum before joining the WA Health Department where she was the State Co-ordinator of Aboriginal Health Promotion, then a Project Officer for Aboriginal Policy and finally Senior Research Officer of Epidemiology at the Health Department of WA. She eventually retired in 1997 and immediately began work on the autobiography of Augustus Oldfield.

The late Bill Henderson LS, FISA, was born in West Perth on 15 October 1928 and served his survey cadetship under F. G. Medcalf in Albany. From 1953 he was in the Lands and Surveys Department (WA) as Staff Surveyor and undertook many surveys across the State. A distinguished career culminated in him serving as the Acting Surveyor General of Western Australia, from 1984 to 1986. He retired in 1986 and commenced development of a protea plantation at Toodyay which he operated until 1997. Since then and until 2013, he has focused on mapping Augustus Oldfield’s travels and other community activities including being a member of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society Council from 2000 to 2003. It was with great sadness that we learned of the news of Bill’s passing in September 2018, a mere month after the release of “A Greater Prize Than Gold”. All at Book Reality offer their deepest condolences to Helen and her extended family.

Island Jewels

by Ian Abbott &
Andrew A. Burbidge

Our Dangerous Friend

by
David Jefford Ward

A Greater Prize Than Gold by Helen and Bill Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

by M. Helen &
William G. Henderson

Island Jewels

by Ian Abbott &
Andrew A. Burbidge

Our Dangerous Friend

by
David Jefford Ward

A Greater Prize Than Gold by Helen and Bill Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

by M. Helen &
William G. Henderson

Island Jewels

by Ian Abbott &
Andrew A. Burbidge

Island Jewels

Western Australia has over 3,500 islands, the largest number of any Australian state or territory. All remain in public ownership; almost all south of the Kimberley are managed by a single government agency, whilst almost all Kimberley islands are native title; a situation unique in the world.

This book, written by two experienced wildlife scientists, documents the islands’ plants and animals, and discusses the islands’ history, impacts of invasive species, and management actions. It is arranged geographically, taking the reader on a journey from the Kimberley south along the west coast to Cape Leeuwin, and then east to the Archipelago of the Recherche.

Throughout, you will be introduced to the Island Jewels of Western Australia in all their magnificence.

Our Dangerous Friend

by
David Jefford Ward

Our Dangerous Friend

Much has been published in refereed scientific journals about the alleged harm done by use of deliberate burning to reduce fuels in natural vegetation. This book takes a tip from the philosopher Francis Bacon, using twenty one essays to discuss the history and philosophy of deliberate burning in south-west Australia.

The author does not see himself as an expert on traditional use of fire by Noongar people, but presents some old letters by early European settlers on that matter, and the views on fire of an eccentric English forestry consultant who came here in 1914.
Philosophical hints from Spike Milligan, Mary Midgely, the Duke of Wellington, Thomas Hobbes, Henry David Thoreau, Giambattista Vico, and others, are woven in, and a couple of examples of intriguing statistics from the scientific literature. Is there really no scientific evidence that parachutes work? Do we need a mathematical model of egg boiling?

Who says philosophy is boring? Can it help us find a more cheerful, truthful, and effective approach to bushfire management and nature conservation?

A Greater Prize Than Gold by Helen and Bill Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

by M. Helen &
William G. Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

Augustus Oldfield trekked throughout Australia from 1845 to 1862 amassing plant specimens that would be used to describe over 700 species new to science, including twenty-one that would ultimately bear his name.

Collecting extensively in Western Australia and Tasmania, he also conducted smaller, yet still relevant, botanical expeditions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for the National Herbarium of Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.
In the west he collected from the Great Bight to Shark Bay and made important discoveries in areas including Albany, Busselton, Bunbury, Kojonup, Perth and north of Geraldton. On the lower Murchison River, he encountered and travelled extensively with an indigenous group, the Watchandie and his paper on this group is the only ethnographic record of them at the onset of European settlement.

Yet, despite these achievements, the published historiography is virtually devoid of information about him, mainly due to him being an outsider to the ranks of the era’s ‘Gentlemen naturalists’.

Never appropriately recognised in either Australia or his native Britain, this comprehensive biographical work, twenty years in the making, fills that gap and places Oldfield’s career within the context of his immediate family and the scientific, environmental and broader socio-cultural contexts of the time. Starting with his childhood, raised in the gambling dens of London, through his amazing journeys on the far flung shores of Britain’s Australian colonies, to his untimely death, this book finally tells the story of a man who, driven by his love of nature, turned his life over to the pursuit of a greater prize than gold.

Island Jewels

by Ian Abbott &
Andrew A. Burbidge

Island Jewels

Western Australia has over 3,500 islands, the largest number of any Australian state or territory. All remain in public ownership; almost all south of the Kimberley are managed by a single government agency, whilst almost all Kimberley islands are native title; a situation unique in the world.

This book, written by two experienced wildlife scientists, documents the islands’ plants and animals, and discusses the islands’ history, impacts of invasive species, and management actions. It is arranged geographically, taking the reader on a journey from the Kimberley south along the west coast to Cape Leeuwin, and then east to the Archipelago of the Recherche.

Throughout, you will be introduced to the Island Jewels of Western Australia in all their magnificence.

Our Dangerous Friend

by
David Jefford Ward

Our Dangerous Friend

Much has been published in refereed scientific journals about the alleged harm done by use of deliberate burning to reduce fuels in natural vegetation. This book takes a tip from the philosopher Francis Bacon, using twenty one essays to discuss the history and philosophy of deliberate burning in south-west Australia.

The author does not see himself as an expert on traditional use of fire by Noongar people, but presents some old letters by early European settlers on that matter, and the views on fire of an eccentric English forestry consultant who came here in 1914.
Philosophical hints from Spike Milligan, Mary Midgely, the Duke of Wellington, Thomas Hobbes, Henry David Thoreau, Giambattista Vico, and others, are woven in, and a couple of examples of intriguing statistics from the scientific literature. Is there really no scientific evidence that parachutes work? Do we need a mathematical model of egg boiling?

Who says philosophy is boring? Can it help us find a more cheerful, truthful, and effective approach to bushfire management and nature conservation?

A Greater Prize Than Gold by Helen and Bill Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

by M. Helen &
William G. Henderson

A Greater Prize Than Gold

Augustus Oldfield trekked throughout Australia from 1845 to 1862 amassing plant specimens that would be used to describe over 700 species new to science, including twenty-one that would ultimately bear his name.

Collecting extensively in Western Australia and Tasmania, he also conducted smaller, yet still relevant, botanical expeditions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for the National Herbarium of Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.
In the west he collected from the Great Bight to Shark Bay and made important discoveries in areas including Albany, Busselton, Bunbury, Kojonup, Perth and north of Geraldton. On the lower Murchison River, he encountered and travelled extensively with an indigenous group, the Watchandie and his paper on this group is the only ethnographic record of them at the onset of European settlement.

Yet, despite these achievements, the published historiography is virtually devoid of information about him, mainly due to him being an outsider to the ranks of the era’s ‘Gentlemen naturalists’.

Never appropriately recognised in either Australia or his native Britain, this comprehensive biographical work, twenty years in the making, fills that gap and places Oldfield’s career within the context of his immediate family and the scientific, environmental and broader socio-cultural contexts of the time. Starting with his childhood, raised in the gambling dens of London, through his amazing journeys on the far flung shores of Britain’s Australian colonies, to his untimely death, this book finally tells the story of a man who, driven by his love of nature, turned his life over to the pursuit of a greater prize than gold.

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