In “A Vanishing Kind: A Memoir of Dr John Wamsley in Conversation,” Stephen L Davey joins the renowned environmentalist to discuss career, controversies and conquering the odds to safeguard the Australian bush
ALDGATE, Australia, Feb. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Born in 1938 on a farm in New South Wales, Dr. John Wamsley was imbued with a deep love for the Australian bush, one that persisted even after he left home and eventually brought him back to fight for its survival. In his new book, “A Vanishing Kind,” Wamsley, along with Stephen L Davey, recounts how he found unlikely success through passion, determination and a strong devotion to protecting Australia’s biodiversity.
For Wamsley, overcoming the odds was a constant pattern. In toddlerhood, he narrowly recovered from a mystery illness that stunted his growth and made him an easy target for bullies. However, it instilled in him a strong resilience and self-reliance; by 23, Wamsley had accumulated significant wealth; by 25, he was enrolling in university to study mathematics; and by 30, he had graduated with his doctorate. Prepared to return to the country and build his own bush, Wamsley moved to South Australia, where he opened his wildlife sanctuary, Warrawong, to the public in 1985.
“A Vanishing Kind” offers a window into Wamsley’s incredible strides in wildlife conservation, from pioneering the use of feral-proof fencing to successfully breeding platypus in captivity. The book also sheds light on his unrelenting efforts to raise awareness around the diverse Australian environment, connect urbanites to their natural roots and improve the legislation surrounding conservation, often at great cost to his safety and well-being.
Through his memoir, Wamsley demonstrates that extinction is not an unavoidable force but the direct result of outdated laws, misappropriation of resources and brutal indifference toward disappearing biodiversity. He uses his life’s work as an example that, while legal recourse is often the result of challenging the rules, the end result outweighs the obstacles taken to enact change. Ultimately, “A Vanishing Kind” is a testimony to the innate power of individuals to actualize their vision and enact change in their communities.
“Such a book has been needed for a very long time,” said David Higgs, MBE, MSc, Director of The Environmental Press Agency. “It should be on the essential reading list of any student of the environment or conservation. Wamsley’s controversial, radical, pragmatic approach revolutionised conservation in Australia.”
“A Vanishing Kind: A Memoir of Dr John Wamsley in Conversations”
By John Wamsley and Stephen L Davey
ISBN: 9781504322928 (softcover); 9781504322959 (electronic)
Available from Amazon, Booktopia and Balboa Press
About the authors
John Wamsley is best known his work in wildlife conservation, with specific regard to the use of feral-proof fencing and the successful breeding of platypus in captivity. He is the founder of Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, in which he eradicated all feral plants and animals and erected a fence to preserve a feral free state. In 2003, he received recognition for his pioneering work through the Prime Minister's Award for Environmentalist of the Year. All proceeds from “A Vanishing Kind” will go toward his continued mission to saving biodiversity in Australia. To learn more about Wamsley and Warrawong, please visit johnwamsley.com.
Stephen L Davey is a retired horticulturalist and writer who has worked alongside John Wamsley for many years. He compiled “A Vanishing Kind” using taped conversations and archival material.
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