Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest, by Andrew L. Mack, Ph.D. offers readers an exhilarating mix of adventure and scientific insight.
In 1987 the vast majority of U.S. tropical biologists worked in the New World tropics, and you could find more U.S. tropical biologists in one Costa Rican research station in one month than in all of Papua New Guinea over a year.
For a young Andy Mack, at the start of his research studies in conservation, Papua New Guinea represented a new frontier.
Drawn to PNG by the cassowary, a flightless, dinosaur-like bird whose natural shyness belies the damage it can do with its dagger like claws if provoked, Andy was quickly immersed in the complex culture and verdant beauty of the island. In time he came to appreciate and even champion the cause of Papua New Guinea’s people as they struggle to maintain their identities amid globalization and Western efforts at “big conservation.”
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