In Melanesia, in the wilderness of Papua New Guinea, Andy Mack completed some of the first in-depth and long-term ecological studies ever undertaken in the region. After decades of research, he came away with insights into conservation, economic development, and the global politics of earth stewardship.
Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest, is the chronicle of Andy’s personal and scientific journey. His adventure is akin to stepping through a portal into a time and place where ancient cultures clash with modern sensibilities, of surviving in a country where there is no access to electricity, health care, roads, telephones, or police, all while searching for a dinosaur-like bird, some species of which can reach 6 feet, weigh 120 lbs, and are one of the few birds that can easily kill people.
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Andrew Mack built a research station in a remote rainforest of New Guinea and lived there five years studying cassowaries, seed dispersal and rainforest ecology. He then started a conservation training program for Papua New Guinean students and lived in PNG another ten years. That program has evolved into the PNG Institute of Biological Research. His experiences in New Guinea over 20 years form the foundation of Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest. Although he has over 50 technical peer-reviewed publications, he most enjoys sharing his unique experiences and perspectives on rainforests and conservation with general readers