Gone: A search for what remains of the world’s extinct creatures

Available in

Hardback ISBN: 978-0711256750 /0711256756

Paperback ISBN:  978-0711276925 /0711276927

Audiobook: (https://www.audible.co.uk/author/Michael-Blencowe/B08TTRC5CW)

South Korea: http://preview.kyobobook.co.kr/epubPreviewPopup.jsp?type=web&barcode=4801192519112&search=Y&orderClick=LAT

Inspired by his childhood obsession with extinct species, Michael Blencowe takes us around the globe – from the forests of New Zealand to the ferries of Finland, from the urban sprawl of San Francisco to an inflatable crocodile on Brighton’s Widewater Lagoon. Spanning five centuries, from the last sighting of New Zealand’s Upland Moa to the 2012 death of the Pinta Island Giant Tortoise, Lonesome George, his memoir is peppered with the accounts of the hunters and naturalists of the past as well as revealing conversations with the custodians of these totemic animals today. 

Featuring striking artworks that resurrect these forgotten creatures, each chapter focuses on a different animal, revealing insights into their unique characteristics and habitats; the history of their discovery and just how and when they came to be lost to us. 

Blencowe inspects the only known remains of a Huia egg at Te Papa, New Zealand; views hundreds of specimens of deceased Galapagos tortoises and Xerces Blue butterflies in the California Academy of Sciences; and pays his respects to the only soft tissue remains of the Dodo in the world. Warm, wry and thought-provoking, Gone shows that while each extinction story is different, all can inform how we live in the future. Discover and learn from the stories of the:

  • Great Auk. A majestic flightless seabird of the North Atlantic and the ‘original penguin’.
  • Spectacled Cormorant. The ‘ludicrous bird’ from the remote islands of the Bering Sea. 
  • Steller’s Sea Cow. An incredible ten tonne dugong with skin as furrowed as oak bark. 
  • Upland Moa. The improbable birds and the one-time rulers of New Zealand. 
  • Huia. The unique bird with two beaks and twelve precious tail feathers. 
  • South Island Kōkako. The ‘orange-wattled crow’, New Zealand’s elusive Grey Ghost. 
  • Xerces Blue. The gossamer-winged butterfly of the San Francisco sand dunes. 
  • Pinta Island Tortoise. The slow-moving, long-lived giant of the Galápagos Islands. 
  • Dodo. The superstar of extinction. 
  • Schomburgk’s Deer. A mysterious deer from the wide floodplains of central Thailand. 
  • Ivell’s Sea Anemone. A see-through sea creature known only from southern England.

A modern must-read for anyone interested in protecting our earth and its incredible wildlife, Gone is an evocative call to conserve what we have before it is lost forever.

Beautifully illustrated throughout with artwork by Jade They (https://www.jadethey.com/ )

All About Caterpillars and Moths

(Mini book included with The Woolly Bear Caterpillar by Julia Donaldson)

ISBN: 1529012201 / 978-1529012200

In 2020 Michael collaborated with children’s author (and national treasure) Julia Donaldson to produce The Woolly Bear Caterpillar. Artwork for the book was created by The book was award-winning illustrator Yuval Zommer and Michael wrote the non-fiction 18-page mini book about caterpillars and moths which you’ll find hiding in the back of Julia’s book.

Ideal for children aged 3-5.

Crawling through the garden, the little Woolly Bear Caterpillar wonders what kind of moth she will become. Bonny and bright, stunning and smart, but not kind, the other caterpillars laugh at the small, plain Woolly Bear. There is one thing that they are sure of: Woolly Bear could never be as dramatic and beautiful as them! But could one little caterpillar be about to undergo a truly terrific transformation?

The Butterflies of Sussex

ISBN: 1874357773 /978-1874357773

Currently out of print – keep checking on eBay!


Sussex, sitting on the South Coast and boasting a diverse range of habitats set within beautiful, iconic landscapes, has always been recognised as one of the best areas of the country in which to watch and appreciate our butterflies. The Butterflies of Sussex summarises their current distribution and status, based on an intensive five-year survey by local Butterfly Conservation members.

The lavishly illustrated texts, covering 53 species, include many original insights into a rapidly changing world of losses and gains, capturing an unprecedented period in the history of British butterflies. While some species have declined as the result of habitat loss and climate change, others have been brought back from the very brink by targeted conservation efforts.

Meanwhile, exotic butterflies such as the Long-tailed Blue and Continental Swallowtail now regularly migrate into Sussex from mainland Europe. The Butterflies of Sussex also features a comprehensive guide to the county’s best butterfly sites, covering the sandy lowland heaths, rolling chalk hills of the South Downs and tranquil woods of the Weald.

Authors Neil Hulme and Michael Blencowe are Sussex naturalists whose conservation work and writing are well known. This is an essential book for any butterfly lover, from beginner to expert.