I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to write over a dozen books on wildlife and have managed to incorporate many of my wildlife and nature photography images within them. This started after I published a series of scientific research papers on bird species from New Guinea and Australia while I worked as a curatorial assistant at the Australian Museum of Natural History in Sydney. Many of the scientific papers were reports of range extensions and possible new species from bird specimens collected in New Guinea by Tim Flannery. My book writing started as a contributing author to two books from a 10 volume series on the birds of Australia. Shortly afterwards I received offers to author two books on the birds of Australia, one of which was part of series that was awarded a Whitley Award for the Best Zoological Series. While I have continued to write other natural history titles as a sole author, I have also enjoyed working on several books with a number of talented co-authors.

Recent Titles

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Butterflies of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

A Naturaliust's Guide to the Butterflies of Australia cover

An easy-to-use identification guide covering 301 of Australia’s butterfly species and genera.

Due for release in October 2020. Contact me directly to reserve your copy.

  • For each species the authoritative text describes identifying features, distribution, habitat and habits
    Wingspan, common and scientific names listed
  • Overview of the evolution of butterflies, pests and pollinators, their life cycle, identifying the parts of a butterfly and glossary
  • Includes an up-to-date checklist of the butterflies of Australia with their status in each state

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

Cover of the book, A Naturalist's Guide to the Insects of Australia

An easy-to-use identification guide covering 292 of Australia’s common and iconic insect species.

  • For each family, genus or species account the authoritative text describes identifying features, distribution, habitat and habits.
  • Size, common and scientific names listed.
  • An overview of modern Australian insects, non-insect hexapods and life cycles.
  • A complete up-to-date checklist of all Australian insect orders, covering families, genera, species and subspecies.

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Frogs of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

An easy-to-use identification guide to Australia’s 247 frog species and subspecies.

  • For each species the authoritative text describes identifying features, distribution, habitat and habits
  • Size, common and scientific names listed
  • Overview of frogs as indicators of environmental health, adaptations, breeding and life cycles, habitats, frog calls, frog friendly gardens and glossary
  • Includes an up-to-date checklist of the frogs of Australia and their current IUCN status
A Naturalist's Guide to the Frogs of Australia front cover

Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

“Australians have a strong affinity with their unique environment and wildlife. I hope this book inspires you to observe Australian birds in their natural habitats and to preserve the areas where they live. Their protection is in our hands and I commend the authors of Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots for their commitment to conservation.”

Dermot O’Gorman
CEO, WWF-Australia

“A terrific resource to enjoy Australia’s amazing native birds and the best birding megaspots. Spying on birds is also a great way to help BirdLife protect them – enter your sightings in our birdata app.”

Paul Sullivan
CEO, BirdLife Australia

Australia has almost 340 endemic bird species, and more than 730 endemic subspecies. This richly illustrated book guides birdwatchers to the country’s most species-rich areas, the 55 ‘megaspots’ – places where key endemics can be found. It is designed as both a reference and information guide to help plan a successful birding trip to sites where multiple species can  be viewed.

Detailed descriptions of each site cover

  • how to get to the site
  • any fees payable or permits required
  • facilities and nearby services
  • GPS coordinates
  • an overview of the site
  • birding tracks and trails
  • key species
  • the available accommodation
Peter Rowland and Aniket Sardana (founders of Australia’s Wildlife Group) with John Beaufoy and Rosemary Wilkinson of John Beaufoy Publishing promoting the book at the Australia stand at the UK Birdfair at Oakham

(left to right) Peter Rowland and Aniket Sardana with Rosemary Wilkinson and John Beaufoy, promoting the Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots book at the Australia stand at the UK Birdfair at Oakham

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

A Naturalist's Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia front cover

An easy-to-use identification guide to 280 of  Australia’s dangerous creatures, covering fish, spiders, insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

  • For each species the authoritative text  describes identifying features, distribution, habitat and habits
  • Size, common and scientific names listed
  • Overview of the different species, how to avoid dangerous encounters, first aid and glossary
  • Features land and marine creatures

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

An easy-to-use photographic identification guide covering 280 of the most commonly found mammal species in Australia.

  • For each species the authoritative text describes identifying features, distribution, habitat and habits
  • Size, common and scientific names listed
  • Overview of habitats and vegetation types in Australia
  • Complete up-to-date checklist of the mammals of Australia, including where they are found and their current global status
A Naturalist's Guide to the Mammals of Australia front cover

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia
(John Beaufoy Publishing)

Cover of Naturalists Guide to the Reptiles of Australia 2nd Edition

An easy-to-use photographic identification guide to the 280 reptile species most commonly seen in Australia, with high quality photographs from Australia’s top nature photographers. Now in its 2nd Edition.

  • For each species the authoritative text describes are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat.
  • user-friendly introduction covers the threats to reptiles, types of habitat, anatomy of reptiles, and details of orders and families.
  • all-important checklist of all of the reptiles of Australia encompassing, for each species, its common and scientific name, and its global IUCN status.

Older Books

Bowerbirds
(CSIRO Publishing)

Released 2009 – available as an ebook through major retailers

An introduction to the bowerbirds of Australia, which also includes species from New Guinea.

Bowerbirds condenses published knowledge into a format that will suit natural history enthusiasts at any level. While the emphasis is on Australian members of the family, with detailed accounts on each of the 10 species, the New Guinea representatives are discussed in general chapters and are included in a supplemental section that covers key areas such as breeding, identification and distribution.

This book also includes more than 50 illustrations, including colour pictures of each Australian species, their bowers, displays and distributional maps.

Sadly, this book (and the rest of the series) was pulped not long after my book was released, but it was turned into an electronic book, so it has not been lost forever. If you have plenty of cash to splash around you might find a few copies on Amazon (these are not from me):

Bowerbirds book front cover showing a Regent Bowerbird
Screenshot from Amazon store with Peter Rowland's Bowerbird book shown

Green Guide to Birds of Australia
(New Holland Publishers)

The Green Guide to the Birds of Australia front cover with Whitley Award Winner sticker and Rainbow Bee-eater

The Australian Green Guide series has been created for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages.

Released 1998 – order your copy now from our easy online store

  • Poses and answers the most commonly asked questions about Australian birds
  • Insights into the fascinating behaviour of birds in general
  • Pages brought to life with entertaining and informative text
  • Amazing action photography
  • Species accounts for most commonly encountered Australian species
  • Whitley Award winning series

Available from popular book outlets

Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife
(Reader’s Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd – available through Google)

First published in 1997, and revised edition released in 2016

The Reader’s Digest ‘Encyclopedia Of Australian Wildlife’ is a fully revised and updated edition of an Australian classic. This comprehensive, informative and entertaining book is about our unique and fascinating wildlife and covers all the major animal groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and invertebrates.

Features:

  • over 1,000 individual entries, most with full-colour photographs
  • general introductions to the major animal groups and subgroups
  • 250 original hand-drawn illustrations in full colour
  • maps showing the Australian distribution of various groups of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians
  • special features on intriguing aspect of Australian animal life, such as how tiny coral polyps build vast reefs or how some creatures have adapted to the harsh Australian conditions
  • illustrated explanations of how species are classified
  • descriptions and photographs of the habitats of Australian animals
  • a chapter on the unique evolutionary history of Australian animals
  • a glossary of technical terms and index of common and scientific names

Available from popular book outlets

 

Front cover of Reader's Digest Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife Book with contributions by Peter Rowland
Cover of Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife book (Revised Edition) with contributions by Peter Rowland

Photographic Guide to Birds of Australia
(New Holland Publishers)

Front cover of The Photographic Guide to Birds of Australia by Peter Rowland

Pocket-sized and perfect for road and walking trips in the eastern states of Australia

Released 1996 – order your copy now from our easy online store

  • Covers the basics required for field identification of species most likely to be seen in eastern Australia.
  • Informative text accompanied by colour photographs.
  • Thumbnail silhouettes aid the reader in quickly locating the correct group of birds.
  • Distribution map for each species account shows the bird’s distribution.
  • Family accounts included, with key characteristics.

Available from popular book outlets

 

Finches, Bowerbirds & Other Passerines of Australia

This book was the final title in a magnificent 10 volume series of bird books by the National Photographic Index of Australia’s Wildlife, which covers all bird groups found in Australia.

Released 1996 – No longer in print

As with all titles in the series, this book was produced to the highest standard, with high quality photographs and illustrations, complementing a full text. Species descriptions include full nomenclature, identification points and measurements, habits, voice, habitat, food, breeding, distribution and status.

The title is no longer in print, but secondhand copies may be sourced from Andrew Isles or online re-sellers.

Front cover of Finches, Bowerbirds & Other Passerines Book with contributions by Peter Rowland

Cuckoos, Nightbirds & Kingfishers of Australia

Front cover of Cuckoos, Nightbirds & Kingfishers Book with contributions by Peter Rowland

This book is the penultimate title in a magnificent 10 volume series of bird books by the National Photographic Index of Australia’s Wildlife, which covers all bird groups found in Australia.

Released 1994 – No longer in print

As with all titles in the series, this book was produced to the highest standard, with high quality photographs and illustrations, complementing a full text. Species descriptions include full nomenclature, identification points and measurements, habits, voice, habitat, food, breeding, distribution and status.

The title is no longer in print, but secondhand copies may be sourced from Andrew Isles or online re-sellers.