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My Family and Other Animals
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Author Gerald Durrell [imagemap with 6 links]

Author Gerald Durrell

Remember that the animals and plants have no Member of Parliament they can write to; they can't perform sit-down strikes ... they have nobody to speak for them except us, the human beings who share the world with them, but do not own it.
     -- from Catch Me a Colobus, 1972


Gerald ('Gerry') Malcolm Durrell, born January 7, 1925, grew up to be a famous naturalist, animal collector and conservationist. Over his lifetime he wrote 37 books, went on dozens of animal-collecting trips and hosted numerous television shows including The Amateur Naturalist and Ourselves and Other Animals.

His greatest achievement was the founding of the Jersey Zoo in 1959 as a center for the conservation of endangered species, and the creation of the Jersey Wildlife Conservation Trust (now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust) in 1963. Durrell ran the Zoo from its foundation until his death; his wife Lee is still Honorary Director of the Trust.

Speaking about him to The Times, Charles Secrett, Director of Friends of the Earth, said, "He was one of the first people to wake the world up to what was happening to the environment. His books and programs helped a whole new generation of environmentalists come into being."

Durrell received an OBE in 1982 and was featured in the United Nations' Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement in 1988. Durrell wrote the screenplay for the 1979 film Tarka The Otter. The movie Fierce Creatures was dedicated to him. Gerald's brother Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990) was a well-known novelist and playwright, best known for The Alexandria Quartet. Gerald Durrell died in 1995.

Durrell had several species and races named after him.

* Nactus serpeninsula durrelli: Durrell's Night Gecko
The Round Island race of the Serpent Island Night Gecko is a distinct race and was named after both Gerald and Lee Durrell for their contribution to saving the gecko and Round Island fauna in general. Mauritius released a stamp depicting the race.

* Ceylonthelphusa durrelli: Durrell's Freshwater Crab
A critically rare new species of Sri Lankan freshwater crab.

* Benthophilus durrelli: Durrell's Tadpole Goby
A new species of tadpole goby discovered in 2004

* Kotchevnik durrelli
A new species of moth of the superfamily Cossoidea from Russia

The Durrell School in Corfu, established in 2002, offers an academic course and tours in the footsteps of the Durrells in Corfu. Famous botanist David Bellamy has conducted field trips in Corfu for the school.

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Gerald Durrell Bibliography

The Overloaded Ark (1953)
An account of his first collecting trip to the Cameroons.

Three Singles to Adventure (1954)
Animal collecting in British Guiana.

The Bafut Beagles (1954)
A return visit to the Cameroons.

The New Noah (1955)
A collection of stories for children about his trips to the Cameroons, Guiana and Paraguay.

The Drunken Forest (1956)
A collecting trip to Argentina and Paraguay.

My Family and Other Animals (1956)
The first of three books about the Durrell family in Corfu.

Encounters with Animals (1958)
A selection of stories about animal collecting, a result of requests from listeners to his BBC radio programs.

A Zoo in My Luggage (1960)
His third trip to the Cameroons, resulting in the founding of the zoo in Jersey.

Island Zoo (1961)
A children's guide, with photographs, about the first animals to arrive at the Jersey Zoo.

Look at Zoos (1961)
A young person's guide to a zoo.

The Whispering Land (1961)
A major collecting trip to Argentina, resulting in many new animals for Jersey Zoo.

My Favourite Animal Stories (1962)

Menagerie Manor (1964)
The early years of the zoological park, culminating in the founding of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.

Two in the Bush (1966)
A visit to New Zealand, Australia and Malaya with the BBC Natural History Unit.

The Donkey Rustlers (1968)
A story for children.

Rosie is My Relative (1968)
A novel, which features an amazing elephant.

Birds, Beasts and Relatives (1969)
A companion volume to My Family and Other Animals.

Fillets of Plaice (1971)
A collection of short stories.

Catch Me a Colobus (1972)
Further zoo stories and collecting trips to Sierra Leone and Mexico.

Beasts in My Belfry (1973)
Experiences as a student keeper at Whipsnade.

The Talking Parcel (1974)
A story for children.

The Stationary Ark (1976)
A look at the role of zoological parks, in particular the one he created in Jersey.

Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons (1977)
An account of two expeditions to Mauritius.

The Garden of the Gods (1978)
Companion volume to My Family and Other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives.

The Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium (1979)
A collection of anecdotes.

The Mockery Bird (1981)
A novel with a conservation message.

The Amateur Naturalist (1982)
Written with his wife, Lee. A lavishly illustrated guide on how to become a naturalist.

Ark on the Move (1982)
A brief look at Mauritius and Madagascar, based on the television series of the same title.

How to Shoot an Amateur Naturalist (1984)
Experiences while filming The Amateur Naturalist.

Durrell in Russia (1986) (With Lee Durrell)
A journey through the nature reserves of the Soviet Union, illustrated with over 300 color photographs.

The Fantastic Flying Journey (1987)
An adventure story for children.

The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure (1989)
Another children's adventure story.

The Ark's Anniversary (1990)
An update on the conservation work of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.

Keeper (1990)
A boxer dog works as a zookeeper in this story for children.

Marrying Off Mother (1991)
A collection of short stories.

Toby the Tortoise (1991)
A story for children.

The Aye-Aye and I (1992)
An account of a major collecting expedition in Madagascar.


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