Between the Covers: “Searching for Pekpek”

Between the Covers: “Searching for Pekpek”

Andrew Mack talk and booksigning at Telluride Library Wednesday October 1st at 6 p.m. Co-hosted by Between the Covers Bookstore.


In 1987, Andrew Mack immersed himself in a vast expanse of roadless, old growth rainforest of Papua New Guinea.

He and his co-investigator Debra Wright, built a research station by hand and lived there for years. Their mission was to study the secretive and perhaps most dinosaur-like creature still roaming the planet: the cassowary.

BTC-flier-AndrewMack copy

The ensuing adventures of this unorthodox biologist – studying seeds found in cassowary droppings (pekpek), learning to live among the indigenous Pawai’ia, traversing jungles, fighting pests and loneliness, struggling against unscrupulous oil speculators, and more –  are woven into a compelling tale, “Searching for Pekpek: Cassowaries and Conservation in the New Guinea Rainforest,” a story spanning two decades.

cassowary 2

Through the book, Mack shares the insights he garnered about rainforest ecology while studying something as seemingly mundane as cassowary pekpek. He ultimately gained profound insight into why conservation is failing in places like Papua New Guinea and struggled to create a more viable strategy for conserving some of Earth’s last wild rainforests.

Andre Mack will be giving a talk and signing his book at Wilkinson Public Library on Wednesday, October 1, 6:00 pm.

About Andrew Mack:

Mack obtained his doctorate from the University of Miami Tropical Biology Program in 1995 and then worked for two of the largest international conservation organizations and two of the largest natural history museums in the United States. He has also done extensive field work in tropical forests of Borneo and Latin America. Mack is now an independent conservationist, author, and executive director of the Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance. When not writing, he provides technical support to select indigenous conservation groups and research projects on frequent trips to New Guinea. He lives on a small tree farm in western Pennsylvania.

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