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by Ian Fraser and Rosemary Purdie

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW—information below

An essential history of Black Mountain

Black Mountain, geographically and metaphorically at the heart of Canberra, celebrating 50 years of being a conservation reserve. It has a long history of scientific collecting and research making it one of the best studied and documented areas of its size in the ACT.

This richly illustrated book is a good general read based on a series of scientific papers prepared by local experts for a 2018 symposium, takes us to the ecological heart of the mountain—a sandstone island covered in dry sclerophyll forest that is home to over 640 species of native plants, lichens and macrofungi, 174 species of native vertebrate animals, and at least 2150 species of native insects and other invertebrates.

​Summarising existing scientific knowledge about the area's biodiversity and ecology, with maps, diagrams and photographs, the book aims to increase understanding and appreciation of the area and help ensure that its values remain intact for future generations.

Ian Fraser is a naturalist, author, environmental conservationist and educator, broadcaster, blogger and tour guide who has lived in Canberra for 40 years, 27 of them at the foot of Black Mountain. He served on an ACT government environmental advisory committee for 30 years, including 12 as chair. He regards himself as an old fashioned naturalist, with especial passions for birds and orchids. Ian is the recipient of the Australian Plants Award, the Australian Natural History Medallion and an AOM for ‘services to conservation and the environment’.

Dr Rosemary Purdie is a plant ecologist focussing on fire ecology, arid ecosystems and nature conservation, and has worked for the Queensland Herbarium, Bureau of Flora and Fauna, Australian Heritage Commission and Murray Darling Basin Commission. She was the ACT’s second Commissioner for the Environment and served on the ACT’s Flora and Fauna and NRM Advisory committees for several years. In 2002 she became an Honorary Associate at the Australian National Herbarium and has been actively studying Black Mountain’s flora since 2009.

Feedback about the book includes:

"It's a fine looking book, a compact and great reference to have for our local Black Mountain conservation area. Congratulations to all involved."

"The book has arrived - it is so well produced and such a pleasure to read. An excellent source book for any environmental studies in Canberra."

"It’s fabulous! Beautiful, informative, incredibly funny. What a wonderful publication. Thanks so much to all of you for going to so much trouble. I love it and can’t wait to get out on the mountain to take a closer look at the rocks, ants, flowers and - fingers crossed- echidnas! Thanks"


Friends of Black Mountain Members $30 (GST included)
Recommended Retail Price $35 (GST included)
Postage $10.00 for up to 5 copies delivered to the same address in any Australian State or Territory; overseas enquiries welcome

For your copy, email: or phone Linda: 0437 298 711

Copies of the book can be found at the following places: Paperchain Bookstore, National Library of Australia Bookshop, the Botanical Bookshop at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Dickson Newsagency, the Curatoreum at the National Arboretum, the Canberra Visitor's Centre at Regatta Point, and Dymocks.

Paperback, 160 pages, 17cm x 24.4cm
Published 2020
ISBN 978-0-6485419-1-2

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