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The history of the transition of natural history from being at the centre of western science to the periphery is outlined. The development of a divide between amateurs and professionals is discussed as is the decline in nature study in school education. It is argued that understanding, monitoring and management of biodiversity need to be based on natural history studies, and that professionals and amateurs can, and should, work together to these ends. Examples of successful collaborations overseas and in Australia are discussed. These foundations should be built upon, but a number of constraints may limit future availability of a pool of natural historians.

Abbott, P.P. 2005 Plant atlas of mid-west Yorkshire. Yorkshire Naturalists Union.
Allen, D.A. 1976 The naturalist in Britain. A social history. Allan Lane, London.
Allen, D.A. 1986 The botanists. A history of the Botanical Society of the British Isles through 150 years. St. Paul's Bibliographies, Winchester.
Anker, P. 2001 Imperial ecology. Environmental order in the British Empire, 1895-1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass).
Armstrong, P. 2000 The English parson-naturalist Gracewing, Leominster.
Asher, J., Warren, M., Fox, R., Harding, P., Jeffcoate, G. and Jeffcoate, S. 2001 The millennium atlas of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Barber, L. 1980 The heyday of natural history. Doubleday, New York.
Barrett, G., Silcocks, A., Barry, S., Cunningham, R., Poulter, R. 2003 The new atlas of Australian birds. Royal Australasian Ornithological Union, Melbourne.
Barrett, G.W., Silcocks, A.F., Cunningham, R., Oliver, D.L., Weston, M.A. and Baker, J. 2007. Comparison of atlas data to determine the conservation status of bird species in New South Wales, with an emphasis on woodland-dependent species. Australian Zoologist 34, 37-77.
Bircham, P. 2007 A history of ornithology. Collins, London.
Blakers, M., Davies, S.J.J.F. and Reilly, P.N. 1984 The atlas of Australian birds. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
Blunt, W. 1971 The compleat naturalist. A life of Linnaeus. Collins, London.
Borchardt, D.H, 1976. Tenison-Woods, Julian Edmund (1832-1889) Australian Dictionary of Biography volume 6, pp 254-255.
Braithwaite, M.E., Ellis, R.W. and Preston, C.D. 2006 Change in the British flora 1987-2004. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London.
Breckwoldt, R. 1983 Wildlife in the home paddock. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Brewster, A.A. 1929 Botany for Australian secondary schools. Dymock's Book Arcade, Sydney.
Brewster, M.N., Brewster, A.A. and Crouch, N. 1920 Life stories of Australian insects. Dymocks Book Arcade, Sydney.
Cannadine, D. 1995. The first hundred years. In H. Newby (ed) The National Trust. The next hundred years. pp 11-31. The National Trust, London.
Carey, G. 1943 Botany by observation. A textbook for Australian schools. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
Carson, R. 1962 Silent Spring. Houghton Miflin, New York.
Chambers, L., Webber, E., Mavromatis, A., Keatley, M. and Hughes L. 2007. National Ecological meta database. RMRC Research Report 132 33pp.
Cocker, M. 2001 Birders. Tales of a tribe. Jonathan Cape, London.
Cocker, M. 2006 A tiger in the sand. Selected writings on nature. Jonathan Cape, London.
Dannreuther, T. 1948. Insect immigration: Scotland an end point. The Scottish Naturalist 60:74-81.
Desmond, R. 2003 Great natural history books and their creators. The British Library, London.
Dooley, S. 2005 The big twitch! Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
Doughty, R.W. 1975 Feather fashions and bird preservation. A study in nature protection. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Dunlap, T.R. 1999 Nature and the English diaspora. Environment and history in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Duyker, E. and Tingbrand, P. (eds) 1995 Daniel Solander. Collected correspondence 1753-1782. The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne.
Ehrlich, P.R. and Hanski, I. (eds) 2004 On the wings of checkerspots. A model system for population biology. Oxford University Press, New York.
Evans, J. and Boyden, S. (eds) 1970 Education and the environmental crisis. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.
Fairley, A. 2004 Seldom seen. Rare plants of greater Sydney. Reed New Holland, Sydney.
Fisher, J. 1941 Watching birds. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
Fisher, J. 1966. The Shell bird book, Ebury Press and Michael Joseph, London.
Fitter, R. 1963. Wildlife in Britain. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
Fox, R., Asher, J., Brereton, T., Roy D. and Warren, M. 2006 The state of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Butterfly conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Francis, W.D. 1929 Australian rain-forest trees. Government Printer, Brisbane.
Fraser, L. and Vickery, J.W. 1938. The ecology of the Upper Williams River and Barrington Tops Districts. II The rain-forest formations. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of NSW 63, 139-184.
Frith, H.J. 1973 Wildlife conservation. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Gillies, W. and Hall, R. 1903 Nature studies in Australia. Whitcombe and Tombs, Sydney.
Gilmour, J. and Walters, M. 1954 Wild flowers. Collins, London.
Gould Group. Our history of educational development in schools. URL: http://www.gould.edu.au/html.EducationalLeadership.asp.
Hagemeijer, W.J.M. and Blair, M.J. (eds) 1997 The EBCC Atlas of European breeding birds. Their distribution and abundance. Poyser, London.
Hamilton, A.G. 1937 Bush rambles. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Harris, T.Y. 1945 Nature problems. A book of nature study for young Australians. William Brooks, Sydney.
Harris, T.Y. 1956 Naturecraft in Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
Hughes, R.D. 1974 Living insects. Collins, Sydney.
Humber, R.D. 1966 Gamecock and countryman. Cassell, London.
Huntley, B., Green, R.E., Collingham, Y.C. and Willis, S.G. 2007 A climatic atlas of European breeding birds. Durham University. The RSPB and Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Hutton, D. and Connors, L. 1999 A history of the Australian environment movement. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
I.V.O.N.. (Institute for the Investigation of the Vegetation in the Netherlands). Plant - maps for the Netherlands 1:3.000.000. Part I. Blumea 2, 1-23.
Ingram, G.J. and Raven, R.J. (eds) 1991 An atlas of Queensland's frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Kingu, L. 2008 Summer field meeting (2) Isle of Lewis, 22-28 July 2007 Field Bryology 94, 51-54.
Kloss, A.W. 1951. The study of plant distribution in Holland. In J.E. Lousley (ed) The study of the distribution of British plants. Pp. 64-68. Botanical Society of the British Isles Oxford.
Lawley, M. 2008. The influence of social background on the emergence of British field botanists in the 17-19th centuries: William Wilson, a case study. Field Bryology 94, 28-35.
Leach, J.A. 1929 Australian nature studies. 2nd edition Macmillan, Melbourne.
Lear, L. 2007 Beatrix Potter. A life in nature. Allen Lane, London.
Lousley, J.E. (ed.) 1951 The study of the distribution of British plants. Botanical Society of the British Isles, Oxford.
Lovegrove, R. 2007 Silent fields. The long decline of a nation's wildlife. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Low, T. 1999 Feral future, Viking Melbourne.
Mabberley, D.J. 1999. Edred John Henry Corner, C.B.E. Biographic Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London. 45, 77-93.
Maroske, S. 2006. Ferdinand Mueller and the shape of nature: nineteenth-century systems of plant classification. Historical Records of Australian Science 17, 147-168.
Marren, P. 1995 The New Naturalists. Collins, London.
Miall, L.C. 1904 House, garden and field. Edward Arnold, London.
Moore-Colyer, R.J. 1999. ‘Sir George Stapledon (1882-1960) and the landscape of Britain’ Environment and History 5, 221-236.
Morrison, L. 1961 Along the track with Crosbie Morrison. A selection from his nature talks. Whitcombe and Tombs, Melbourne.
Morton-Evans, C. and Morton-Evans, M. 2008. The flower hunter. The remarkable life of Ellis Rowan. Simon and Schuster, Sydney.
Moss, S. 2004 A bird in the bush. A social history of birdwatching. Aurum Press, London.
Mulligan, M. and Hill, S. 2001 Ecological pioneers. A social history of Australian ecology thought and action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Perring, F.H. and Walters, S.M. (eds) 1962 Atlas of the British flora. Nelson, London.
Preston, B.J. and Adam, P. 2004. Describing and listing threatened ecological communities under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW): Part 2 - the role of supplementary descriptors and the listing process. Environmental and Planning Law Journal 21, 372-390.
Preston, C. 2008. Summer field meeting (1) Isle of Mull 14-21 July 2007. Field Bryology 94, 44-50.
Preston, C.D. and Hill M.O. 1997. The geographical relationships of British and Irish vascular plants. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 124, 1-120.
Preston, C.D. Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (eds) 2002 New atlas of the British and Irish flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ratcliffe, D.A., 2000 In search of nature. Peregine Books, Leeds.
Ratcliffe, F., 1938 Flying fox and drifting sand: the adventures of a biologist in Australia. Chatto and Windus, London.
Richards, P.W. 1952 The tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Rolls, E.C. 1969 They all ran wild. The animals and plants that plague Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Rolls, E.C. 1981 A million wild acres. Nelson, Melbourne.
Rounsevell, D.E., Taylor, R.J. and Hocking G.J. 1991. Distribution records of native terrestrial mammals in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 18, 699-717.
Rowley, I. 1974 Bird life. Collins, Sydney.
Sabbagh, K. 1999 A rum affair. Allen Lane, London.
Seddon, G., 1972 A sense of place: a response to an environment. University of Western Australia Press, Perth.
Serventy, V. 1966 A continent in danger. Andre Deutsch, London.
Serventy, V., 1970 Dryandra - the story of an Australian forest. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Sexton, C. 1999 Burnet. A life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Sharrock, J.T.R. (Compiler) 1976 The atlas of breeding birds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, Calton.
Sheail, J. 2002 An environmental history of twentieth-century Britain. Palgrove, London.
Sheppard, T. 1905. Nature study: ideal and real. The Naturalist 576, 22-25.
Star, P. 2006. Ecology: a science of nation? The utilization of plant ecology in New Zealand, 1896-1930. Historical Records of Australian Science 17, 197-2007.
Thompson, M.M.H. 1986 William Woolls. A man of Parramatta. Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/pubs/researchreports/RR132.pdf.
Vallance, T.G., Moore, D.T. and Groves, E.W. (compilers) 2001 Nature's investigator: the diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801-1805. ABRS, Canberra.
Von Wyss, C. 1927 The teaching of nature study. A & G Black, London.
Walters, S.M. 1981 The shaping of Cambridge botany. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Waugh E. 1938 Scoop. Chapman & Hall, London.
Webb, J. 1995 George Caley. Nineteenth Century naturalist. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.
Wren, R.C. 1923 Potter's cyclopedia of botanical drugs and preparations. 3rd ed Potter & Clarke, London.
Yeatman, L. 1976 Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs de France. Société Ornithologique de France, Paris.
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References

Abbott, P.P. 2005 Plant atlas of mid-west Yorkshire. Yorkshire Naturalists Union.
Allen, D.A. 1976 The naturalist in Britain. A social history. Allan Lane, London.
Allen, D.A. 1986 The botanists. A history of the Botanical Society of the British Isles through 150 years. St. Paul's Bibliographies, Winchester.
Anker, P. 2001 Imperial ecology. Environmental order in the British Empire, 1895-1945. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass).
Armstrong, P. 2000 The English parson-naturalist Gracewing, Leominster.
Asher, J., Warren, M., Fox, R., Harding, P., Jeffcoate, G. and Jeffcoate, S. 2001 The millennium atlas of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Barber, L. 1980 The heyday of natural history. Doubleday, New York.
Barrett, G., Silcocks, A., Barry, S., Cunningham, R., Poulter, R. 2003 The new atlas of Australian birds. Royal Australasian Ornithological Union, Melbourne.
Barrett, G.W., Silcocks, A.F., Cunningham, R., Oliver, D.L., Weston, M.A. and Baker, J. 2007. Comparison of atlas data to determine the conservation status of bird species in New South Wales, with an emphasis on woodland-dependent species. Australian Zoologist 34, 37-77.
Bircham, P. 2007 A history of ornithology. Collins, London.
Blakers, M., Davies, S.J.J.F. and Reilly, P.N. 1984 The atlas of Australian birds. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
Blunt, W. 1971 The compleat naturalist. A life of Linnaeus. Collins, London.
Borchardt, D.H, 1976. Tenison-Woods, Julian Edmund (1832-1889) Australian Dictionary of Biography volume 6, pp 254-255.
Braithwaite, M.E., Ellis, R.W. and Preston, C.D. 2006 Change in the British flora 1987-2004. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London.
Breckwoldt, R. 1983 Wildlife in the home paddock. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Brewster, A.A. 1929 Botany for Australian secondary schools. Dymock's Book Arcade, Sydney.
Brewster, M.N., Brewster, A.A. and Crouch, N. 1920 Life stories of Australian insects. Dymocks Book Arcade, Sydney.
Cannadine, D. 1995. The first hundred years. In H. Newby (ed) The National Trust. The next hundred years. pp 11-31. The National Trust, London.
Carey, G. 1943 Botany by observation. A textbook for Australian schools. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
Carson, R. 1962 Silent Spring. Houghton Miflin, New York.
Chambers, L., Webber, E., Mavromatis, A., Keatley, M. and Hughes L. 2007. National Ecological meta database. RMRC Research Report 132 33pp.
Cocker, M. 2001 Birders. Tales of a tribe. Jonathan Cape, London.
Cocker, M. 2006 A tiger in the sand. Selected writings on nature. Jonathan Cape, London.
Dannreuther, T. 1948. Insect immigration: Scotland an end point. The Scottish Naturalist 60:74-81.
Desmond, R. 2003 Great natural history books and their creators. The British Library, London.
Dooley, S. 2005 The big twitch! Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
Doughty, R.W. 1975 Feather fashions and bird preservation. A study in nature protection. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Dunlap, T.R. 1999 Nature and the English diaspora. Environment and history in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Duyker, E. and Tingbrand, P. (eds) 1995 Daniel Solander. Collected correspondence 1753-1782. The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne.
Ehrlich, P.R. and Hanski, I. (eds) 2004 On the wings of checkerspots. A model system for population biology. Oxford University Press, New York.
Evans, J. and Boyden, S. (eds) 1970 Education and the environmental crisis. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.
Fairley, A. 2004 Seldom seen. Rare plants of greater Sydney. Reed New Holland, Sydney.
Fisher, J. 1941 Watching birds. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
Fisher, J. 1966. The Shell bird book, Ebury Press and Michael Joseph, London.
Fitter, R. 1963. Wildlife in Britain. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
Fox, R., Asher, J., Brereton, T., Roy D. and Warren, M. 2006 The state of butterflies in Britain and Ireland. Butterfly conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Francis, W.D. 1929 Australian rain-forest trees. Government Printer, Brisbane.
Fraser, L. and Vickery, J.W. 1938. The ecology of the Upper Williams River and Barrington Tops Districts. II The rain-forest formations. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of NSW 63, 139-184.
Frith, H.J. 1973 Wildlife conservation. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Gillies, W. and Hall, R. 1903 Nature studies in Australia. Whitcombe and Tombs, Sydney.
Gilmour, J. and Walters, M. 1954 Wild flowers. Collins, London.
Gould Group. Our history of educational development in schools. URL: http://www.gould.edu.au/html.EducationalLeadership.asp.
Hagemeijer, W.J.M. and Blair, M.J. (eds) 1997 The EBCC Atlas of European breeding birds. Their distribution and abundance. Poyser, London.
Hamilton, A.G. 1937 Bush rambles. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Harris, T.Y. 1945 Nature problems. A book of nature study for young Australians. William Brooks, Sydney.
Harris, T.Y. 1956 Naturecraft in Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
Hughes, R.D. 1974 Living insects. Collins, Sydney.
Humber, R.D. 1966 Gamecock and countryman. Cassell, London.
Huntley, B., Green, R.E., Collingham, Y.C. and Willis, S.G. 2007 A climatic atlas of European breeding birds. Durham University. The RSPB and Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Hutton, D. and Connors, L. 1999 A history of the Australian environment movement. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
I.V.O.N.. (Institute for the Investigation of the Vegetation in the Netherlands). Plant - maps for the Netherlands 1:3.000.000. Part I. Blumea 2, 1-23.
Ingram, G.J. and Raven, R.J. (eds) 1991 An atlas of Queensland's frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals. Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Kingu, L. 2008 Summer field meeting (2) Isle of Lewis, 22-28 July 2007 Field Bryology 94, 51-54.
Kloss, A.W. 1951. The study of plant distribution in Holland. In J.E. Lousley (ed) The study of the distribution of British plants. Pp. 64-68. Botanical Society of the British Isles Oxford.
Lawley, M. 2008. The influence of social background on the emergence of British field botanists in the 17-19th centuries: William Wilson, a case study. Field Bryology 94, 28-35.
Leach, J.A. 1929 Australian nature studies. 2nd edition Macmillan, Melbourne.
Lear, L. 2007 Beatrix Potter. A life in nature. Allen Lane, London.
Lousley, J.E. (ed.) 1951 The study of the distribution of British plants. Botanical Society of the British Isles, Oxford.
Lovegrove, R. 2007 Silent fields. The long decline of a nation's wildlife. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Low, T. 1999 Feral future, Viking Melbourne.
Mabberley, D.J. 1999. Edred John Henry Corner, C.B.E. Biographic Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London. 45, 77-93.
Maroske, S. 2006. Ferdinand Mueller and the shape of nature: nineteenth-century systems of plant classification. Historical Records of Australian Science 17, 147-168.
Marren, P. 1995 The New Naturalists. Collins, London.
Miall, L.C. 1904 House, garden and field. Edward Arnold, London.
Moore-Colyer, R.J. 1999. ‘Sir George Stapledon (1882-1960) and the landscape of Britain’ Environment and History 5, 221-236.
Morrison, L. 1961 Along the track with Crosbie Morrison. A selection from his nature talks. Whitcombe and Tombs, Melbourne.
Morton-Evans, C. and Morton-Evans, M. 2008. The flower hunter. The remarkable life of Ellis Rowan. Simon and Schuster, Sydney.
Moss, S. 2004 A bird in the bush. A social history of birdwatching. Aurum Press, London.
Mulligan, M. and Hill, S. 2001 Ecological pioneers. A social history of Australian ecology thought and action. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Perring, F.H. and Walters, S.M. (eds) 1962 Atlas of the British flora. Nelson, London.
Preston, B.J. and Adam, P. 2004. Describing and listing threatened ecological communities under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW): Part 2 - the role of supplementary descriptors and the listing process. Environmental and Planning Law Journal 21, 372-390.
Preston, C. 2008. Summer field meeting (1) Isle of Mull 14-21 July 2007. Field Bryology 94, 44-50.
Preston, C.D. and Hill M.O. 1997. The geographical relationships of British and Irish vascular plants. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 124, 1-120.
Preston, C.D. Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (eds) 2002 New atlas of the British and Irish flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Ratcliffe, D.A., 2000 In search of nature. Peregine Books, Leeds.
Ratcliffe, F., 1938 Flying fox and drifting sand: the adventures of a biologist in Australia. Chatto and Windus, London.
Richards, P.W. 1952 The tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Rolls, E.C. 1969 They all ran wild. The animals and plants that plague Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Rolls, E.C. 1981 A million wild acres. Nelson, Melbourne.
Rounsevell, D.E., Taylor, R.J. and Hocking G.J. 1991. Distribution records of native terrestrial mammals in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 18, 699-717.
Rowley, I. 1974 Bird life. Collins, Sydney.
Sabbagh, K. 1999 A rum affair. Allen Lane, London.
Seddon, G., 1972 A sense of place: a response to an environment. University of Western Australia Press, Perth.
Serventy, V. 1966 A continent in danger. Andre Deutsch, London.
Serventy, V., 1970 Dryandra - the story of an Australian forest. Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Sexton, C. 1999 Burnet. A life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Sharrock, J.T.R. (Compiler) 1976 The atlas of breeding birds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, Calton.
Sheail, J. 2002 An environmental history of twentieth-century Britain. Palgrove, London.
Sheppard, T. 1905. Nature study: ideal and real. The Naturalist 576, 22-25.
Star, P. 2006. Ecology: a science of nation? The utilization of plant ecology in New Zealand, 1896-1930. Historical Records of Australian Science 17, 197-2007.
Thompson, M.M.H. 1986 William Woolls. A man of Parramatta. Hale & Iremonger, Sydney. URL: http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/pubs/researchreports/RR132.pdf.
Vallance, T.G., Moore, D.T. and Groves, E.W. (compilers) 2001 Nature's investigator: the diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801-1805. ABRS, Canberra.
Von Wyss, C. 1927 The teaching of nature study. A & G Black, London.
Walters, S.M. 1981 The shaping of Cambridge botany. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Waugh E. 1938 Scoop. Chapman & Hall, London.
Webb, J. 1995 George Caley. Nineteenth Century naturalist. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.
Wren, R.C. 1923 Potter's cyclopedia of botanical drugs and preparations. 3rd ed Potter & Clarke, London.
Yeatman, L. 1976 Atlas des oiseaux nicheurs de France. Société Ornithologique de France, Paris.
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