Anthony Cheke’s publications

Anthony Cheke’s – brief biography & publication list

From the mid-1960s until 1981 I worked in plant and animal ecology in Oxford, Thailand and Mauritius, with visits and expeditions to Japan, Corsica, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast.  The Mauritius project, studying endangered birds on the three Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues) in the Indian Ocean during 1973-5 & 1978, resulted in a book Studies of Mascarene Island birds, edited by Tony Diamond, published in 1987 – out of print since the mid-1990s, it was unexpectedly reissued by Cambridge University Press in 2009 (£35).  From 1982 to 2011 I ran a bookshop (Inner Bookshop/Dodo Books) in Oxford with my wife Ruth Ashcroft (also a former ecologist); we sold this on in 2011 to officially ‘retire’.  Since the mid-1990s I have again been involved in ornithological travel and the ecological history & conservation of the Mascarene Islands, and in 2008 published a book jointly with Julian Hume – Lost land of the Dodo. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands (London: A&C Black & New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press – see

Publications list:

Publications for which pdfs are available (starred *) can be downloaded by clicking on the blue filenames.  Most publications prior to 2003 are not available as text pdfs, but I have scanned some of them – these are available to download (as pdf image files); original hard-copy reprints, where available, are marked ‘#’. For further details please contact me on

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2012 (‘2011’) Sonnerat’s Shrew – evidence for a new and possibly extinct species in an early 19th century manuscript  (Mammalia: Soricidae). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 108: 95-97 Cheke-2012-Sonnerat’s shrew

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2012 (‘2011’) Was the flying-fox Pteropus comorensis on Mafia island (Tanzania) introduced by humans? Journal of East African Natural History 100: 59-68 Cheke-2012(‘2011’)-Mafia flying-fox

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2011. [further untitled submission included in] Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea) (Reptilia, Testudines) Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 68(4): 292-295. [Case 3463, on the name of the Aldabra giant tortoise.  see BZN 66: 34–50, 80–87, 169–186; 274–290; 352–357, 67: 71–90, 171-178, 68: 140-143, 292-295] Cheke-BZN 68(4) comment 3463

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2010. Is the enigmatic blind-snake Cathetorhinus melanocephalus (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) an extinct endemic species from Mauritius ? Hamadryad 35: 101-104.  Cheke-2010-blind snake-Cathetorhinus

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2010. La faune vertébrée terrestre de l’Ile Maurice en 1803 : données inédites provenant des manuscrits de Péron et Lesueur.  Bull. Soc. Géol. Normandie Amis Mus. Havre 96(2) ‘2009’: 61-77. Cheke-2010-Mauritius in 1803

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2010. The timing of arrival of humans and their commensal animals on Western Indian Ocean oceanic islands. Phelsuma 18: 38-69. Cheke-2010-Humans&Commensals in IO

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2010. [letters to the editor] Name Changes. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 17:132-133. Cheke-2010-ABC Bull.birdnames letter

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2010. [further untitled submission included in] Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea) (Reptilia, Testudines) Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 67:79-81. [Case 3463, on the name of the Aldabra giant tortoise.  see BZN 66: 34–50, 80–87, 169–186; 274–290; 352–357, 67: 71–90, 171-178; NB: pdf includes all comments on this case published in this issue, pp.71-90] BZN 67(1) Comments on Case 3463

*Cheke Anthony S. 2009. Not lost but hiding – type material of the endemic Mauritian bat Mormopterus acetabulosus (Hermann 1804) [Chiroptera: Molossidae].  Journal of the National Museum, Praha, Natural History Series 178: 1-3. Cheke-2009-Mormopterus type

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2009. [untitled submission included in] Comments on the proposed conservation of usage of Testudo gigantea Schweigger, 1812 (currently Geochelone (Aldabrachelys) gigantea) (Reptilia, Testudines) Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 66:174-176. [Case 3463; see also BZN 66: 34–50, 80–87; on the name of the Aldabra giant tortoise.  NB: pdf includes all comments on this case published in this issue, pp.169-186] BZN 66(2) Comments on Case 3463

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2009. Was Mascarene Grey White-eye Zosterops borbonicus introduced to Madagascar ?  Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 129: 104-108. Cheke-2009-Sganzin’s White-eye

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2009. Data sources for 18th century French encyclopaedists – what they used and omitted: evidence of data lost and ignored from the Mascarene Islands, Indian Ocean. Journal of the National Museum, Praha, Natural History Series 177: 91-117. Cheke-2009-Sources for Brisson etc

*Hume, Julian P., Cheke, Anthony S. & McOran-Campbell, A. 2009. How Owen ‘stole’ the Dodo – academic rivalry and disputed rights to a newly-discovered subfossil deposit in 19th century Mauritius.  Historical Biology 21: 33-49. Hume-etal-2009-Owen stole Dodo

*Thébaud, Christophe, Warren, Ben H., Strasberg, Dominique & Cheke, Anthony [S.]. 2009. Mascarene Islands, biology. Pp.612-619 in Gillespie, R.G & Clague, D.A. (eds.) Encyclopedia of islands.  Berkeley: University of California Press. 1074pp. Thebaud-etal-2009-Enc.Islands chap

*Cheke, A[nthony]. 2008. Bird re-introduction and analogue options in the oceanic islands of the western Indian Ocean [poster abstract]. P.33 in J.G.Ewen,  D.Armstrong, K.Parker & P.Seddon (eds.) Avian reintroduction biology: current issues for science and management.  Avian Biology Research 1 (1): 19 – 42 [NB: pdf includes all abstracts from this conference held at the Zoological Society in London in May 2008] Ewen-etal-2008-Avian Reintroductions [the following is a print version of the original poster: Cheke-ZSL poster print.ver ]

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2008.  Seafaring behaviour in House Crows Corvus splendens – a precursor to ship-assisted dispersal ?  Phelsuma 16: 65-68. Cheke-2008-Seafaring crows

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2008. Additional 18th century records of endemic Seychelles fauna. Phelsuma 16: 68-70. Cheke-2008-18C Seychelles fauna

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2008. The risk to other Indian Ocean islands of invasive species on Diego Garcia Phelsuma 16: 70-72. Cheke-2008-Invasives on Diego Garcia

*Turvey, Samuel T. & Cheke, Anthony S. 2008. Dead as a dodo: the fortuitous rise to fame of an extinction icon. Historical Biology 20: 149-163. Turvey&Cheke 2008-Dead as a dodo

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2007.  The identity of a flying-fox in Emperor Rudolf II’s Bestiaire.  Journal of the National Museum, Praha, Natural History Series 176: 13-14. Cheke-2007-Rudolf’s-bat

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2006. Establishing extinction dates – the curious case of the Dodo and the Red Hen. Ibis 148: 155-158. Cheke-2006-Dodo-date

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2006. [obituary] France Staub (1920-2005). Ibis 148: 610-611. Cheke-2006-Staub-Obit-Ibis

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2005. Naming segregates from the Columba-Streptopelia group of pigeons following DNA studies on phylogeny. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 125: 293-295. Cheke-2005-Pigeon-names

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2004. The Dodo’s last island. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts & Sciences of Mauritius 7: 7-22. Cheke-2004-Dodo’sLastIsland

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2004. Seabirds on Agalega (Indian Ocean) – survival of boobies and frigate-birds into the 1870s, with comments on other species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts & Sciences of Mauritius  7: 1-5. Cheke-2004-BoobiesOnAgalega

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2004. The natural history and human drama of the 18th and 19th century transit [of Venus] expeditions [to Mauritius & Rodrigues]. Emmanuel College Magazine 86: 141-147. Cheke-2004-TransitVenus

*Hume, Julian P. & Cheke, Anthony S. 2004. White Dodos – unravelling a scientific and historical myth.  Archives of Natural History 31: 57-79. [text without illustrations; for full version please contact me] Hume&Cheke-2004-WhiteDodo-no-illus

#Cheke, Anthony S. 2003. Summer birds in Arkhangai province, Mongolia, July-August 2002. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences 1(2): 59-72.

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2003. Treasure Island. The rise and decline of a small tropical museum, the Mauritius Institute. Pp.197-206 in N.J.Collar, C.Fisher & C.J.Feare  (eds.) Why museums matter. Avian archives in an age of extinctions. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 123A, Supplement. 360pp. Cheke-2003-TreasureIsland [NB scanned image file – large]

Showler, Dave A. & Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2002. Checklist of the birds of Rodrigues. Pp.22-24 in Showler, Dave A. 2002. Bird observations on the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues, March-June 1999. Bulletin of  the African Bird Club 9: 17-24.

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 2001. Booby Sula colonies in the Mascarene area (Indian Ocean): extinctions, myths and colour morphs. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 121: 71-80. Cheke-2001-IO-boobies

*Cheke, Anthony S. 2001. Is the bird a Dodo ? The wildlife of a mid-seventeenth century drawing of Dutch Mauritius. Arch. Nat. Hist. 29: 347-351. Cheke-2001-Is the bird a dodo [NB scanned image file – large]

*Smith, D.S. & Cheke, A[nthony] S. 2000. The first record of a Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris for the Mascarene Islands. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 120: 259-260. Smith&Cheke-2000-P.tenuirostris

*Witmer, Mark C. & Cheke, Anthony S. 1991. The dodo and the tambalacoque tree: an obligate mutualism reconsidered. Oikos 61: 133-137. Witmer&Cheke-1991-Dodo & Tambalacoque [NB scanned image file – large]

*,#Cheke A[nthony] S. & Reed T[imothy] R. 1989. The flora of Berneray, Mingulay and Pabbay, Outer Hebrides, in 1974.  Scottish Naturalist [for] 1987: 63-106. [progressive changes following abandonment of arable agriculture in the 1920s, updated to 1979 by TMR] Cheke&Reed 1987-Mingulay etc-veg

*Cheke, Anthony [S.] 1987. The legacy of the dodo – conservation in Mauritius. Oryx 21: 29-36. Cheke-1987-Legacy of dodo-Oryx [NB scanned image file – large]

[NB: the following 6 articles are only available through purchase of the book: Diamond, Anthony W. 1987. (ed.) Studies of Mascarene Island birds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 458pp.]

Diamond, Anthony W. & Cheke Anthony S. 1987. Introduction. Pp.1-4 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1987. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. Pp. 5-89 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1987. The ecology of the smaller land-birds of Mauritius. Pp.151-207 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1987. The ecology of the surviving native landbirds of Réunion. Pp.301-358 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1987. Observations on the surviving endemic birds of Rodrigues. Pp.364-402 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. & Jones, Carl G. 1987. Measurements and weights of the surviving endemic birds of the Mascarenes and their eggs. Pp.403-422 in Diamond (1987), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. & Diamond, Anthony W. 1986. Birds on Mohéli and Grande Comore (Comoro Islands) in February 1975. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 106: 138-148.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1985. Dodo. Pp.152 in Campbell, Bruce & Lack, Elizabeth (eds.). 1985. A dictionary of birds. Calton, Staffordshire, UK: T. & A.D. Poyser. 670pp.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1985. Conservation in Mauritius – the forest ecosystem.  A proposal for a long-term study of the ecological dynamics of the native forest. Unpublished report to World Wildlife Fund. 9pp. [photocopied].

Cheke, Anthony S. 1984. Lizards of the Seychelles. Pp.331-360 in  Stoddart, David R. ( ed.) 1984a. Biogeography and ecology of the Seychelles Islands. The Hague: W.Junk (Monographiae Biologicae vol.55). 691pp.

Cheke, Anthony S., Gardner, Tony, Jones, Carl G., Owadally, A.Wahab & Staub, France. 1984. Did the dodo do it ? Animal Kingdom 87(1): 4-6. [refutation of earlier article in same magazine by Stanley Temple promoting his theory that tambalacoque Sideroxylon grandiflorum tree seeds needed to pass through dodos’ guts to germinate]

*Cheke, Anthony S. & Lawley, Jonathan C. 1984 (‘1983’). Biological history of Agalega, with special reference to birds and other land vertebrates. Atoll Research Bulletin. 273: 65-107. Cheke&Lawley-1984 (‘1983’) Agalega.lo.res [this pdf from the ARB online file has poor rendition of the photos in this paper – please contact me for the hi-res scan, 21mb]

#Cheke, Anthony S. 1983. A note on the Album of a hundred birds by Kono Bairei, a nineteenth century Japanese artist, with new light on the ‘Avis indica’ of Collaert. Archives of. Natural History 11(2): 291-297.

*Cheke, Anthony S. 1983. The identity of Buffon’s Grand Traquet and other nomenclatural problems in eighteenth century descriptions of endemic Mascarene birds. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 103: 95-100. Cheke-1983-Buffon’s Grand Traquet [NB scanned image file – large]

#Cheke, Anthony S. 1983. Status and ecology of the Mauritius Fody Foudia rubra, an endangered species. National Geographical Society Research Reports 15: 43-56,

Cheke, Anthony S. 1982. Les noms créoles des oiseaux dans les îles francophones de l’Océan Indien. Paris: Institut International d’Ethnosciences (Collection l’Homme et son milieu). 64pp. [history and evolution of bird names in Indian Ocean creoles]

Cheke, Anthony S. 1982. A note on Phelsuma Gray 1825 of the Agalega Islands, Indian Ocean. Senckenbergiana Biologica 62: 1-3. [reclassifies P.agalegae as race of P.borbonica]

*Cheke, Anthony S. 1982. Phelsuma GRAY 1825 in the Seychelles and neighbouring islands: a re-appraisal of their taxonomy and description of two new forms (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 62: 181-198. [clarifies classification & distribution; describes P.abbotti sumptio from Assumption and proposes replacement name P.astriata semicarinata for Sundberg’s nomenclaturally dubious ‘P.a.carinatum’ [sic] of Praslin and adjacent islands] Cheke-1982-Seychelles Phelsuma [NB scanned image file – large]

Cheke, Anthony [S.]. 1981. What the book does not tell you about day geckos: some comments on Oostveen’s Phelsumas, on new species and on resent research. Herptile 6: 4-10.

*Cheke, Anthony S. & Dahl, Jeremy D. 1981. The status of bats on western Indian Ocean islands, with special reference to PteropusMammalia 45: 205-238. [distribution, ecology and behaviour, with first account of Pteropus livingstonii from Moheli (Comoros)] Cheke&Dahl-1981-IO bats [NB scanned image file – large, 9mb]

Cheke, Anthony S. 1980. Urgency and inertia in the conservation of endangered island species, illustrated by Rodrigues. Proceedings of the 4th. Pan-African Ornithological Congress: 355-359.

#Cheke, Anthony S. 1979. The Rodrigues Fody Foudia flavicans. A brief history of its decline, and a report on the 1978 expedition. Dodo 15: 12-19.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1979. The threat to the endemic birds of Rodrigues (Indian Ocean) from the possible introduction of Ship Rats Rattus rattus from vessels coming alongside the proposed new wharf at Port Mathurin.  Conservation Memorandum 5 arising out of the BOU Mascarene Islands Expedition. Oxford: [author]. 4pp. (photocopied).

*Cheke, A[nthony] S., Nanakorn, Weerachai & Yankoses, Chusee. 1979. Dormancy and dispersal of seeds of secondary forest species under the canopy of a primary tropical rain forest in northern Thailand. Biotropica 11(2): 88-95 Cheke-etal-1979-dormancy&dispersal

Cheke, Anthony S. 1978. A summary of A.S.Cheke’s recommendations for the conservation of Macsarene vertebrates. Conservation Memorandum 3 arising out of the British Ornithologists’ Union Mascarene Islands Expedition.  Oxford: [author], photocopied, 13pp. [published in French translation in Info-Nature Ile Réunion 16: 69-83, 1978]

Cheke, Anthony S. 1978. Habitat management for conservation in Rodrigues. Conservation Memorandum 4 arising out of the BOU Mascarene Islands Expedition. Oxford: [author] 10pp. (photocopied).

Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1978. An early example of bird marking. Ring 94/5: 197 [off southern Africa in February 1761 sailors fixed a collar with rude messages to a noddy Anous sp. before releasing it]

Peirce, Michael A. & Cheke, Anthony S. & Cheke, Robert A. 1977. A survey of blood parasites of birds in the Mascarene Islands, Indian Ocean, with descriptions of two new species and taxonomic discussion. Ibis 119: 451-461.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1976. Rapport sur la distribution et la conservation du Tuit-tuit, oiseau rarissime de la Réunion.  London: BOU (Mascarene Islands Expedition Conservation Memorandum 2, 16pp, cyclostyled), reprinted 1977 in Info-Nature, Ile Réunion 15: 21-42.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1975. An undescribed gecko from Agalega: Phelsuma agalegae sp.nov. Mauritius Institute Bulletin. 8: 33-48. Cheke-1975-Agalega-Phelsuma [NB scanned image file – large]

Cheke, Anthony S. 1975. Cyclone Gervaise – an eye-witness comments. Birds International 1: 13-14.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1975. [untitled letter to the editor about deer at the Plaine des Chicots]. Info-Nature, Ile Réunion 13: 128-129.

Cheke, Anthony S. 1975. Un lézard malgache introduit à la Réunion. Info-Nature, Ile Réunion. 12: 94-96. [Phelsuma lineata from Madagascar]

Cheke, Anthony S. 1974. Report on Rodrigues. London: BOU & Curepipe, Mauritius: Forestry Service. 24pp. (cyclostyled)

Cheke, Anthony S. 1974. Proposition pour introduire à la Réunion des oiseaux rares de Maurice. MS privately circulated, published 1975 in Info-Nature, Ile Réunion 12: 25-29.

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1973. Notes. 1. New locality for Tylotriton verrucosus.  2. The world’s smallest mammal.  3. Marbled cat in Chiang Mai.  4. Snakes at Chiang Mai University.  5.  Two lizard records for Chiang Mai Province.  6. A record of Vandeleuria oleracea, and a note on its food. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 24: 467-473. [1. a salamander with few records in Thailand. 2. Suncus etruscus in Chiang Mai. 3. Felis marmorata. 4. Remarks on snakes preserved in the university’s collection. 5. Agamids Acanthosaura lepidogaster & Calotes emma  in Chiang Dao.  6. Palm mouse young feed avidly on insects during post-weaning growth].

Cheke, Anthony [S.] 1972. Where no vultures fly. World of birds 2(1): 15-22 [on alarming declines of  many bird species in northern Thailand, due to poisoning & excessive pesticide use]

#Cheke, Anthony S. 1972. Movements and dispersal among House Sparrows Passer domesticus (L.) at Oxford, England. Pp.211-212 in S.C.Kendeigh & J.Pinowski (eds.) Productivity, population dynamics and systematics of granivorous birds. Proceedings of General Meeting of the working Group on Granivorous Birds, IBP, PT section, The Hague, Holland, September 608, 1970. [summary only, of seasonal and dispersive movements; full data never published, but deposited in Alexander Library, Zoology Department, Oxford University]

Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1969. Mechanism and consequences of hybridization in Sparrows Passer. Nature 222: 179-180. [cross-fostering eggs between House and Tree sparrows (P.domesticus, P.montanus) led to some of their offspring mating with the other species, producing hybrids; in addition the females produced normal young of their own species, showing that they had mated with males of both species; at this date extra-pair mating was generally (but wrongly) assumed not to occur in pair-bonded species]

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1968. Copulation in the Hammerkop Scopus umbretta. Ibis 110: 201-203.

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1967a. Some notes on birds in eastern Hokkaido: August 1964. Tori 18: 165-173.

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1967b.  Further notes on land birds over the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Ibis 109: 442-444. [migration observed in late September 1966]

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1966a. Notes on seabirds seen on a journey across the Indian Ocean. Ibis 108: 628-630.

#Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1966b. Sparrows in Corsica and Sardinia. Ibis 108: 630-631 [little or no genetic interchange detectable between the Italian Sparrows Passer (domesticus) italiae in Corsica and Spanish Sparrows P.hispaniolensis in Sardinia, despite the separation being only 11km].

Cheke, Anthony S. 1964. Notes on Calonectris leucomelas and other sea birds seen from S.S.Cathay between Taiwan and Yokohama, 20-22 August 1963. Misc. Rep. Yamashina Inst. Orn Zool. 4(2): 118-120.

Book Reviews [very incomplete listing at present]

Cheke, Anthony S. 2001c. [review of] Roth, T.L., Swanson, W.F. & Brattman, L.K. (eds.) Seventh World Conference on breeding endangered species. Ibis 143: 512-3.

Cheke, Anthony [S.] 1996. The ecological history of Mauritius and its contribution to the history of environmental conservation.  A review of Green Imperialism by Richard H.Grove. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Arts & Sciences of Mauritius  6: 213-218.

Short notes & popular writing

Cheke, Anthony [S.] 1980. Bird life in Japan. Japan Soc. Lond. Bull. 90: 2-4. [illustrated talk to the society]

Cheke, A[nthony] S.  & Ford , H[ugh] A. 1966. Unusual song of Willow Warbler. British Birds 59: 155. [anomalous Goldcrest-like song]

Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1965. Unusual foot deformity of Dunnock. British Birds 58: 23 [toes bent and united by web]

Cheke, A[nthony] S. 1965. Starling imitating Willow Warbler. British Birds  ????

Publications “in press” that never appeared

Ashcroft, Ruth [E]. & Cheke, Anthony [S]. in press.. Red-tailed Tropic-bird (Phaethon rubricauda) numbers on Round Island in 2003. Pp.??-?? in Bullock & North (2007), q.v.

Cheke, Anthony S. in press. Wind-blown sand and the accumulation of soil on Round Island. Pp. ??-?? in Bullock & North (in press), q.v.

[Bullock, David J.  & North, Steven G. (eds.) in press.  Report of the expedition to Round Island, Flat Island and Gabriel Island, Mauritius, June/July 2003. ??pp. [issued on CD only]]

Web-page last updated 20/4/2012