The Mouse-Free Marion Project is pleased to announce its first Patron. He is Peter Harrison MBE, author and illustrator of seabird identification guides.

Peter Harrison

Peter has devoted his life to observing, photographing, painting and writing about the seabirds of the world. His first book, the critically acclaimed Seabirds: An Identification Guide, published in 1983 and illustrated by himself, was both a handbook and a field guide, long considered to be the bible of seabird identification. It has now been superseded by his latest work, Seabirds: The New Identification Guide, published in 2021. Comprising 600 pages with 239 completely new full-colour plates, this book contains more than 3800 illustrations plus full-supporting text, maps, and identification keys that describe and discuss the world’s 435 species of seabirds.

Mouse-free Marion - pic Sean Evans

In recognition of his work in natural history and his global conservation efforts, Peter was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Honours list in 1994. He was also awarded the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ Conservation Gold Medal in 2012.

British born, but now largely domiciled on the USA’s west coast, Peter accompanied BirdLife South Africa’s Flock to Marion 2022 voyage on the MSC Orchestra in January 2022, acting as one of the guides identifying the seabirds seen from the vessel for the 1500 bird watchers aboard and as a highly appreciated lecturer. He has stated that the many albatrosses seen from the vessel on arrival at the island made for one of his best seabird-watching days ever. As a co-founder of the global travel company, Apex Expeditions, Peter continues to lead expeditions throughout the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, sharing his passion for seabirds and advocating for seabird conservation.

Peter writes: “I had the privilege of visiting Marion and Prince Edward Island in 1983 as a guest of the South African National Antarctic Programme and the University of Cape Town’s FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. Now, nearly four decades later, as the project’s first Patron, I am pleased to offer my support toward the Mouse-Free Marion Project that will help conserve the albatrosses and petrels of Marion Island which desperately need our protection and stewardship.”

The Mouse-Free Marion Project welcomes its first Patron and looks forward to working closely with Peter as it prepares to eradicate House Mice on the largest island ever attempted in a single operation.

Read more about Peter Harrison at