Zoologist, writer, photographer and broadcaster, born in England in 1959. He worked for several international conservation organisations (the World Wide Fund for Nature, in England; the United Nations Environment Programme, in Kenya; and the World Conservation Union, in Switzerland) before going freelance in 1986.
Mark was engaged on a 16-month filming project, during 2008-9 about endangered species, co-presenting with Stephen Fry for BBC2, a six-part series, titled, LAST CHANCE TO SEE… IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DOUGLAS ADAMS. He was also contracted to write the TV tie-in book, for HarperCollins, published to coincide with the showing of the series, in Autumn 2009. A further programme, with Mark and Stephen accompanying White Rhinos back to their African homeland, was shown in 2010.
Mark has written more than 50 books on a variety of wildlife, conservation and travel subjects – including the best-selling LAST CHANCE TO SEE (with the late Douglas Adams) – a new Arrow paperback edition published in Autumn 2009; Wildlife In The News (with John Craven); the best-selling field guide to whales, dolphins and porpoises ever published; the award-winning SHARK WATCHER’S HANDBOOK; SHARK, published by BBC Books; and, most recently, NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM: ANIMAL RECORDS. His books have been published in more than 24 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has also written monthly columns in BBC Wildlife and Wanderlust magazines for many years, and writes regularly for a variety of other newspapers and magazines in the UK and abroad.
Mark is an acknowledged world authority on whales, dolphins and porpoises (he is Senior Consultant to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society) and on sharks. He also advises other international conservation bodies on a variety of conservation and development issues and is an active conservationist in a voluntary capacity.
He was a founding director of the wildlife travel companies Discover the World, Wild Oceans and Ocean Wanderers (which now forms part of Wildlife Worldwide), and still leads whale-watching trips to Baja California, in Mexico, every year.
He presented the weekly half-hour programme Nature on BBC Radio 4 for more than six years and currently presents occasional programmes and mini-series for BBC Radio. He also provided the daily Environment News bulletin for Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 1 and is a frequent contributor to many other radio and television programmes about wildlife and conservation. He lectures widely on his own travels and on a variety of wildlife and conservation subjects.
With an edited collection of more than 120,000 photographs taken in more than 100 countries around the world, Mark has been photographing wildlife and wild places for nearly twenty years. He spends more than half the year travelling around the world in search of wildlife and exploring wild places and is continually adding to his image collection. He is also Chairman of the Judging Panel of the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition – the largest competition of its kind in the world.