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Tony Soper

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Tony Soper (born 10 January 1929) is a British naturalist, author and broadcaster.

Life and career

Soper was educated at Hyde Park Elementary School and at Devonport High School for Boys, both in Plymouth. He joined the BBC at 17 as a "youth-in-training", subsequently graduating by way of studio manager to features producer in radio, then moved into television. Among the radio programmes he produced were Birds In Britain.

Soper co-founded the BBC's Natural History Unit as its first film producer, with Patrick Beech the then South West Controller. Cutting his teeth on the LOOK series he organised far-flung wildlife filming projects. He presented live television programmes, including Birdwatch, Birdspot, Discovering Birds, Discovering Animals, Beside the Sea, Wildtrack and Nature. Soper also co-presented Animal Magic with Johnny Morris for a few years in the 1960s. For many years he also had a regular column in the RSPB members' magazine.

As Expedition Leader and a pioneer of wildlife cruising, he spent twenty years between 1992 and 2012 exploring both polar regions. He holds a British Yachtmaster's certificate and is a qualified compressed air, oxygen, hard hat diver.

Soper's wife Hilary is a wildlife painter, and they have two sons.


He is a recipient of the British Naturalists' Association Peter Scott Memorial Award.[1]


A single 23-minute episode of Wildtrack is available as a bonus feature on the DVD and Blu-ray release of David Attenborough's 1979 series Life on Earth.



  • The Bird Table Book (1965, several editions to 2006)
  • The Shell Guide to Beachcombing (1972)
  • Wildlife Begins at Home (1975)
  • Everyday Birds (1976)
  • Wildlife of The Dart Estuary (1982)
  • Discovering Birds (1983)
  • Penguins [with John Sparks] (1987)
  • A Passion For Birds (1988)
  • Owls [with John Sparks] (1995)
  • Wildlife of the North Atlantic (2008)
  • The Arctic: A Guide to Coastal Wildlife (2012)
  • The Northwest Passage (2012)
  • Antarctica: A Guide to the Wildlife (2013)[2]


  1. ^ "The Peter Scott Memorial Award" (PDF). British Naturalists' Association. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  2. ^ Chalfont St Peter: Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 9781841624839

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Tony Soper
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