Pinau Merlin is a naturalist and author of several books and numerous articles about the natural history of the Sonoran Desert region. Her works include The Field Guide
to Desert Holes, A Guide to Southern Arizona Bird Nests
and Eggs, Hummingbirds of the West and Raptors and
Soaring Birds of the West. She is a contributing author to
The Natural History of the Sonoran Desert.
She is also the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the
University of Arizona Jaguar Survey and Monitorng Project.
Pinau presents programs about the natural history, ecology and
conservation of jaguars and ocelots in the southwest, as well
as providing interviews for the media about these cats and the
U of A/USFWS project.
In addition to writing, Pinau speaks throughout the U.S.
sharing her passion, gentle humor and fascination for the
natural world. Her programs help others re-connect to nature
by teaching about ecology, wildlife, birds, plants, tracking, and
outdoor awareness skills. She has presented natural history
programs for Smithsonian, National Wildlife Federation,
American Birding Association, Denver Museum of Nature
and Science, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Phoenix
Desert Botanical Gardens, Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Game and Fish Dept., the Audubon Society and Omaha’s
Henry Doorly Zoo, among many others. Pinau was also the natural history expert for Smithsonian’s “CultureFest!” held in Phoenix.
Pinau also consults with film crews on nature documentaries.
Pinau Merlin has taught natural history at the University of Arizona and she has also designed natural history centers, interpretive exhibits, nature trails and wildlife habitats for a variety of resorts (Westward Look, Tanque Verde Ranch, Miraval) and organizations. Pinau also leads natural history “ed-venture” trips and expeditions in the Southwest, Mexico and Central America Pinau's insights and observations about the natural history of the Sonoran Desert have been featured on PBS’ Arizona Illustrated, on National Public Radio and in Smithsonian and National Wildlife magazines, among others.
Pinau has lived in the desert southwest for 40 years and in wilderness areas for
14 years, studying the wildlife and natural history of this unique area. Her many
encounters with wildlife include walking up on a sleeping mountain lion, sharing
her home with ringtails, skunks and canyon wrens and receiving a proposal of
marriage from a roadrunner.