Thomas Blakiston

Thomas Wright Blakiston, naturalist, magnetic observer and explorer (b at Lymington, Hampshire, Eng 27 Dec 1832; d at San Diego, Calif 15 Oct 1891). In 1857 Blakiston joined the expedition led by John PALLISER.

Blakiston, Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright Blakiston, naturalist, magnetic observer and explorer (b at Lymington, Hampshire, Eng 27 Dec 1832; d at San Diego, Calif 15 Oct 1891). In 1857 Blakiston joined the expedition led by John PALLISER. Assisted by botanist Eugene Bourgeau, Blakiston made hourly measurements of the Earth's magnetic force at Fort Carlton on the North Saskatchewan River during the winter of 1857-58. He published observations of 100 bird species collected and 29 others observed near Carlton. Together with Dr John Richardson's observations in the 1820s, knowledge of presettlement bird life at Carlton is thereby unsurpassed.

In 1858 Blakiston explored passes through the Rocky Mountains near the 49th parallel, naming the Waterton Lakes (after a celebrated naturalist) and mapping Kootenai Pass. Blakiston Brook and Mount Blakiston, the highest peak in Waterton Lakes National Park, bear his name. After exploring the upper reaches of the Yangtze-Kiang River in China, he settled in Japan in 1862, where he collected birds and first recognized the Tsugaru Straits as an important boundary in animal distribution - Blakiston's Line.