She was born in London, England in 1893 as Pérrine Millais. She was the granddaughter of Sir John Millais. She moved with her husband from Britain to New Zealand after the end of the First World War where they settled at Nelson. She was the first female President of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU), 1932–1933.
She is credited with being almost single-handedly responsible for setting aside land that would eventually be the Abel Tasman National Park. Pérrine was awarded the Loder Cup in 1953. In the 1975 Birthday Honours, she was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for "services to conservation as a naturalist and to the Abel Tasman National Park".
Books she authored include:
- Moncrieff, P. (1925). New Zealand Birds and How to Identify Them. Whitcombe & Tombs: Auckland. (Field-guide. 5 editions published to 1961).
- Moncrieff, P. (1965). People Came Later. Author: Nelson.
- Moncrieff, P. (1976). The Rise and Fall of David Riccio. Ambassador: Wellington.
- Robin, Libby. (2001). The Flight of the Emu: a hundred years of Australian ornithology 1901-2001. Carlton, Vic. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 0-522-84987-3
- Secker, H.L. (1980). "Obituary. Perrine Millais Moncrieff". Emu. 80: 171. doi:10.1071/mu9800171.
- Hodge, Robin. "Pérrine Moncrieff". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Young, David (2004). Our Islands, Our Selves. Dunedin: University of Otago Press. ISBN 1-877276-94-4.
- "No. 46595". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1975. p. 7406.
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