Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific: An Environmental by Donald S. Garden

By Donald S. Garden

Of curiosity to scholars and teachers alike, this ebook presents a much-needed synthesis of the new literature at the environmental background of Australia and Oceania. Charting the production of the Australian continent from the traditional land mass of Gondwanaland to the arriving of people, this booklet maps out the main developments within the region's environmental history.

Especially attention-grabbing are the chapters highlighting how successive waves of human migration created environmental havoc through the quarter, resulting in the cave in of the Easter Island civilization and the unfold of nonindigenous wildlife. From the controversies over the explanations why creatures similar to the marsupial lion and the large kangaroo turned extinct to such modern difficulties as deforestation and worldwide warming, this ebook comprises sobering classes for us all.

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These food resources enabled the establishment of new forms of subsistence on the diversity of islands. On larger islands, the immigrants frequently adopted a swidden agriculture, or shifting cultivation, supplemented particularly in the early period of settlement by the hunting of local avian and aquatic species. On smaller islands, notably coral atolls, fewer introduced species could be supported and considerable agricultural ingenuity was required to create suitable growing conditions. The people tended to live in settled villages, and there is evidence of continuing trade between the islands across the region.

There are numerous examples of early European travelers commenting that the open country so resembled a gentleman’s park, they soon expected to come upon a suitably grand residence (Frost 1975; Ryan, Ryan, and Starr 1997). Through their landscape modification and control, Aborigines unconsciously sowed the seeds of their own downfall, assisting the creation of grazing land that was ideal for colonists’ sheep. It is estimated that at the time of European arrival, about 10 percent of the continent was covered by forests and 23 percent by more open woodlands (Beale and Fray 1990, p.

1997. ” New Phytologist, 140. Breckwoldt, Roland. 1988. A Very Elegant Animal: The Dingo. Angus and Robertson. Broome, Richard 1994. Aboriginal Australians. Allen and Unwin. Choquenot, D. and D. M. J. S. Bowman. 1998. ” Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters, vol. 7. Coutts, P. J. , et al. 1977. ” Records of the Victorian Archaeological Survey, vol. 4, August. Diamond, Jared. 2001. ” Nature, 14 June. Dodson, John (ed). 1992. The Naïve Lands: Prehistory and Environmental Change in Australia and the Southwest Pacific.

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