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Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific

An Environmental History

Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific by Donald S. Garden
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A fascinating study of the environmental history of Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the Pacific, from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day. Why do kangaroos hop? Or koala bears nap so often? From how animals cope with the extremes of the Australian outback to the tragic impact of early human settlement on Easter Island, this volume provides a scholarly yet accessible survey of the environmental history of one quarter of the world's surface. Of interest to students and academics alike, this book provides a much-needed synthesis of the recent literature on the environmental history of Australia and Oceania.

Starting with the ancient land mass of Gondwanaland, charting the creation of the Australian continent and the arrival of humans, this book maps out the key trends in the region's environmental history. Especially fascinating are the chapters highlighting how successive waves of human migration created environmental havoc throughout the region, leading to the coliapse of the Easter Island civilization and the spread of nonindigenous flora and fauna. From the controversies over the reasons why creatures such as the marsupial lion and the giant kangaroo became extinct to such contemporary problems as deforestation and global warming, this book contains sobering lessons for us all.

ABC-CLIO; July 2005
416 pages; ISBN 9781576078693
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Title: Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific
Author: Donald S. Garden