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Macquarie Island and its future

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Mawson, Douglas (1922) Macquarie Island and its future. Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. pp. 40-54.

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Abstract

Macquarie Island has recently assumed an importance in the public mind far beyond that suggested by its modest proportions. This distinction emanates from its wonderful population of quaint Subantarctic* life. From the days of its discovery in the year 1810, it has ever been remarked by visitors to its shores as a wonder island of marine bird and seal life. The hand of man has, alas! cast a shadow over its myriad inhabitants, and wrought irreparable havoc; but this devastation is not yet so complete as that of the more accessible islands to the south of New Zealand, where the destruction of the native fauna is much further advanced. In the consideration of its animal population, the island is quadruply unique in the Australasian seas. Firstly, for the abundance of the life; secondly, for the variety of species frequenting its shores, some, like the King penguin and the Sea-elephant, breeding nowhere else in Australasian waters; thirdly, for the fact that it is the only speck of land in the vast expanse of ocean to the south of Australasia and New Zealand between latitude 52 degrees south and the Antarctic Circle, and is consequently the only possible breeding place for such life in those seas; finally, for the fortunate circumstance that up to the present man has not completely wrecked nature's handiwork, though certain species of life formerly abundant are now extinct, and others so greatly reduced that they are in danger of complete extermination. In these days the nations of the world are taking council. Realising the economic and scientific value of perpetuating, as far as practically possible, the varied forms of life which, in association with man, populate mother earth, they are making more and more provisions to ensure the continuance of species. Includes map of the island and black and white photographs by F. J. Henderson, F. Hurley, R. L. Blake and H. Hamilton.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Page Range: pp. 40-54
Additional Information: In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania.
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 05:21
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:46
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15710
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