Macquarie Island and its future

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

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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
Authors/Creators:Mawson, Douglas
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
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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.

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