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Discussion of Pimm et al., 1994 (Bird Extinctions in the Central Pacific [and Discussion])


Bowman, DMJS, Discussion of Pimm et al., 1994 (Bird Extinctions in the Central Pacific [and Discussion]), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B. Biological Sciences, 344, (1307) pp. 33. ISSN 1471-2970 (1994) [Letter or Note in Journal]


There is no doubt that Polynesian and European cultures caused numerous extinctions throughout the Pacific. However, I suggest caution against the conclusion that all human colonists or islands necessarily cause substantial extinctions of vertebrates. The first humans colonized Australia at least 60000 years ago. Their impact on the vertebrate assemblages of the great island continent is unclear, with little direct proof that they caused the demise of the marsupial megafauna. What is clear is that the Australian Aborigines caused fewer extinctions of vertebrates than occurred in the mid-Miocene, or which followed the arrival of Europeans. I suggest that some cultures cause extinctions, rather than the general idea that humans necessarily are destructive of biodiversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Speciation and extinction
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:69146
Year Published:1994
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2011-04-19
Last Modified:2011-06-06

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