Koala: A Historical Biography
The koala is both an Australian icon and an animal that has attained flagship status around the world. Yet its history tells a different story. While the koala figured prominently in Aboriginal Dreaming and Creation stories, its presence was not recorded in Australia until 15 years after white settlement. Then it would figure as a scientific oddity, despatched to museums in Britain and Europe, a native animal driven increasingly from its habitat by tree felling and human settlement, and a subject of relentless hunting by trappers for its valuable fur. It was not until the late 1920s that slowly emerging protective legislation and the enterprise of private protectors came to its aid. This book surveys the koalas fascinating history, its evolutionary survival in Australia for over 30 million years, its strikingly adaptive physiognomy, its private life, and the strong cultural impact it has had through its rich fertilisation of Australian literature. The work also focuses on the complex problems of Australias national wildlife and conservation policies and the challenges surrounding the environmental, economic and social questions concerning koala management. Koala embraces the story of this famous marsupial in an engaging historical narrative, extensively illustrated from widely sourced pictorial material.
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1 The land that waited
2 Science and art
3 Putting the animals on the map
4 The upsidedown world
5 The indigenous people
6 Field and metropolis
7 Fire fur and guns
8 The literary koala
9 Colin MacKenzie and the amazingkoala shoulder
Aborigines anatomy animal’s appeared Australian Koala Foundation became birds botanical breeding Britain Brown Bunyip Bunyip Bluegum bush bushfires caecum century climb Colin MacKenzie collection colony colour continent creatures Cuvier’s Darwin drawings early echidna eucalyptus evolutionary extinction female koala Ferdinand Bauer fire Fleay Flinders forest fossil George Bennett Gould Governor gum trees habitat hunt Hunter Island kangaroo koala conservation koala habitat koala populations land Library of Australia Lindsay’s living MacKenzie’s Magic Pudding mammals marsupials Melbourne monotremes muscle National Library National Parks native animals native bear native fauna natural history naturalist Norman Lindsay observed Owen’s Phascolarctos cinereus plants Plate platypus Port pouch protection published Puddin Queensland Reproduced courtesy Richard Owen River Riversleigh Sanctuary scientific settlement settlers skins Sloth Society of London South Australia South Wales species specimens Sydney Taronga Taronga Zoo teeth tion tralia translocation unique Victoria watercolours wombat wrote young zoological zoologists