Lost Land of the Dodo: An Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion & Rodrigues

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T & AD Poyser, 2008 - Biogeography - 464 pages
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The Mascarene islands - Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues - were once home to an extraordinary range of birds and reptiles. Evolving in the absence of mammalian predators or competitors, amazing forms such as giant tortoises, burrowing boas, flightless owls and herons, giant parrots, and, of course, the Dodo, dominated the land. Colonisation by European settlers led to dramatic changes in the ecology of the islands; the birds and tortoises were slaughtered indiscriminately while introduced pigs and monkeys destroyed their eggs, and the once-extensive forests were logged. A now-familiar emblem of extinction, the Dodo was gone within 60 years of the colonisation of its home, Mauritius, and over the next 150 years most of the Mascarene's other native vertebrates followed suit.
The product of a lifetime of research by Anthony Cheke, Lost Land of the Dodo provides a comprehensive yet hugely enjoyable account of the story of the islands' ecology. The book is richly illustrated with maps and contemporary illustrations of the animals and plants, many of which have not been reproduced for hundreds of years. Illustrated box texts look in detail at each extinct vertebrate species, while Julian Hume's superb colour plates bring many of the extinct birds to life. Lost Land of the Dodo provides the definitive account of this tragic yet remarkable fauna, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of our relationship with the world around us.

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

A thorough ecological study of the Mascarene islands: Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues. Cheke and Hume explore the islands century-by-century, discussing the various animal and plant species and the ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

For many years, Anthony Cheke was involved in the conservation of the avifauna of many of the islands and atolls of the Indian Ocean, and he has written extensively on these birds.
Julian Hume is an author and artist who specialises in producing accurate renditions of recently extinct species.

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