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Saturday, May 23, 2009

How Biodiversity in Australia Was Affected by European Settlement


European settlement had affected adversely the biodiversity in Australia. This is because the event introduced foreign animals and human technology that had caused a disturbance in the previously existing eco-system's symbiotic relationship with its biota.


But first, what is biodiversity? How could settlement affect this?
Biodiversity is defined as the harmonious existence of various living things: flora and fauna, with their diverse environment and ecosystem.


Australia has been famous all over the world for its unique and awesome biodiversity, ranging from the numbat, scientific name, Myermecobius fasciatus, a carnivore (only found in Australia), to the still undiscovered lurking microscopic entity which maybe found in Australia's murky swamps.


The existence of pure nature which has been unaltered and undisturbed had made the propagation of the uncommon, wild plants and animals undeterred.


With the coming of European settlers however, this balance was disturbed. This is because the settlers brought with them the trimmings of technology and development which introduced a new disturbing factor to the ecosystem and the biota that lived in it.


According to Biodiversity Hot Spots, "A major threat for the native fauna has been the introduction of invasive alien species like foxes and cats."


The organic fertilizers and the agricultural products utilized by the settlers had gradually affected the environment.


The greenhouse effect, the sudden changes in climate and the clearing also of large areas of the country to accommodate houses for the settlers, had driven away the natural animal inhabitants and prevented the further propagation of some fauna and the extinction of rare species of animals.


It is the responsibility, not only of Australia but all countries to preserve and maintain this wonderful biodiversity in the country.


Knowledgeable people recognize the fact that sustaining and conserving this biodiversity would ensure that the balance of the eco system is maintained and consequently the continued existence of different species.


Isolating and allowing only one species to live (even if it is the human species) would eventually be detrimental to the ecosystem balance and would lead to extinction of the human species.


There is no solution however, to the growing population of the world but to clear and occupy these lands; however, proper stewardship of the biota around the settlement should be well preserved to, at least, minimize the negative effects it would have on the existing biodiversity.


For settlers and would be settlers, being the foremost country with a unique biodiversity, Australia should be treated as a settlement area with this special, significant consideration in mind.



All photos courtesy of Photoeverywhere.co.uk

This article has been published at Helium.com