Feral Future: The Untold Story of Australia's Exotic Invaders

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University of Chicago Press, 2002 - Science - 394 pages
A decade ago, Tim Low journeyed to the remote northernmost tip of Australia. Instead of the pristine rain forests he expected, he found jungles infested with Latin American carpet grass and feral cattle. That incident helped inspire Feral Future, a passionate account of the history and implications of invasive species in that island nation, with consequences for ecological communities around the globe.

Australia is far from alone in facing horrific ecological and economic damage from invading plants and animals, and in Low's capable hands, Australia's experiences serve as a wake-up call for all of us. He covers how invasive species like cane toads and pond apple got to Australia (often through misguided but intentional introductions) and what we can do to stop them. He also covers the many pests that Australia has exported to the world, including the paperbark tree (Melaleuca) that infests hundreds of thousands of acres in south Florida.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lavonardo - LibraryThing

A thorough analysis of Australia's problems with invasive species. The message is clear, as are the descriptions of "acclimatization history". The book has quite a bit of repetition, and would have ... Read full review

Feral Future

User Review  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

Tim Low is the author of Bush Tucker and Wild Food Plants of Australia (both HarperCollins). In Feral Future he talks of the exotic species - plant, animal, virus, marine organism, bird, reptile ... Read full review

Contents

SETTING THE STAGE
1
CARELESS AMBITIONS
39
INVASION BY STEALTH
93
Ballast Blues Something in the Water
108
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Phytophthoras Curse
116
The Sick and Dying Exotic Diseases Strike
122
The Price of Free Trade Opening the Door to Invasions
129
AUSTRALIANS AS PESTS
137
The Ultimate Pest Our Destructive Ways
200
WHERE ARE WE HEADED?
205
Expanding and Infilling Pests Old and New Tighten Their Grip
207
Sleepers Wake The Pests that Bide Their Time
215
Knocking at the Door The Next Wave of Invaders
222
Whither the Wet Tropics? A Hot Wet Case Study
229
The Homogocene Visiting the Future
237
The New Architects Redesigning the Land
245

A Source of Perverse Pride Australianising the World
139
Colonial Revenge British Wallabies and Budgerigars
144
Ecologically Entwined Australians in New Zealand
150
Colouring the Landscape Our Animals Abroad
157
Inheriting a Degraded World Exporting Our Flora
165
Its Civil War Natives can be Pests Too
172
A ROGUES GALLERY
177
The Shuffled Pack An Alien Whos Who
179
Seizing the Advantage Exotic Roads to Success
184
Scoundrels or Scapegoats?
190
Where the Deer and the Antelope Roam Hoofed Introductions
195
Cryptogenic World Native or Not?
250
It Happens Naturally Invasion as Natural Process
261
THINKING AND ACTING
267
Seeking Magic Bullets Biocontrol Often Misses the Mark
269
The Quarantine Quandary AQIS Wields a Small Sword
279
Are We Blind? Barriers to Enlightenment
290
Appendices
318
Glossary
332
Bibliography
349
Index
376
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Tim Low is a biologist, writer, and wildlife photographer. He is the author of the bestselling Bush Tucker and Bush Medicine, as well as a regular columnist for Australia's leading nature magazine, Nature Australia.

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