Title

Would the Australian megafauna have become extinct if humans had never colonised the continent? Comments on 'A review of the evidence for a human role in the extinction of Australian megafauna and an alternative explanation' by S.Wroe and J.Field

RIS ID

22236

Publication Details

Brook, B. W., Bowman, D. M J S., Burney, D. A., Flannery, T. F., Gagan, M., Gillespie, R., Johnson, C. N., Kershaw, P., Magee, J., Martin, P., Miller, G. H., Peiser, B. & Roberts, R. (2007). Would the Australian megafauna have become extinct if humans had never colonised the continent? Comments on ''A review of the evidence for a human role in the extinction of Australian megafauna and an alternative explanation'' by S.Wroe and J.Field. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26 (3-4), 560-564.

Abstract

The problem of the worldwide extinction of a diverse assemblage of Late Pleistocene and Holocene large-bodied animals continues to cause debate (Brook and Bowman, 2002; Barnosky et al., 2004; Burney and Flannery, 2005; Koch and Barnosky, 2006). The most recent contribution on the Australian megafaunal extinction (Wroe and Field, 2006), argues for a staggered series of extinctions over multiple glacial cycles, with most megafaunal extinctions predating the arrival of humans and driven primarily by climate change eventually causing a ‘hydrological threshold’ to be breached. At this point, accessible water became too scarce for megafauna to forage successfully. Although Wroe and Field (2006) highlight a range of ideas under consideration, they provide a selective interpretation which does not come to terms with biology and ignores or misinterprets current evidence.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.10.008