Acclimatisation society

Acclimatisation society

Acclimatisation societies were societies created in order to enrich the fauna of a region with animals and plants from around the world. The first such society was "La Societé Zoologique d'Acclimatation" founded in Paris in 1854 by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Such societies spread quickly around the world, particularly to European colonies in the Americas and Australasia. In many instances they existed both as societies for the study of natural history as well as to improve the success rate of introduced species.

The appeal of acclimatisation societies in colonies, particularly New Zealand, [cite web
title=Acclimatisation Societies and their Activities
work=The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
author=A. H. McLintock
] was the belief that the local fauna was in some way deficient or impoverished; there was also an element of nostalgia in colonists who desired to see familiar species. [cite book
author=Wilson, Kerry-Jayne
title=The Flight of the Huia
publisher=Canterbury University Press:Christchurch
] Naturalisations also occurred in order to introduce commercially valuable species or game species.

In some instances the effects were disastrous, such as the effect of rabbits on the ecology of Australia where one eighth of all mammalian species in Australia are now extinct.

ee also

*Invasive species

External references

* [ "New Scientist" review of "They Dined on Eland: The Story of the Acclimatisation Societies" by Christopher Lever,(1993)]


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