Australian Immigration And Its Effects Essay Research

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Australian Immigration And Its Effects Essay, Research Paper Australian Immigration and Its Effects Australia is an island continent which is geographically isolated from the rest of the world. This has resulted in the evolution of many unique plants and animals and the development of a very fragile ecosystem. This ecosystem has been influenced by human immigration for many thousands of years. The original immigrants were the Aborigines who are thought to have migrated to Australia from Asia between 50 and 100 thousand years ago. These primitive people learned to live in the inhospitable environment of Australia with very little effect. Their major environmental impact was from the use of controlled burning of the land. Over the years they had learned the benefit of periodic

fires to control pests and to clear debris before it accumulated and led to large uncontrolled disastrous fires. This also returned nutrients to the soil which helped to grow back new vegetation. Unlike those who followed, the Aborigines had very little impact on the environment. Following the Aborigines, Asian seafarers are believed to have traveled to Australia to trade on the north shores. Experts are not sure, but they believe that these seafarers are the ones who first introduced the dingo into Australia almost 3,500 years ago. The dingo rapidly became the top predator and is probably the cause of the disappearance of the Tasmanian wolf and the Tasmanian devil from Australia. They will hunt down almost anything but they are not known to attack humans. They will attack

kangaroos, wombats, rabbits, and even lizards. After the settlers arrived and the sheep were brought in, the dingo started to hunt the sheep. The sheep were much easier for them to get. As a result of this the sheep grazers built a 3,307 mile long fence to separate the sheep from the dingo. A $20 US bounty is now placed on the pelt of each dingo. European immigrants did not come to Australia until after April 29, 1770 when captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay and made the first claim for England on the eastern part of the island. He called it New South Wales. In 1787, England started their first colony in Australia which was a penal colony since England’s prisons were very overcrowded. That year, on May 13, eleven ships carrying almost 1,500 people, 800 of them convicts,

left England for the new colony. The ships first landed in Botany Bay on January 18, 1788 but found it unsuitable for a colony. They then moved north to Port Jackson, one of the world’s best natural harbors. The settlement was started on January 26 which is now celebrated every year as Australia day. The settlement was later named Sydney after Britain’s secretary, Lord Sydney. Lord Sydney was responsible for the entire colony. The first European immigrants brought with them their livestock, plants, and traditional ways. Much of this was not suitable for Australian conditions. They also brought with them cultural beliefs including the Christian belief that man was superior to the rest of creation and had the God given right to exploit nature. The Europeans believed that the

Aborigines were inferior and refused to use the knowledge that they had acquired about the environment. They began a campaign of genocide with bullets, diseases, and even poison. With few Aborigine survivors the practice of periodic burning came to an end. This led to many of the plants and animals which had become dependent on this regular burning to die off. Sheep ranching quickly became a major agricultural practice in Australia. By 1860 over 20,000,000 sheep were grazing and by 1890 there were over 100,000,000 spread over the entire continent. Sheep graze in large herds and their hooves destroy the fragile soil by trampling it down so hard that roots and water can not easily get through it. Over grazing quickly led to soil erosion turning pastures into dust bowls. This also