Lost Land of the Dodo: The Ecological History of Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues

Anthony Cheke (Author) Julian P. Hume (Author)


A fascinating new perspective on the extinction of the ill-fated dodo and many other native species on the Mascarene Islands

Uninhabited by humans, the Mascarene Islands of the Indian Ocean were once home to an extraordinary range of birds and reptiles: giant tortoises, parrots, skinks, geckos, burrowing boas, flightless rails and herons, and, most famously, dodos. But the discovery of the three isolated islands in the 1500s, and their colonization in the 1600s, led to dramatic ecological changes. The dodo became extinct on its home island of Mauritius within several decades, and over the next 150 years most native vertebrates suffered the same fate. This fascinating book provides the first full ecological history of the Mascarene Islands as well as the specific story of each extinct vertebrate, accompanied by Julian Hume's superb color illustrations.

Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
September 01, 2008
7.6 X 1.4 X 9.9 inches | 3.4 pounds
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About the Author

Anthony Cheke, an expert in the chronology and interactions of introduced animals and plants with the extinction process of native species, led the British Ornithological Union expedition to the Mascarene Islands in 1973 and has returned many times since. He lives in Oxford, England. Julian Hume, renowned for artistic re-creations of extinct species in their natural habitats, has published extensively on the paleontology of the Mascarene Islands. He is a research fellow at the University of Portsmouth and the Natural History Museum in London. He lives in Portsmouth, England.