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 colonisation 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 colour illustrations.
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