Would the Australian megafauna have become extinct if humans had never colonised the continent?

Barry William Brook, David, M.J.S. Bowman, David A. Burney, Timothy Flannery, Michael Gagan, Richard Gillespie, Christopher Johnson, Peter Kershaw, John Magee, Paul S Martin, Gifford Hubbs Miller, Benny Peiser, Richard Roberts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A critical comment 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 is presented. The authors have highlighted a range of ideas under consideration, and provided a selective interpretation which does not come to terms with biology and ignores or misinterprets current evidence. They rely heavily on the ages reported by Roberts et al. (2001) to argue for a gradual attenuation of the megafauna. They propose a staggered series of extinctions throughout the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with many taxa lost during the Penultimate Glacial Maximum (PGM) 140 130 ka, and relatively few species persisting. They ignore measurement uncertainties associated with the ages, which, when properly considered, means that 20, rather than eight of the species they list have last appearance ages consistent with ?45 ka.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)560-4
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume26
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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