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Environment and History

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Environment and History

European Farming, Australian Pests: Agricultural Settlement and Environmental Disruption in Australia, 1800-1920

Warwick Frost

Environment and History 4(1998): 129-143

Generally studies of European settlement in Australia have focused on exotic pests. Such an approach has tended to characterise Australian flora and fauna as weak and unable to cope with the environmental disruption resulting from the introduction of European farming. However, in this article, which considers the settlement of the high-rainfall forests of Eastern Australia, it is argued that the main pests were indigenous not exotic. In the crucial first few years the settlers encountered unexpected higher costs due to forest regrowth, insect plagues, crop-eating birds and marsupials and native predators.

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