Friday 14 February 2020.
With Prof. Terry O’Connor, York University
Our records of wildlife are rich and diverse for the last few decades, and notes from dedicated observers such as Gilbert White can take us back at least three centuries. What about the last few millennia? Can the archaeology of old bones help to put today’s wildlife into a longer-term context? The ancient record is patchy and must be used with care, but it can give us glimpses of vertebrate and invertebrate faunas reacting to rapid climate change, to human modification of the landscape, and to the new opportunities that those modifications presented. We see species disappearing from the record and new species joining it. Those glimpses can give a helpful perspective to contemporary debates over ‘native’ wildlife, introduced species, and conservation baselines.
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