The Late Glacial and Holocene avifauna of the island of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean

Lewis, C.A. (2008) The Late Glacial and Holocene avifauna of the island of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 63 (2). pp. 128-144. ISSN 0035-919X




Bird bones from unconsolidated sediments provide a record of the changing avifauna of St Helena from the Late Glacial, at ~ 14000BP, until the present. Changes in avifauna apparently reflect climatic and associated ecological conditions, as well as the effects of human occupation since the island was discovered in 1502. Introduced mammals decimated birds in the seventeenth century and seven endemic species are now extinct, while seven other species are locally extinct. At least nine species that now breed on St Helena have been introduced anthropogenically to the island since it was discovered. The failure to find evidence of native songbirds in the former woodlands of the interior of the island deserves explanation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:St Helena; Saint Helena; islands; South Atlantic Ocean; ornithology; avifauna; seabirds; extinction; endemic species; Late Glacial; Holocene; environment; ecology; climatic conditions; human occupation; mammals
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
ID Code:1130
Deposited On:30 Sep 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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