A proposed new term ethnophoresy defines a Late Quaternary biological process that occurs when organisms are able to breach geographical barriers and disperse to new areas by hitching a ride in human vessels or cargo. In this paper a combination of literature analysis, historical research and original fieldwork is used to review the impact of ethnophoresy / anthropogenic animal translocation from ancient times to the present on the vertebrate zoogeography of Wallacea, New Guinea and the Northern Melanesian Islands, referred to collectively as the Circum New Guinea Archipelago. The focus of the paper is on translocated wild rather than domesticated vertebrates. The processes through which these species have been either unwittingly, accidentally or deliberately translocated to new areas are reviewed. Three principal categories of introduced wild species are recognised. These include stowaways, ethnotramps and incidentals. Ethnotramps include economically and culturally favoured animals such as Rusa Deer Cervus timorensis, Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, and various civets, cuscuses, wallabies, cassowaries and wild-caught cage birds that are commonly carried around with humans. Stowaways tend to be smaller species such as shrews, rats or herpetofauna that conceal themselves or their eggs in vessels and cargo. While the Oriental region (or broader Indo-Malayan zoogeographic region) appears to have furnished parts of the Circum New Guinea Archipelago with around 58 introduced wild terrestrial vertebrates, translocation from the latter region has had negligible impact on the zoogeography of the former. Some Wallacean islands and New Guinea, however, have been a significant source of species introduced within the Circum New Guinea Archipelago. While vertebrate translocation appears to be largely a Holocene phenomenon, several New Guinea marsupials appear to have been exported to surrounding islands in the Late Pleistocene, with the earliest suspected translocation being that of the Northern Common Cuscus Phalanger orientalis to New Ireland between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. It is postulated that some ancient human influences may be under-recognised due to the ambiguity of the evidence. An appendix presents some contemporary and suggested new terms in ethnozoology and biogeography.
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Research-Article| March 17 2014
Animal translocation:long-term human influences on the vertebrate zoogeography of Australasia (natural dispersal versus ethnophoresy)
Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, ACT 0200
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Australian Zoologist (2003) 32 (3): 351–376.
Tom Heinsohn; Animal translocation:long-term human influences on the vertebrate zoogeography of Australasia (natural dispersal versus ethnophoresy). Australian Zoologist 1 October 2003; 32 (3): 351–376. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2002.014
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