Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Our answer, to the question: Is the natural history of Sydney so camouflaged that it will not survive? is “yes”. Harry Recher, an active participant in the plenary session, took the view that as the ecosystems around us decline, there will be even less native fauna in the city. There exists a strong case for knowing what is native, and not just pushing on with restoration, or setting aside green spaces without knowing what is there, and what will occupy the new habitats. That case is the subject of this paper. Knowing the natural history of Sydney is one element of living in a civilised society, which includes caring about the past, knowing your local plants and animals, and managing for future generations. All the papers in this book are linked thematically around the idea that Sydney has its own rich natural history that is worthy of sustained study and conservation. We comment on the way that historians have looked at Sydney, and where native animals have fitted into the history of Australia, and Sydney in particular. In our view, that subject is only now taking hold, but it will be one that will yield many new insights, and in turn it will merge with ecological thinking and contribute to the new disciple of ecological history. Paul Adam, in his paper, shows the merit of reference back to Britain for our understanding of how and why the colony took the course it did with respect to natural history. He is dismayed that natural history no longer has any prominence, yet it is the foundation stone upon which so many of the specialist disciplines rest. More importantly, it is a guiding light for any major conservation effort. We present one glimpse of the natural history of Sydney, invite others to enjoy its diversity, to support its conservation, and then integrate those views into your city life.

Archer, M. and Beale, B. 2004 Going Native. Hodder Headline, Australia.
Beehler, B. M. 2010. The forgotten science: a role for natural history in the twenty-first century? Journal of Field Ornithology 81(1):1-4.
Benson, D. and Howell, H. 1995 Taken for granted: the bushland of Sydney and its suburbs. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW, Australia.
Bryan, D., McGuirk, P., O'Neill, P. and Stilwell, F. 2006. Understanding Sydney as a Global City. Pp 1-11 in City economy section of The state of Australian Cities, State of Australian Cities Conference 2005 - Refereed Proceedings, edited by P. Troy. Available at, last accessed 5 March 2010.
Clendinnen, I. 2003 Dancing with strangers. Text Publishing, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Clyne, D. 1999 Wildlife in the suburbs. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Currey, J. E. B. (ed.). 1966 Reflections on the colony of New South Wales. George Caley. Landsdowne Press, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Dickman, C., Lunney, D. and Burgin, S. (eds). 2007 Animals of arid Australia: out on their own? Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Engwicht 1992 Towards an eco-city: calming the traffic. Envirobook, Sydney, NSW Australia.
Flannery, T. (ed.). 1999 The birth of Sydney. Text Publishing, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Fitter, R. S. R. 1990 London's natural history. Bloomsbury Books, London. (This is a facsimile edition of the 1945 edition with a new preface by the author, written in 1984).
Forman, R. T. T. 2008 Urban regions: ecology and planning beyond the city. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Glynn, S. 1974. Approaches to urban history: the case for caution. Pp 120-127 in Urbanization in Australia: the nineteenth century, edited by C. B. Schedvin and J. W. McCarthy. Sydney University Press, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. (Note: this is a 1974 edition of what had been published in 1970 in Australian Economic History Review).
Goodall, H. 1996 Invasion to embassy: land in Aboriginal politics in New South Wales, 1770-1972. Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, Australia. Republished by Sydney University Press in 2006.
Grove, A. T. and Rackham, O. 2001 The nature of Mediterranean Europe: an ecological history. Yale University Press.
Herman, S. 2002. Wildlife biology and natural history: time for reunion. Journal of Wildlife Management 66(4): 933-946.
Howell, J. and Benson, D. 2000 Sydney's bushland: more than meets the eye. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Hutchings, P., Lunney, D. and Dickman, C. (eds). 2004 Threatened Species Legislation: is it just an Act? Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Karskens, G. 2009 The colony: a history of early Sydney. Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, Australia.
Keneally, T. 1999. Foreword. Pp vii-ix in Sydney: a biography of a city. L. Turnbull, Random House, Milsons Point, NSW, Australia.
Lunney, D. (ed.). 1991 Conservation of Australia's forest fauna. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia. (Second edition 2004).
Lunney, D. 2001. Causes of the extinction of native mammals of the Western Division of New South Wales: an ecological interpretation of the nineteenth century historical record. The Rangeland Journal 23: 44-70.
Lunney, D. 2010. Cities, nature, justice: a zoologist's perspective. Transforming Cultures eJournal, 5 (1): 26-51.
Lunney, D. and Barker, J. 1986. Mammals of the coastal forests near Bega, New South Wales. I. Survey. Australian Zoologist 23: 19-28.
Lunney, D. and Barker, J. 1987. Mammals of the coastal forests near Bega, New South Wales. II. Annotated checklist. Australian Zoologist 23: 41-49.
Lunney, D. and Moon, C. 1988. An ecological view of the history of logging and fire in Mumbulla State Forest on the south coast of New South Wales. Pp 23-61 in Australia's Ever Changing Forests. Proceedings of the First National Forest History Symposium, edited by K. Frawley and N. Semple. Australian Defense Forces Academy, Campbell, ACT, Australia.
Lunney, D. and Leary, T. 1988. The impact on native mammals of land-use changes and exotic species in the Bega District (New South Wales) since settlement. Australian Journal of Ecology 13: 67-92.
Lunney, D., Hand, S., Reed, P. and Butcher, D. (eds). 1994 The Future of the Fauna of Western New South Wales. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Lunney, D. and Burgin, S. (eds). 2004. Urban Wildlife: more than meets the eye. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Lunney, D. and Matthews, A. 2004. Conserving the forest mammals of New South Wales. Pp 988-1021 in Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna (second edition), edited by D. Lunney. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman.
Lunney, D., Eby, P., Hutchings, P. and Burgin. S. (eds). 2007 Pest or Guest. The zoology of overabundance. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW.
Lunney, D., Munn, A. and Meikle, W. (eds). 2008 Too Close for Comfort: conflicts in human-wildlife interactions. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Mabey, R. 1986 Gilbert White. A biography of the author of The natural history of Selbourne. Century Hutchinson, Pimlico edition of 1999. London, UK.
Mabey, R. 2005 Fencing paradise: reflections on the myths of Eden. Transworld Publishing, London, UK.
Norton, B. G. 2003 Searching for sustainability: interdisciplinary essays in the philosophy of conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Ponder, W. and Lunney, D. (eds). 1999 The Other 99%. The conservation and biodiversity of invertebrates. Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society, Mosman, NSW, Australia.
Possingham, H. P. 2008. Biodiversity. Pp 155-162 in Ten Commitments: reshaping the lucky country's environment, edited by D. Lindenmayer, S. Dovers, M. H. Olson and S. Morton. CSIRO publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.
Presland, G. 2008 The place for a village: how nature has shaped the city of Melbourne. Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Rackham, O. 1986 The history of the countryside. Dent, London, UK.
Rackham, O. 2003 Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England (new edition). Castlepoint Press, Colvend, UK.
Robin, L. 2007 How a continent created a nation. UNSW Press, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia.
Turnbull, L. 1999 Sydney: a biography of a city. Random House, Milsons Point, NSW, Australia.
White, J. 1790 Journal of a voyage to New South Wales. Republished in 1962 by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia.
Wingo, L. Jr. 1963. Urban space in a policy perspective: an introduction. Pp 3-21 in Cities and Space. The future use of urban space, edited by L. Wingo Jr. John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, Md, USA.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal