Sch-Islands in Far Sea

John Culliney, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (410p) ISBN 978-0-87156-735-2
To the casual observer, Hawaii's natural wonders may appear intact, but marine biologist Culliney ( Forests of the Sea , Exploring Underwater ) charts in this shocking, powerful exploration how humans have succeeded in almost completely despoiling the islands to suit their own needs. The author chronicles the evolution of life on the Hawaiian archipelago, detailing the unique forms that evolved and flourished over millions of years, and shows how man, in a mere 1500 years, has made devastating changes in the fragile ecosystems. Large-scale land clearing, agriculture, ranching, forest cutting, over-fishing, water projects, hydroelectric power generation, the introduction of alien birds, animals and plants, tourism, overdevelopment, and pollution have overwhelmed the delicate biosystem to the point where most native Hawaiian flora and fauna will soon be extinct. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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