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Environments of EmpireNetworks and Agents of Ecological Change$
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Ulrike Kirchberger and Brett M. Bennett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655932

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655932.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

Brumbies (Equus ferus caballus) as Colonizers of the Esperance Mallee–Recherche Bioregion in Western Australia

Brumbies (Equus ferus caballus) as Colonizers of the Esperance Mallee–Recherche Bioregion in Western Australia

Chapter:
(p.197) Brumbies (Equus ferus caballus) as Colonizers of the Esperance Mallee–Recherche Bioregion in Western Australia
Source:
Environments of Empire
Author(s):

Nicole Y. Chalmer

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655932.003.0010

Before Australia was taken over by humans more than 55 000 years BP, the landscapes were shaped through animal agency. Extinct prehistoric fauna and megafauna had social ecological systems and actively organized ecosystems and landscapes that reflected patterns of herbivory, soil foraging, nutrient cycling and predation. Surviving species continued as agents in the ecosystem functions of the EM-R region until the beginning of European colonization in the 1860’s. The settlers used the inherent biological traits of their domesticated animals, including horses, as an agency of colonization. Horses (Equus ferus caballus) who escaped to become wild are known as Brumbies in the Australian vernacular. They adapted to the local environments and prospered. This chapter analyzes the ways Brumbies have adapted to and made the land their own. It shows how they became intimately engaged with landscape details and resources which are reflected through their creation of cultural horsetrails as they moved purposefully throughout their homelands.

Keywords:   wild horses, animal agency, indigenous Australians, Esperance Mallee-Recherche Bioregion, Nicole Chalmer

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