Terrestrial animals, while not nearly as important to the diets of prehistoric Amerindians as marine fauna, were nonetheless exploited when available. These included native species of iguanas, birds, lizards, and rodents, as well as several which were translocated from South America such as the agouti, opossum, armadillo, guinea pig, and peccary (Giovas et al., 2012). These translocated species never appear to have been moved in great numbers, however, and their general paucity and patchiness suggest they may have been prestige or status oriented this website foods. It is not known what environmental impacts these
had on Caribbean island environments, though given their generally low numbers, it may have been limited. Of these animal translocations, only the opossum and agouti persist today. Overall, there is mounting evidence that ancient Amerindians adversely affected their island environments, though the impacts varied through space and time (Fitzpatrick and Keegan, 2007 and Fitzpatrick et al., 2008). Prehistoric impacts were generally dwarfed by what LBH589 mw happened after European arrival in A.D. 1492, when the transmission
of diseases, introduction of hundreds of non-native plants and animals from the Old World, large scale human population replacement, intensifying exploitation of marine resources (e.g., whales, sea next turtles), and plantation economies devastated local flora and fauna. Regardless, the Caribbean follows a similar pattern seen worldwide, in which even small, pre-industrial populations exacted a toll on previously uninhabited island ecosystems, but some groups seem to have effectively used local resources over the long-term.
With a long tradition of archeological and ecological research, California’s Channel Islands provide important datasets to evaluate long-term human ecodynamics and the nature of Holocene and Anthropocene cultural and environmental developments. Many of the trends apparent on Caribbean and Pacific Islands—including over-harvest, landscape burning and clearing, translocation, as well as long-term continuity in the harvest of some key resources—are also apparent on the Channel Islands. California’s islands, however, were occupied entirely by Native American hunter-gatherers until the 19th century, when sea otters and several pinnipeds were hunted nearly to extinction, Chinese abalone fishers visited the islands, and Euroamerican ranching commenced (see Kennett, 2005). We focus on the Native American hunter-gatherer occupation of the Channel Islands, which provides comparative data that build on the Polynesian and Caribbean examples. The Channel Islands are composed of eight islands that are divided into northern and southern groups and are considerably less isolated than Polynesian and most Caribbean islands.