Acclimatisation society

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Acclimatisation societies were societies created in order to enrich the fauna of a region with animals and plants from around the world. The first such society was La Societé Zoologique d'Acclimatation founded in Paris in 1854 by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Such societies spread quickly around the world, particularly to European colonies in the Americas and Australasia. In many instances they existed both as societies for the study of natural history as well as to improve the success rate of introduced species.

The appeal of acclimatisation societies in colonies, particularly New Zealand,[1] was the belief that the local fauna was in some way deficient or impoverished; there was also an element of nostalgia in colonists who desired to see familiar species.[2] Naturalisations also occurred in order to introduce commercially valuable species or game species.

In some instances the results were disastrous, such as the economic and ecological effects of introducing rabbits to Australia or possums to New Zealand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. H. McLintock (1966). "Acclimatisation Societies and their Activities". The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Kerry-Jayne (2004). The Flight of the Huia. Canterbury University Press:Christchurch. ISBN 0-908812-52-3. 

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