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Australia is an island continent which is geographically isolated from the rest of the world This has resulted in the evolution of many unique plants and animals and the development of a very fragile ecosystem This ecosystem has been influenced by human immigration for many thousands of years The original immigrants were the Aborigines who are thought to have migrated to Australia from Asia between 50 and 100 thousand years ago These primitive people learned to live in the inhospitable environment of Australia with very little effect Their major environmental impact was from the use of controlled burning of the land Over the years they had learned the benefit of periodic fires to control pests and to clear debris before it accumulated and led to large uncontrolled disastrous fires This also returned nutrients to the soil which helped to grow back new vegetation Unlike those who followed the Aborigines had very little impact on the environment Following the Aborigines Asian seafarers are believed to have traveled to Australia to trade on the north shores Experts are not sure but they believe that these seafarers are the ones who first introduced the dingo into Australia almost 3500 years ago The dingo rapidly became the top predator and is probably the cause of the disappearance of the Tasmanian wolf and the Tasmanian devil from Australia They will hunt down almost anything but they are not known to attack humans They will attack kangaroos wombats rabbits and even lizards After the settlers arrived and the sheep were brought in the dingo started to hunt the sheep The sheep were much easier for them to get As a result of this the sheep grazers built a 3307 mile long fence to separate the sheep from the dingo A 20 US bounty is now placed on the pelt of each dingo European immigrants did not come to Australia until after April 29 1770 when captain James Cook landed in
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