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Is New Zealand a Zoological Region? (S575: 1900)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 273 of the 18 January 1900 issue of Nature. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S575.htm

     Will you allow me to make one remark on the letter of Mr. H. Farquhar (p. 246) advocating an affirmative answer to the above question. [[i.e., Is New Zealand a zoological region? --Ed.]] It is this: Throughout the whole argument there is an assumption which vitiates it, namely, that the amount of resemblance of the New Zealand fauna to that of Australia is what alone determines its resemblance to that of the Australian Region.

     Apparently, Mr. Farquhar does not believe that New Caledonia and the New Hebrides belong to the Australian Region, otherwise he would not adduce the fact of the land-shells of New Zealand being related to those of the above-named islands as an argument in his favour; and if these are omitted, then must New Guinea be also omitted. And if Australia by itself is to become a "Zoological Region," New Guinea and its surrounding islands must be also a "Region," the Central Pacific Islands another, and the Sandwich Islands yet another! This indicates the difficulties that arise if the Australian Region, as originally defined by Dr. Sclater and myself--and which I still hold to be far more natural than any subdivision can make it--be rejected.

Alfred R. Wallace.

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