From Colonization to Urbanization Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James Cook took possession in the name of Great Britain.
Colonization and Urbanization The British first used Australia as a prison colony because of the lack of prison space in the United Kingdom. British posts were set up around the perimeter of the “Outback”; which was where prisoners were kept. These posts grew into cities as more British ventured to Australia (gold was found there). Eventually, these developed into the major cities of Australia.
The Outback The Outback is a physical “no-mans land”. Also called “The Bush”, the environment is not as human friendly as Australia’s coasts are. Population numbers of the Outback are very low. And because of the physically rugged land, there are few towns.
Animals & Vegetation Rainforests in the northeast Steppe & deserts in the Outback More than 130 species of marsupials (kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabys) Great Barrier Reef is home to diverse species as well
People Aborigines: native peoples of Australia (517,000 live in Australia now) Most people live in southeast Australia near Sydney and Melbourne (it rains there) 85% of population lives in urban areas Very high standard of living
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as tourist site. Has numerous species of fish, marine mammals, as well as aquatic plants and corals. One section of the reef, Dangerous Reef, has one of worlds greatest population of great white sharks.
Great Barrier Reef Almost the size of Montana Over 2,000 species of fish, 4,000 species of mollusk, 250 species of shrimp, 400 species of coral are in the reef New species found EVERY YEAR!