Macquarie Island has had a bit of a rubbish time of late. First the sealers came and killed all the seals, then, when they ran out of seals, they introduced rabbits so that they would have something to eat while they practiced their ‘cruelty’ on penguins (considering the way that animals were treated acceptably in the 1800s it boggles the mind to think what one would describe as cruel back then…). The result to the island was devastating. Alison Lester manages to pull together a good news story out of conservation efforts that have been going on in recent times to return it to some of its former glory.
The book’s cover with its captivating illustration of the Southern Aurora draws us in to this richly decorated resource. The story is told through a narrative in simple type that runs across the tops and bottoms of the pages and there is a great deal more material presented in the resources imbedded within the illustrations. If you want the bread and butter story you can follow the type but subsequent viewings will teach you more and more about the island and its inhabitants.
Readers will note that a great deal of care has gone into the elements that create this work from the selection of the subject to the thoughtful and beautiful presentation of supplementary material. Macquarie Island is a great microcosm for the challenges facing those looking to restore environments to their former glory and the lessons from there are obviously applicable to larger and more complex areas such as the great big island on which we live.