The preservation and care of the environment depends ultimately upon people rather than legislation. Much destruction of the environment is due to the thoughtlessness of those who have never experienced the pleasure to be had from the observation of plants and animals in the wild. Often the disinterest stems from having no name for the organisms commonly encountered.
The Wildflowers of Bribie Island, by Ian C. MacRae, may be likened to an ‘Introduction Agency’ because the author provides the reader with the means to identify and name about 300 species of plants, the majority of which are natives o the area. The production of such a volume demands considerable local knowledge and dedication and the writer is to be congratulated on the quality of both the text and the superb supporting colour photographs; furthermore, the Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association also deserves commendation for its support of a work which deals with the vegetation of an area which is considerably disturbed. It is the lot of very few biologists to study undisturbed habitats and as an introduced animal we must accept a measure of responsibility for the disturbance which has taken place throughout Australia. Therefore we have a responsibility to redress, where possible, the mistakes of the past.
To this end it is important that the biology of native species be well understood. In providing a manual to identify so many of the heathland species growing close to Brisbane, Ian MacRae has done a signal service to the wider cause of conservation.
Professor Emeritus H Trevor Clifford
formerly Professor of Botany, The University of Queensland
currently Honorary Associate, Queensland Museum.