The arrival of plants and animals in any country is a continuous process. In Australia the terms we use, such as ‘native’ or ‘indigenous’ (refer to Issue 34, page 52), describe plants and animals that were here at the time of Cook’s discovery in 1770.
Well before European records began, there were other immigrants and there was trade between the Australian Indigenous people and the peoples of Asia (primarily Indonesia), New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Many ‘native’ plants are likely to have been introduced by Asian immigrants.
These may include plants such as the Tamarind Tree (Tamarindus indicus) the
Women’s Tongue Tree (Albizia lebbeck) or even the iconic Lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera). Are they native or indigenous plants or are they introduced?
Many plants and animals continue to arrive on our shores of their own volution and could arguably be regarded as native.