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CTA. 1997. Hapless Haplochromis. Spore 71. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48881
Darwin's dreampond - drama in Lake Victoria by Tijs Goldschmidt (translated by Sherry Marx-Macdonald) 1996 274pp ISBN 9780262 071789
Lake Victoria is more like a fresh water sea than an inland tropical lake: an immense depresion the size of Switzerland filled with water. In 1954, a Kenyan fisheries officer released Nile perch from what was then known as Lake Albert in Uganda into the northern part of Lake Victoria. Further releases were made in the mid-1960's despite vehement protests of what this might do to the then uncharted eco-system of the lake. Nile perch are voracious predators of small fish and thus began the decline of the highly colourful (Haplochromis) and diverse cichlid species. Darwin's dreampond drama in Lake Victoria is a most unusual and highly readable book. Tijs Goldschmidt mixes narrative style with scientific explanation as he retells the extraordinary story of scientific discovery both on the personal and professional level. It is also a moral tale of our time. Here was a Lake with a unique ecosystem that had evolved in its own particular way and pace since its relatively young formation 15,000 years ago. Then forty years ago, man interfered with that ecosystem by introducing one foreign species of fish which proceeded to severely disrupt, if not entirely destroy, the unique balance that had existed until then. In microcosm this was an event that serves as a dramatic illustration of man's often devastating impact on the environment. Darwin's dreampond was a finalist for a major Dutch literary prize as well as being awarded the prestigious Science Prize from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research. Read this book and be well informed, greatly entertained and suitably appalled! Darwin's dreampond - drama in Lake Victoria by Tijs Goldschmidt (translated by Sherry Marx-Macdonald) 1996 274pp ISBN 9780262 071789 The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA