In none of these cases is there any indication that acclimatization was necessary or ever took place.
ACCLIMATIZATION, the process of adaptation by which animals and plants are gradually rendered capable of surviving and flourishing in countries remote from their original habitats, or under meteorological conditions different from those which they have usually to endure, and at first injurious to them.
These instances, so well stated by Spruce, seem to demonstrate the complete acclimatization of Spaniards in some of the hottest parts of South America.
The modern presence of the black swan of Australia (Chenopis atrata) in New Zealand appears to be due to a natural irruption of the species about half a century ago as much as to acclimatization by man, if not more so.
The acclimatization of white men in tropical Africa generally is dependent largely on the successful treatment of tropical diseases.
The acclimatization of the carp in America has been a great success, especially in the northern waters, where, the growth continuing throughout the entire year, the fish soon attains a remarkable size.
Brisbane is well provided with parks and open spaces; the Victoria Park and Bowen Park are the largest; the high-lying Mount Coot-tha commands fine views, and there are other parks and numerous recreation grounds in various parts of the city, besides the admirable botanical gardens and the gardens of the Acclimatization Society.
Besides the Belt there are several parks and reserves, including botanical and acclimatization gardens, the so-called Ocean Beach, and two race-courses.
Holguin was long the principal acclimatization station for Spanish troops.
Acclimatization, indeed, had played a chief part in the settlement of New Zealand.
A consideration of these and many analogous facts might induce us to suppose that, among the higher animals at least, there is little constitutional adaptation to climate, and that in their case acclimatization is not required.
In the case of the latter class, however, acclimatization is a necessary preliminary to naturalization, and in many cases to useful domestication, and we have therefore to inquire whether it is possible.
It is evident that acclimatization may occur (if it occurs at all) in two ways, either by modifying the constitution of the individual submitted to the new conditions, or by the production of offspring which may be better adapted to those conditions than their parents.
We have here, therefore, a perfect example of acclimatization by means of a spontaneous constitutional variation.
In order, therefore, to have the best chance of acclimatizing any animal or plant in a climate very dissimilar from that of its native country, and in which it has been proved that the species in question cannot live and maintain itself without acclimatization, we must adopt some such plan as the following: i.
It has been recommended by C. Darwin, and at one of the early meetings of the Societe Zoologique d'Acclimatation, at Paris, Isodore Geoffroy St Hilaire insisted that it was the only method by which acclimatization was possible.
But in looking through the long series of volumes of Reports published by this society, there is no sign that any systematic attempt at acclimatization has even once been made.
If the human race constitutes a single species, then the mere fact that man now inhabits every region, and is in each case constitutionally adapted to the climate, proves that acclimatization has occurred.
Dr Hunt, in a report to the British Association in 1861, argued that "time is no agent," and - "if there is no sign of acclimatization in one generation, there is no such process."
The excessive mortality of European troops in India, and the delicacy of the children of European parents, do not affect the real question of acclimatization under proper conditions.
They only show that acclimatization is in most cases necessary, not that it cannot take place.
The best examples of partial or complete acclimatization are to be found where European races have permanently settled in the tropics, and have maintained themselves for several generations.
The Jews are a good example of acclimatization, because they have been established for many centuries in climates very different from that of their native land; they keep themselves almost wholly free from intermixture with the people around them; and they are often so populous in a country that the intermixture with Jewish immigrants from other lands cannot seriously affect the local purity of the race.
Amounting to a serious pest in Australasian colonies, it is also established in the Falklands and Kerguelen; its presence in much of Europe is attributed to early acclimatization, as it seems anciently to have been confined to the Iberian peninsula.
The desirable character of the grouse as game-birds has led to many attempts at their acclimatization, but usually these have been unsuccessful; the red grouse (Lagopus scoticus), however, the only endemic British bird, is naturalized in some parts of Europe.
It is, in fact, as notorious an example of over-successful acclimatization as the rabbit, but in Hutton and Drummond's recent work on the New Zealand animals (London, 1905) it is not regarded in this light, considering that some very common exotic birds were needed to keep down the insects, which it certainly did.
Acclimatization of Man.
The following example of divergent acclimatization of the same race to hot and cold zones is very interesting, and will conclude our extracts from Spruce's valuable notes: One of the most singular cases connected with this subject that have fallen under my own observation, is the difficulty, or apparent impossibility, of acclimatizing the Red Indian in a certain zone of the Andes.
The incoming of the Glacial epoch does not appear to have been accompanied by any acclimatization of the plants - the species belonging to temperate Europe were locally exterminated, and Arctic forms took their places.
There is indeed little or no evidence to show that any animal to which a new climate is at first prejudicial can be so acclimatized by habit that, after subjection to it for a few or many seasons, it may live as healthily and with as little care as in its native country; yet we may, on general principles, believe that under proper conditions such an acclimatization would take place.
The town lies among hills, has an excellent climate, and in colonial times was (like Holguin) an acclimatization station for troops fresh from Spain; it now has considerable repute as a health resort.
A large extent of open ground, to the west of the town, finely planted, and traversed by the river, comprises Hagley Park, recreation grounds, the Government Domain and the grounds of the Acclimatization Society, with fish-ponds and a small zoological garden.
But in most cases habit, however prolonged, appears to have little effect on the constitution of the individual, and the fact has no doubt led to the opinion that acclimatization is impossible.
The subject of acclimatization is very little understood, and some writers have even denied that it can ever take place.