Fauna Hawaiiensis, Vol. 1: Being Results of the Explorations Instituted by the Joint Committee Appointed by the Royal Society of London for Promoting ... of Science and Carried on With the Assi
The importance of the fauna of the Hawaiian islands has long been recognised, but as no adequate exploration of their zoology had been attempted, the British Association for the advancement of science appointed a Committee in the year 1890 'to report on the present state of our knowledge of the Sandwich Islands, and to take steps to investigate ascertained deficiencies in the fauna, with power to co operate with the Committee appointed for the purpose by the Royal Society, and to avail themselves of such assistance as may be offered by the Hawaiian Government or the Trustees of the Museum at Honolulu.' The Committee of the Royal Society just alluded to was appointed almost simultaneously, and the two Committees have continued to work together till the present time.
The joint Committee has received the most valuable support and assistance from the Trustees of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum at Honolulu. Indeed one of the most important duties in writing this Preface is to make this acknowledgment, and to return thanks for this support.
At an early meeting of the Committee it was decided to limit its investigation to the Land-fauna. Two reasons influenced this decision, viz. (1) that this was as much as the Committee could hope to accomplish, and (z) that while the Land-fauna was known to be undergoing great impoverishment, it was believed that the Marine-fauna wax comparatively exempt from analogous changes.
The Committee decided to undertake an exploration of the Islands, and was so fortunate as to secure for the purpose the services of Mr R. C. L. Perkins, then a young graduate of the University of Oxford. Dr Perkins continued his exploration for some years. As he has given an account thereof in the Introduction that follows this prefatory notice it is unnecessary to give particulars here, beyond saying that he underwent great dangers and fatigues, in his arduous and solitary task, with the most determined perseverance, the most unflinching courage: camping out in the mountains, without a companion, for periods as long as he was able to carry food and equipment.
As the result of his work the Committee found itself in possession of an enormous number of specimens, and in pursuance of its work decided on investigating this material and reporting thereon.
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