It reflects a resurgence in local history and pursues the natural history of our harbour-side city in a modern framework. Not only have the authors been absorbed by documenting the biodiversity, they have included studies, or intelligent speculation, on the factors which have impacted on this diversity since Cook sailed along the NSW coast in The Macquarie Dictionary, e. It is also for teachers and lecturers, colleagues in other cities and towns in Australia, and those with a keen interest in managing our urban wildlife, our cultural heritage or promoting the profound value of our natural heritage within a city landscape. Our aim in this book is to draw attention to the natural history of Sydney for scholars, as well as those who have the task of looking after a particular area, such as within a local government area, or a particular taxon, such as reptiles or fish, and those who have the opportunity to conserve areas, taxa or institutions through their employment or legislative responsibilities. It is also built on the lifetime work of our predecessors, who laboured to find and record the natural history of Sydney. The subject matter ranged from the history of institutions engaged in natural history, through animal groups as diverse as reptiles and cicadas, to ideas on how to see Sydney as a natural setting.