Problems in the Ugly Islands

Three pages in this series: answers, problems and teachers have a different background colour. These are the pages a student should not be accessing.
As you will realise, once you start exploring the islands, there are many problems facing the islanders, problems in which they would appreciate your input. This page serves to link you up with some of those problems. In time, we may need to get a list going to handle the discussions, but for now, just e-mail your answers to Peter Macinnis at, and he will post them to the answers page. Please quote the heading to the problem as your subject, and keep it brief. I will then pass your questions, comments and suggestions on to the appropriate person on the islands.

The rabbit problem

There already some rough plans in place to deal with the rabbit problem on Green island (better known to locals as "The Plug"), but they are not sure that they have all of the answers yet. Read through the data, explore a few of the key words ("rabbit", "calicivirus", "myxomatosis") on the Web, and see what sort of a solution you can suggest. Some of the information in The Islander for May and June may be useful here.

  • Here are some hints

    New harbours

    As you should already know, there are no harbours along the south coast of Big Ugly. With the break-up of the former Soviet Union, the Council has been offered access to several "tactical" (that is, low yield) nuclear warheads from somebody who appears to be well-connected with certain eastern military forces.

    These warheads could easily be placed in holes drilled in the rock along the Gorgeland shore, and then the warheads could be exploded to break up the rock, producing a useful place for boats to shelter -- the broken rock would be useful in building roads or breakwaters. This will be covered in the January issue of The Islander.

  • Here are some hints

    Jean Grey's ideas for tourist attractions

    Jean Grey proposes selling tickets to tourists who want to attend the boat pulling, and running the boat pulling throughout the year. Is this a good idea, or a bad one? See the second editorial in The Islander for June for a comment, and scan the letters to the editor.

  • Here are some hints


    Take any single issue like the question of the language spoken on the islands. There are 300 words used other than English. What sorts of words would these be?

  • Here are some hints


    In general, the whole of the background is a minefield of questions large and small -- like: what was going on in 1848, to flush people out of Europe? How did it affect our ancestors, this 1848 business? This is also in the background reading.

  • Here are some hints


    And what about these diseases which reduced the population -- why were the diseases so much more of a problem on islands, and which other islands were affected? (We know they were more of a problem on islands, because no large populations suffered like that.)

  • Here are some hints

    Simple problems


    In spite of repeated promises, the islanders have given good descriptions of the area, and outline maps, but there are very few names of places on the maps we have seen. Using the outline maps that are available, create the completest possible map.

  • Here are some hints

    Hairyoddity farming

    There is a proposal to breed hairyoddities on some of the Uglets. Prepare a simple explanation, either of the advantages for the islanders of doing this, or of the environmental or other risks that might be encountered. Identify ways in which the problems could be avoided, or not, and prepare a case for the action that you recommend.
  • Here are some hints

    Discussion questions

    Heat and the sinking ducks

    Why are the sinking ducks able to survive in Finnegans Lake and nowhere else? Given that there are thermal springs on Little Ugly, would it be a good idea to try farming them there? What problems might be caused by establishing a population on the other island?

    Power on Little Ugly

    How might the people of Little Ugly be able to cut back on the costs of diesel power generation? What alternative sources might they use, and what problems might be caused?

    Gliding frogs

    Is the gliding frog one species or two? What evidence can you find for this? What evidence could you gather to make this opinion an informed one? How could you tell for certain that they are the same species (or different species?)

    Here are some possible future directions.

    Some proposals likely to come before Council, or already considered and resolved, but likely to come back again. Jean Grey never takes "no" as a permanent answer, hoping to wear people down with some of her development schemes.

    An outbreak of a Giardia-like illness, linked to those islanders growing a particular kind of fruit.

    Draining or damming Finnegans Lake to generate hydroelectricity, or using the warm waters of the lake to generate electricity.

    Establishing dams and diverting the water through lava tubes to deliver it cheaply to new places.

    Wood chipping the inwit in the area to the west of Cloudmaker, in the headwaters of the dead Whale system, or major logging of the Riverrun area.

    Clear felling in the same areas, to allow major plantations of ironwood trees for export.

    Establishing a funicular railway or cableway to the top of Cloudmaker

    Establishing a Cloudwalker Hotel, on the very top of Cloudmaker this has become a serious issue, with proposals now being pushed very hard indeed see the May editorial in The Islander.

    Establishing a spa on the thermal beaches of Little Ugly

    Selling big game licences to hunt the snarks

    Introducing all sorts of species onto The Plug to wipe out the rabbits

    Commercial fishing, or selling fishing rights to the outsiders

    This will involve a claim on several surrounding cays, thus extending the economic exclusion zone

    Establishing a jet-capable air strip

    Establishing commercial meadberry farms, and marketing the juice internationally.

    Organising special bellstone parties for the tourists to attend.

    Newhawks perch on the power lines, where their gelatinous and saline droppings short out the power

    Experimenting with the coppicing of firewood trees, so as to increase the yield of burnable wood.

    An argument breaks out over the deaths of the large birds and other animals, now known only by fossils: was this the work of the Old Ones? If so, what happened to them?

    An archaeological dig around the foundations of the mysterious drystone islands on the outer reef.

    From here, you can go to the

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    Last revised March 6, 2007.

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