Skipping into the stunning Amphitheatre and then the family is Striding out after it's horrors revealed...
Posts from the ‘endangered species’ Category
For 23 years ‘Operation Bounceback’ has been fighting feral animals in the Flinders Ranges. Imagine seeking an annual budget for the same project 23 times! That takes vision, commitment, determination, quality and the support of about 10 different Ministers.
At the 20 year celebration, it was highlighted ‘SA Government, staff, volunteers, landholders and local communities work together to reverse some of the impacts of the last 150 years’, and by the logos on the report cover, the Australian Government is probably also a partner-organisation.
It is a classic example of a trusted partnership for conservation.
Controlling foxes has been a priority since 1993 and Grasswrens, Pythons and the Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby are already benefiting. The current fox-baiting effort covers 5,500 km2.
Twenty years of feral animal control has laid a platform for the reintroduction of long-lost species. After an amazing Ecological Society of Australia conference I was lucky enough to get up to the Flinders Ranges and briefly check-out the reintroduction projects for the Western Quoll and Brushtail Possum…
Canberra Nature Park puts the bush in ‘Bush Capital’. More than 20,000 Canberra houses are within 250 m of this bushland matrix, which includes nationally and regionally threatened and, now, previously extinct species.
Formally, the Canberra Nature Park protects 36 discrete nature reserves and covers approximately 6,000 hectares in and around urban Canberra. The close proximity of the Canberra community provides recreational, education and nature-based inspirational opportunities. But all of that comes with costs and impacts, these have been managed by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, who recently celebrated 30 years of service to the Australian community.
Importantly, in the national capital, the Canberra Nature Park comes with additional baggage – it has the weighted responsibility of being the ‘front-of-house’ of biodiversity conservation for national policy makers and those that control the weightiest of purse-strings in Australian environmental investment.
Regardless of whether you think it is in as good-a-nick as it could be, I have been thinking lately about what it would be like if it wasn’t proactively managed by the Parks and Conservation Service.
And I keep thinking that it would be like the patch of scrub at the end of the road when I was a kid…
“If a tree falls in the woods in 2015 it will probably be recorded, and we have another year of surprises to look forward to…”
The great wildlife camera trap tales of 2014
According to my Twitter profile, I have been on social media since 2010. It seems to me the camera trap really came of age last year as a tool for publishing ecological interactions instantaneously. Perhaps I followed different people in the year, or a few big labs brought their cameras in for the first time, but there was a plethora of cool stuff captured and shared in Australia in 2014.
I am stoked for the new generation of ecologists with these tools at their disposal, capturing moments of ecological interaction that reams of peer-reviewed publications can’t portray in the same way. Interactions are the essence of ecology, and a picture tells a thousand words. Here I compile some of the most engaging photos and users of camera traps in Australia – let me know if I have missed anyone…
“Flocks of flies and budgerigars swirled around us, the flies far more eager to settle…”
There seems to be something alluring about the desert at dawn. Alice managed to get me up in the fives each morning I was there – to see the best of the landscape and its inhabitants. For my first sojourn into the red centre, I was salivating for a clutch of birds I hadn’t seen before. Thankfully the birds were what got me motivated, but the landscape itself was what satiated the appetite… Read more
“it is lovely when a symbol like that can help connect you to a new place”
OK – I wasn’t prepared. All those maps of Australia show Alice Springs as the dot in the middle. All those maps are two-dimensional. I expected, for some reason, a flat depauperate ‘desert’ landscape. And I am supposed to be a trained ecologist…
Flying in I was surprised by the number of trees in this ‘arid’ landscape. Then trekking into town you are confronted with emergent geology which juts out at you in no understated way. So straight-away two myths blown out of the water – it is not flat, and it is not scant of interesting plants…
I start my Alice adventure at the Desert Park – recommended to me by many. It turns out to be a fantastic entrée and a good decision. Luckily its bird week and I bump into some avid twitchers on the way in from the local Birds Australia crew [note-to-editor: update memory banks with new name] – they give me some tips and we realise we will cross paths again later this week… Read more
“a spectacular native floriade is now showing, behind the curtain of tree and grass cover in the Canberra Nature Park”
I do quite like going to Floriade once each year, and marveling at the abundance and colour of the exotic flowers. You are certain to see an array of mostly-European flowers arranged in different patterns each year.
However, a much more exciting floriade unfolds at the same time, to nature’s choreography.