The cost of being internationally relevant

Are Australian species and ecosystems really that freakishly different from the rest of the world that our work isn’t applicable elsewhere? And are conservation efforts in Australia ultimately losing out because of this?

One seriously unique freaky Australian: the platypus. Image: Stefan Kraft.

I have just returned from Germany, where I had the pleasure of presenting the findings of my Travelling Stock Route-related work to the Institute of Ecology at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. I think the presentation was well-received, and at the end I got asked lots of probing questions from apparently interested people. Now, of course there is a chance that this nice group were just being polite, and taking pity on me with my ridiculous accent and excessive gesticulation. But others I spoke to during the week also seemed to show a genuine interest.

Why did I find this so surprising? Read more of this post


Backyard Naturalists – Citizen Science in Action

Here's looking at you kid - Striped skink  (Photo: Matthew Frawley)
Here’s looking at you kid – Striped skink (Photo: Matthew Frawley)

Canberra’s suburbs are teeming with wildlife attracted to the seasonal resources in our gardens and street verges—resources that provide ‘fast food’ for animals a short flight (hop or crawl) from our nature reserves. Read more of this post

Facts for a burning issue

coarse woody debris in nature reserve

Woody debris on public land provides precious habitat. Collecting it as firewood is a threatening process to biodiversity and should not be encouraged.

The Victorian Government has abolished fees for collecting firewood on public land despite expert advice that removing dead trees from forests threatens native bird species. This strikes me as outrageous but when I attempted to find a bit of information to support my stand I found myself struggling. Can you help me?

The facts of this story were presented in a short article in The Age newspaper titled Firewood fee given the chop. The story says the Victorian Government was making firewood collection easier in state parks by scrapping a $28 a cubic metre charge and permit application process. Critics accused the government of being environmentally irresponsible and putting at risk a growing farm forestry industry.

Read more of this post

Fire history – is it really that important?

Fire in mallee vegetation

Fire is an ecological process that is critical to the survival of many plants and animals. It has been used by humans as a tool for thousands of years: either by creating fire or suppressing it.

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