Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Phantom Koala and the Australian National Reserve System Strategy 2009-2030

June 2, 2009
13-04-20091

Free F'all

The Australian National Reserve System holds some of the last great refuges in the world for Australian Flora and Fauna. The Mt Warning Caldera Region contains some of these Australian National Reserves.

Australia’s National Reserve System Strategy 2009-2030 has been announced as part of the Australian Government’s determination to safeguard the biodiversity of our precious native plants and animals.

The link to download the Australian National Reserve System Strategy 2009-2030 is HERE.

And how does the Australian National Reserve System help our friend, Phantom Koala?

Perhaps that is something you should look into for yourself!

Gold Coast City and Hinze Dam (top, middle) Springbrook, Mt Warning and Lamington Plateau (bottom), SE QLD, Australia

Gold Coast City and Hinze Dam (top, middle) Springbrook, Mt Warning - Numinbah Valley or "Devil's Country" is in the centre - and Lamington Plateau (bottom), SE QLD, Australia.

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Kings Forest Cobakai Lakes Proposals – clearing the house

March 25, 2009

Monkey wonders why Phantom Koalas threatened friends at Kings Forest arent as popular to save by the people, as the monkey on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald

Monkey wonders why Phantom Koala’s threatened friends at Kings Forest aren’t as popular to save by the people, as Taronga Zoo’s little Francois Langur monkey on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald this week – “Why Me” :  Corina Smith’s animal advocacy photos, taken in China.

As a piscean monkey, I can relate to this picture (above) that my friend took in China a few years back.This regards the future of the animals that now live in the Kings Forest area. If Kings Forest and Cobakai Lakes developments should go ahead, then the animals that live there, as part of their habitat range, will be, in effect, imprisoned, like the monkey above!!

This will occur, should development be allowed to proceed, and the required lifelines to the threatened species become cut, altered, threatened, cleared or overwhelmed by infrastructure and golf course/development, catchments alteration and traffic.

Here is a mini clearinghouse for Bluecray’s “Kings Forest Proposals” Articles.

Links to the abandoned Francois Langur Monkey – “Francois Langur monkeys subsist mainly on leaves with fruit, buds, flowers, seeds, stems and bark providing supplements. They drink very little water”

Wildlife leaves Glyphosate Bank – finds refuge in Organic Garden

March 22, 2009

21-03-2009Previous Bluecray articles have dealt with consequences of using herbicides in land stewardship. I have written these stories around Butterflies, Rufous Bettongs, Goannas and Frogs. The stories have links below.

However, there are many small animals (vertebrate and non vertebrate) that inhabit the weedy areas of the Mt Warning Caldera Region.  Some of these weed infested areas are often chosen for active land management , such as revegetation, habitat enhancement and enforced weed management.

I would like to say more about glyphosate and lantana management.

There is a trend to mass spray herbicides to manage the threat of Lantana, as it overtakes poorly managed land throughout SE QLD and NE NSW and much of Australia. This is being done in the name of BIODIVERSITY, habitat restoration and healing the land. However, the irony of it all, is that the acts of clearing, herbicide use and mass “management” actions, unless followed up immediately by vigilant seeding, planting, stock management and general land stewardship, will create more areas of threatened biodiversity and more areas of “weed”.

weeds.org.au – An Australian Weeds Committee National Initiative – Weeds PORTAL

Weeds.org.au – about John Thorp – policy and weed strategy directions

The Dynamics of Lantana camara Invasion of subtropical Rainforest in SE Queensland  by Daniel Stock – at Australian Digital Thesis Program (Griffith University 2005)

Macleay’s Swallowtail – a beautiful green and brown butterfly – bluecray.org

Philosophy of Environmental Destruction in the Name of Healing -bluecray.org

Litoria species – a little Frog of Wetlands, Forests and Woodlands – Habitat Care and Stewardship – bluecray Balance of Faeries blog

PK & Litoria look for Rufous Bettong – a threatened species listed as vulnerable by the NSW Government – bluecray Balance of Faeries blog

Rufous Bettong and the Glyphosate Bank – bluecray.org

PK and Litoria look for Rufous Bettong, and on the way, meet up with Goanna – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Goanna leaves the glyphosate Bank, the butterflies leave too – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Why Goanna left the Glyphosate Bank – bluecray.org

Growing by Organics – Food Gardens and Sharing – bluecray Wisdom in the Land blog

Land and Water Stewardship in the Mt Warning Caldera Region  – food for thought – bluecray.org

 

The Mt Warning Caldera Region has many disturbed, poorly managed lands and waterways. Lantana, Camphor Laurel and many other "weed" species abound. There is a trend for revegetation projects, (land for Wildlife, landcare, caring for our country etc) to incorporate herbicide spraying into the projects. Many projects are along waterways.

The Mt Warning Caldera Region has many disturbed, poorly managed lands and waterways. Lantana, Camphor Laurel and many other "weed" species abound. There is a trend for revegetation projects, (land for Wildlife, landcare, caring for our country etc) to incorporate herbicide spraying into the projects. Many projects are along waterways.

Australia’s drop in the Ocean – the Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill is open for comment

March 13, 2009

History in the making!  Australia contributes their “drop” in the rising ocean….  Be quick!  The Australian Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 is open for comments and submissions. You have just over one month to contribute your comments. 

Exposure Draft of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Legislation at Australian Government Department of Climate Change: 10th March 2009

The above LINK will give you information –  Fact Sheets,  How to Make a  Submission,  Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme White Paper, and the  Australian Treasury’s     Economics of Climate Change Mitigation for Australia’s Low Pollution Future .

I, for one, will not be commenting, (as I just don’t have the scientific & monetary policy intelligence  – but many other’s DO)  on this scheme. I do, however, wish to document this occasion on my webpages……

Why?

I reckon that this upcoming Legislation is another instance of creating alot of paperwork, ambiguity and brainfreeze over money, the economy and the environment.

It is another legislative form of sustaining the myth that we can, as an “enlightened nation” – buy our way out of anything.

My own feelings on this matter are:-

  • Environment and Economic education require intrinsic and deeply modified linking within ALL  Australian Educational Systems. 
  • Environmental understanding should be the basis for education, not economic outcomes (as is the current trend of modern mainstream Australian Society).
  • The Australian Environment, as a source for healthy economic balance is still largely forgotten.
  • Environmental understanding  is currently an appendage that is tacked onto the economic mindest of education policy custodians. 
  • Environment is life. The Market place and the Economy of the market place is a symptom of life. If  life is well, then the economy is well. 
  • If the Environment is well, then the economy is well. At present, the environment is not well. 

Australia could, in it’s government policy wisdom, create biodiverse forestry systems Australia-wide, that create

1. jobs and regional industries – Australia wide

2. biodiversity – Australia wide

3. timber for selective harvest and timber products – Australia wide

4. renewable resources for economic strength, trade and market well-being – Australia & world wide.

When, back in the early 1990’s, I talked with Queensland Forestry marketing and agroforestry workers, I was led to believe that the cost, back then, of producing timber was greatly subsidised, and that pricing of timber products did not fully reflect the cost of production of the timber itself. I was also told that the increase of the cost of hardwood would rise, and that over the coming few decades, the amount of hardwood timber that could be harvested in Australia would not be able to keep up with demand (and hence, the market price would rise). Of course, since then, many pine and hardwoord plantations have occurred. The biodiversity factors associated with these plantations? I will not comment on them here. Possibly some have high biodiversity, possibly other’s do not.  

Regarding Forests, Australia and Market solutions to the increase in Carbon? Well, other than individuals ceasing their compulsive obsessive, over the top consuming of  resources and associated thoughtless waste management – My simple solution is to create a massive, widespread  BIODIVERSE FORESTRY industry.

An industry that is fostered fully by the Australian Government(s) and the Education system(s).

Oh, yes, an one more thing – the knowledge for creating, sustaining an Australian wide forestry initiative, within a Regional Context is already with us. It just hasn’t been implemented at a grand level. 

 

Phantom Koala (PK) and Litoria decide it is safer to stay in the forest, than venture to the Australian Treasury and plead their case for more Biodiversity. They trust that Nature will teach Australians in the end, to care for the Land and it's "Balance of Faeries".

Phantom Koala (PK) and Litoria decide it is safer to stay in the forest, than venture to the Australian Treasury and plead their case for more Biodiversity. They trust that Nature will teach Australians in the end, to care for the Land and it's "Balance of Faeries".

 

 

There is a song that sums up how I feel about carbon trading and the Air Quality of this planet. The song may not have intended my interpretation, but I shall use it to illustrate my educational stance:-

The following is by David Byrne, the song AIR on the Talking Heads 1970′ s   Album Fear of Music

“Air…Air

Hit me in the face
I run faster
Faster into the air
(I say to myself)
What is happening to my skin?
Where is that protection that I needed?
Air can hurt you too
Air can hurt you too
Some people say not to worry about the air
Some people never had experience with…
Air…Air
It can break your heart
So remember when the weather gets rough
(You’ll say to yourself)
What is happening to my skin?
Where is that protection that I needed?
Air can hurt you too
Air can hurt you too
Some people say not to worry about the air
Some people don’t know shit about the…
Air…”

A Balance of Faeries – revisited

March 9, 2009

** before you read this article, have a quick look here – Story : Koalas in SE Queensland, Australia. Dec 2008**,  HERE  , and last of all HERE : Draft South East Queensland Koala State Planning Regulatory Provisions  .   

Faerie tales are stories of imagination, folklore and historical heresay. Many faerie stories can have deeper meanings behind their outer words. Now perhaps you do not believe in faeries . You may think that faeries are merely symbolic adornments in childhood books, movies and from cultures of a bygone age.

Now that you are grown up, you may be quite sure that faeries, santa clause and the easter bunny are not real. Or, you may have your own ideas about faeries, that no one else seems to have at all.

Well, all that aside, if you have some time to spare, have a read of my story below. It is a true story, and it has no faeries in it at all. Well… there is just one reference to faeries – right near the end.

My story takes place on the Marburg Range, some 35 kms west of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. The year is 1989…..

Part One: The Afternoon

The afternoon was peaceful, broken only by the sounds of cicadas , and scrub birds , as they settled into their nesting trees for the evening ahead. A bulldozer came slowly up the dusty road. Grinding noisily, its metal tracks, and steel chains broke the quiet of the afternoon. The bulldozer stopped outside my little farmhouse, high up on the ridge.

Then the unthinkable happened.

The first large tree to go creaked mournfully, its roots loosening eerily from the soil, in passive opposition to the bulldozer’s strength.

The second large tree gave even less opposition, and the native bushes, herbs and grasses beneath were pushed into a tangled pile, flattening the unseen creatures that inhabited the narrow road verge. Birds’ nests fell. The koalas‘ food and roadside refuge was gone. Lizards, marsupials and baby birds of the understorey had little hope of survival.
The living wonder of the road verge was to be destroyed in 30 minutes, by over a million years honed into the diesal powered steel of the bulldozer.

My heart ached for the bush creatures and their homes.
Their lives, so cruelly flattened and trashed.

At first, my screaming thoughts wanted me to yell at the bulldozer driver “STOP!!! STOP!!- you are killing so many defenseless beautiful creatures and plants!!”
Instead, I stood transfixed in disbelief, watching the dozer fell the third tree then the fourth, fifth, sixth – on and on, up the road verge, heading to the top of the ridge.
Those brief moments of hearing that bulldozer do its work, they would change my life forever.

Spirit reeling, I tried to conceive how such a thing could be happening! No one else was watching – just me and the bulldozer driver. So much destruction of so much life taking place.

No one cared. No one cared at all. And if they did, well, what could they do?

This was not a large forest, protected by vigilant activists, prepared to chain themselves to trees. My heart began to ache, beyond this mindless act, to all the other places on earth that were silently witnessing the same destruction.
As a powerless observer, my anger and helplessness grew, and I did not know where to channel it.

The bulldozer driver did not realise. It was his job, and he had a family to feed. I could not be angry at him. But still my anger grew, threatening to consume me.

I needed a quick respite, a quick solution, to temper this anger – turning it into love.

Then a thought came suddenly to me. I could store this anger, transforming it with love, to hold deep in the base of my body, deep below my stomach. I could store this energy and use it, lovingly, thoughtfully, creatively, in future days, months, years and decades, as a power source. A power source dedicated to generating compassion and love, for nature’s bounties, gifted to humanity. What a big ask of myself! But then again, I could not deny this event.
I would remember this day for eternity. The day the grey boxes fell before the bulldozer.

As the bulldozer driver stopped to reconnect some chains, I went over to him, and asked of him ” Why do you clear this stretch of land? Do you realise that this soil is highly dispersive – it washes away so easily with rain that the land here is riddled with deep sub terranean holes? The aspect is so harsh, that without adjoining vegetation ( I pointed to the adjacent overgrazed paddock ) this road verge will not recover for many decades”.

He replied ” The owner of the property up the road wishes to put in electricity. Power lines are coming through. He is connecting power to that little quarter acre block, at the top of the ridge, so that he may sell it more easily”. And that was that. Legally ok!! Socially sanctioned.

After years of living on this range, I had grown to deeply respect the earth, and the natural balances that permeated through it. The harshness of the climate, at times, sent alternating flash flooding, and merciless drought. Fire could spring up quickly, within the badly managed vegetation and the lower valleys had became choked with salted soils and slow running creek water that resemble the sea in it’s saltiness.

The Eucalypts, with their long roots sunk deep into the earth, drew the water that lay in the rocky aquifers beneath. This was third generation regenerated bushland (from the clearing of the past 150 years) giving homes to many native animals. Beneath the box and red gums, grew all manner of remnant dry vine scrub plants, interspersed with the wildy spreading, naturalised weeds, that had arrived with agrarian settlement.
Silvereyes and double-barred finches nested in the hoop pines, blue wrens frequented the scrubby understoreys, koalas clamboured lazily tree to tree, goannas and snakes made frequent appearances, and after the rains, the frogs sounded in the dams and gullies along the side of the ridge.

Part Two: The evening

That evening, I suffered a disquiet that I had never known before. Falling asleep, my tears for the defenceless roadside homes turned into a dream. This dream eventually woke me. Such forces in a dream I had never experienced before.

I dreamt that I was in my little farm house, with my family. Suddenly a great wind tore through the house, ripping doors from hinges, hurling furniture to the walls. Our lives were in peril. The house was being destroyed by something so great, and invisible, that in the dream, my husband called to me, “Get the children, we must escape – we shall be killed!!”.

Now, in our dreams, we can be a hero, that in waking life, seems absurd.

Holding my husband back with one arm, I cried “NO! I can see what is happening – it is all coming from the bookcase” . I ran to our bookcase, which spanned the length of the living room wall, high to the ceiling, crammed with books, all tightly packed together, against the entire wall.

The wind was now of tornadic proportions, as I fought desperately to get near the bookshelf. I searched frantically for the source of the wind. There it was! Funneling through a small gap, on the bottom shelf. This was the only gap in the bookshelf that lined the wall and the wind was howling out of it, tearing past me and ripping my home apart.

“I know what to do” I cried, and kneeling down, desperately searched the floor for the missing book, that had fallen from the bookshelf, to stop this gap , and block the fierce wind.

The gap was so small, and the wind coming through it seemed to have no end. My hands felt about, on the floor. THERE it was, the book!!

I held it in my right hand, and pushed it back into the hole in the bookshelf. The strain was enormous, the wind so strong. I summoned all my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength to push that book back in, and suddenly there it was, back in place.

The wind stopped. But I was utterly spent – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The effort woke me from the nightmare, worn and exhausted. As I awoke, I knew that the name of this book must be remembered, this little book that held so much force at bay. In my waking, lucid moments, I frantically tried to decipher the tiny print on the cover. Oh, it was so hard to read, and I was waking fast. But YES, there it was! I could see it written on the cover – “A Balance of Faeries”.

I woke up, exhausted.

Part Three: The morning

There is not much more to say now. The dream has been recorded.

This dream has had a profound influence on how I view the world and share my view with others.

My place, within the natural processes that the world has gifted me, seems very small, insignificant. But, like that tiny book, in that great big bookshelf of my dream, small, seemingly insignificant parts of a much greater collective can have far reaching consequences.

The tiny, “non- significant” parcels within our delicately balanced environment can have an critical part to play in survival of all living things on earth.

The collective knowledge of mankind (the bookshelf) holds such power behind it, that should the knowledge not be complete, the power that is held can escape, creating havoc and untold destruction.

Part four: The return

I have since returned to visit the Marburg Range, some months back, before the 2008 summer rains drenched it once again, and after many years of drought, harsh winds and relentless sun. The road verge leading to the top of the ridge is bare, no trees have grown back yet, and no koalas, birds or marsupials could be seen on the narrow strip that was cleared so suddenly, 20 years ago.

With biodiversity comes the ability for our ecological systems to withstand the greater forces of nature – wind, sun, rain, fire, cold, heat. With knowledge and understanding of the smaller, delicate portions of nature, comes an ability to hold back the greater forces that great knowledge exposes us to.

It is time to wake up.

Links:

Queensland State of the Environment 2007 download at the Qld Government Environmental Protection Agency website

New South Wales State of the Environment Report 2006 download at the NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change website

  • Download the Soil Conservation Act 1986 – This Queensland Act for Soil Conservation has been in place since 1986 – yet the SE Queensland Region is still undergoing landclearing, ecological degradation and water pollution at unsustainable levels for the future population’s well being.

Roadsides, Powerlines & Stock Routes:

a few more interesting links:

  • North East Rainforest Alliance NEFA – homepage –

Some historical reading about Forests in NE NSW:

  • old NEFA site ? try the NEFA homepage

and finally, some more Blue Crayfish Links from bluecray.org :-

Bluecrays, Crayfish, Blue Crayfish Links

18-06-2008

PK, Litoria & Chin Ting have a look at the big picture, along with the Python, Spangled Drongos & other Wildlife that live by the roads in the Mt Warning Caldera Region, Australia.

Logan and Albert Conservation Association : KOALAS  

Follow candobetter.org for information about KOALAS – they have compiled  great info, links, articles, and brief recent history concerning KOALAS and the QUEENSLAND Government and DEVELOPMENT trends 

PK & Litoria look for Rufous Bettong – a threatened species listed as vulnerable by the NSW Government

March 6, 2009

There are 25 threatened marsupials in NSW – (NSW  Government Threatened Species). The Rufous Bettong is one of these threatened species.

I share some mutual habitat with a Rufous Bettong that lives nearby,  in Upper Burringbar, NE NSW.  Thickets of vegetation, old fallen tree logs, a  variety of niches to  set up a nesting spot and stay for a while to live. This  could definitely be appealing to a Rufuous Bettong

PK & Litoria learn from Goanna how the Grass got sick, and that Rufous Bettong has moved

PK & Litoria learn from Goanna how the Grass got sick, and that Rufous Bettong has moved

The gully and surrounding land is part of  this Rufous Bettong’s territory. Its home and backyard.  This land was sprayed last year with glyphosate. Since then, the tall grass has died and fallen over. 

Hortico Weed Killer  360 Concentrate   Material Safety Data Sheet  (MSDS SHEET) = GLYPHOSATE  MSDS

The pathways and resting spots of other small animals that lived there were more  apparent for a while after the spraying. Eventually the wildlife  re-adapted their travel and lifestyles.  The changing of the landscape can have many consequences.

The dead thatched layer of this sprayed gully was quite high, and opened up  in places.

The Rufous Betong had nested in one such thatched area  when I walked next to it. I disturbed the Bettong and  gave it a fright.

Extracting itself from the undergrowth, it thumped away very quickly. Poor dear Rufous Bettong!

Lesson 1 :  Aepyprymnus rufescens -RUFOUS BETTONG  * =  beautiful!!!

 lesson 2 : sudden change and human traffic can cause stress to a vulnerable animal… a threatened species listed animal – marsupial… one of 25 listed little darlings

lesson 3 : Rufous Betong , one of 25 threatened Marsupials in NSW  RUFOUS BETTONG  – vulnerable marsupial species listing in NSW

Rufous Bettong distribution and vegetation association – Northern Rivers, New South Wales

NSW Environmental Legislation   

Rufous Bettong at the Marsupial Society of Australia  

bluecray.org  : see original article here, with more Threatened Species links :  Rufous Bettong and the Glyphosate Bank

bluecray search engine : Rufous Bettong  

bluecray Regional Environmental News – Mt Warning Caldera  SEARCH : Rufous Bettong

Litoria species – a little Frog of Wetlands, Forests and Woodlands – Habitat Care and Stewardship

March 4, 2009

litoria_latopalmata_burringbar3

Litoria species of frogs occur throughout the Mt Warning (Wollumbin) Caldera Region of NE NSW & SE QLD.   Byron Shire, in the Northern Rivers of NSW has many lowlands, wetlands, small catchments, remnant forest ecosystems and development and vegetation / habitat clearing pressures. Tweed Shire , in the Northern Rivers of NSW, the same. Both Shires have lowland estuarine and swamp (high water table) vegetation communities that can often have their water tables changed by inappropriate development. The re-shaping of catchments, and thus ground water flows and sedimentation areas, can have far reaching consequences for our beautiful East Coast Australian Frogs.

litoria_latopalmata_burringbar2

Litoria Species do not always need to live in the low wetland areas. some can be found higher up, on perched water table areas, wet and dry rainforests – indeed anywhere that there is clean water and habitat condusive to breeding and living successfully as a frog.

The little Frog in the photos is Litoria latopalmata, from what I can work out.

Lets have a look at some websites about this beautiful little frog:

Gold Coast City Council – Litoria latopalmata    a photo

Native animals of the Gold Coast’s eucalypt forests and woodlands Google HTML doc  of the PDF  

Native animals living in or near creeks and rivers of the Gold Coast (Gold Coast City Council) Google HTML doc of the PDF

The frogs of NSW Wetlands at NSW Department of Natural Resources  

Litoria latopalmata (Broad Palmed Frog) at Amphibiaweb : distribution, photos, links, specimen search

Call and video list on Amphibiaweb   

Litoria latopalmata at Frogs Australia Network – Australian Frog Database   

ICUN Redlist of threatened species :  Broad-Palmed Rocket Frog – Litoria latopalmata  

Australian Government Action Plan for Frogs “Checklist of Australian Frogs”      

A survey of the frogs of Nixon and Little Nerang Creeks adjacent to the proposed Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk route. 2005  googleHTML doc for the same PDF at the EPA Queensland  Government  (Environmental Protection Agency QLD)

Australian Faunal Directory   at  the     Australian Biological Resources Study  –  web page for    Species Litoria latopalmata Günther, 1867 (Broad-palmed Frog, Gunther’s Frog)

Amphibian’s Keepers LicenceNSW Government – Google HTML Doc

Wetland Link :  Wetland Management tools for NSW  and some legislative info? 

litoria_latopalmata_burringbar5

bluecray frog links  

bluecray Regional Environmental News Search – Mt Warning Caldera  Litoria latopalmata – search

bluecray.org   : more photos of the little (Litoria sp. ) frog here

NSW Department of Water & Energy  

NSW Department of Primary Industries   

NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change   

NSW Department of Lands

Australian Frog Calls, Subtropical Eastern Australia – by David Stewart 

 

I found this little frog in a bucket, that was left outside last night. I put the little frog into the wettest, most protected part of the garden, and it hopped away

I found this little frog in a bucket, that was left outside last night. I put the little frog into the wettest, most protected part of the garden, and it hopped away