Connecting with nature on a regular basis makes us healthier, happier and smarter but finding the time to connect with nature each day can be a challenge. One way of making it easier for ourselves is by encouraging nature into our gardens. With a little creativity and a few native plants even the tiniest of courtyards can be transformed into an oasis of biodiversity. Continue reading →
Caring for the habitat around where you live is such an important part of attracting wildlife to your property. Few of us who live in urban environments live on properties big enough to support a colony of squirrel gliders, a few possums or a barn owl. All of these animals have home ranges much larger than the typical urban block of land, so caring for the habitat in your local community can improve the chances of these animals making a home in your neighbourhood. Continue reading →
Spring is here and native flowers are blooming. These beautiful, white flowers belong to the Tantoon or Yellow Tea Tree, (Leptospermum polygalifolium). The dense branches of this tree provide shelter and nesting sites for small birds and its tiny white flowers attract a multitude of insects, including hover flies, beetles and native bees. Continue reading →
Talking Nature usually focuses on Australia and the southern hemisphere and has talked about the importance of biodiversity here and here. So here is an article from our European earthlings about the invasive species they are dealing with.
Preserving the environment and strengthening Europe’s economies are often placed at odds but the truth is that each depends upon the other. One has only to look at the ash dieback outbreak in the UK to understand the economic perils of failing to preserve biodiversity. Continue reading →
We often view Nature as separate from the modern urban environments we live in. Nature conjures images of pristine and remote wilderness like the Tarkine in Tasmania or the Milford Track in New Zealand. Unfortunately only a small proportion of us visit these places and even fewer children in their formative years experience these truly wild environments. When we don’t engage with or understand Nature, we can become apathetic towards conserving it.
Wild and pristine ecosystems often hold great beauty and importance but we must remember that Nature extends to our local parks and backyards – Nature does not stop at a world heritage boundary. The urban ecosystem can be a complex diversity of native plants and animals. With a bit of clever urban design and some help from its residents (that’s you!) that diversity can be enhanced and sustained and people can discover Nature where they live – thus, fending off apathy. That’s why we must consider conservation strategies that reach into our urban environments, not just our national parks.
Way back at the turn of the century, a town called Sydney was getting ready to host the greatest show on earth, the Sydney Olympics. Aussie’s were proud and for a rare little frog, the planets aligned and it was thrust into the spotlight. Already a resident of the old brick pits in the Olympic site and sporting the Australian green and gold, fame was inevitable for the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea). So, more than 10 years ago this little frog raised the profile of amphibian decline in Australia, but what work has been done for Australia’s frogs since then? How is that green and golden bell frog doing? Is Australia still losing its frogs? If so, how can we help?
The iconic ‘Tassie devil’ (Sarcophilus harrisii), Australia’s largest extant marsupial carnivore, is in big trouble. Believed to have become extinct on the mainland some 400 years ago, the devil is now endemic only to Tasmania. In 1830 the Van Diemen’s Land company placed bounty on their heads but over a century later, ecological and ethical sense prevailed and they became a protected species. This protection saw their population rise to an estimated 250,000 devils in 1995. Yet now they face their biggest threat of all – Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).
What is this disease and can the devil survive it? Continue reading →
Since conceived by two sustainability academics in the 1990s, the Ecological Footprint has been used as an environmental accounting device to measure the demand you place on Earth. I thought I’d measure my own Ecological Footprint; it only took five minutes to answer some simple questions before being bluntly informed by an online calculator that no less than three Earths would be required if everyone in the world lived like me – an alarming figure! Continue reading →
They say every picture tells a thousand words…beauty, ecology, life, connection, nature are just some of the words that enter my mind when taking in the very natural and ‘alive’ images of Australian birds captured by Nicolas Rakotopare. Continue reading →
Something strange is happening in the South Australian seas. Someone’s not turned up for their party.
Around this time of year the Australian giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) gather along the South Australian coastline between False Bay and Whyalla to mate and spawn. These cuttlefish are cephelapods, an animal without a backbone. They are giants of their genus, they can grow to about a metre long from tentacle to tail and weigh over 5kg but they only live for 2 years! Continue reading →