Ash dieback appears to a fact of life for the UK. (Image: David Bole)
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.
Posts Tagged ‘Biodiversity’
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 in since then? How is that green and golden bell frog doing? Is Australia still losing its frogs and how can you help?
The iconic ‘Tassie devil’, 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 the early 1900s they had a bounty on their heads but 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).
This article describes Maungatautari, a volcano that’s become a native animal refuge in a sea of dairy pasture. New Zealanders have been first at many things. They may also be the first to create ‘islands on land’. That is, ‘ecological islands’ on land, anyway.
If you’ve ever walked through a forest of ancient Southern Beech (Nothofagus spp.) you can be forgiven for believing that you have just stepped into another world. You often find these trees growing as rings of giant trunks, covered in hundreds of epiphytes and mosses. But don’t be fooled. The rings of trunks are just the one tree! It’s called coppicing; the tree sends out new shoots radially from the base of the original trunk, and these shoot eventually grow into clones of the parent tree forming a ring of tunks, all belonging to the one tree.
The summer afternoon storms of subtropical Queensland are an awe inspiring sight and sound of nature. If you’re lucky enough to have some trees and ponds around your house, the wet balmy night will be filled with the crawk – crawk – crawk of male Green Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea) seducing prospective partners. But not all frogs are so lucky!
The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International year of biodiversity. This year we will celebrate life on earth and the importance of biodiversity. It also presents an occasion for us to think more about biodiversity. What exactly is meant by biodiversity? Why it is so important? This article answers these questions and introduces the concept of biodiversity.