Resilience, or the new (not pristine) ecosystem?

This winter I have been busily shooting this video…which is really a question I cannot answer. Why do these birds persist occupying this fragment of polluted creek estuary, only 10km from Melbournes’s CBD? Are they attracted in some way to urban space? Is winter warmer in the city? How do they withstand the relentless noise and noxious odours eminating from the refinery, the continual train passage, car traffic and heavy metals in the water, the dogs? Or is this a last refuge for them, a place where they can find food and shelter of sorts? Is there no place else to  go?

I spent a couple of hours today with my camera in the hope of shooting something extra, but the gagging fumes dove me away and I can still taste acrid refinery fumes.

Why is it some native species move to cities with people, rats and sparrows (possums, bats, parakeets and now even powerful owls)? Are our rural landscapes now so unfriendly to wild species? Is”biodiversity” moving to the world of people, or is this just an abboration?



3 thoughts on “Resilience, or the new (not pristine) ecosystem?”

  1. There is a lot about this question in Tim Low’s book The New Nature. He talk about a range of things – temperature, structures, etcetc. He talks about one interesting case where a frog (I think the golden bell frog) can handle heavy metal contamination but the chitrid fungus that kills off many frogs can’t. He talks about some ideal
    Plant habitats being quite degraded landscapes as well. I have written a bit about The New Nature on my blog though more about his interesting discussion of “what is a week?” than this issue. at . Interesting question!


  2. Thanks for the comment Mccnmatt, you’re the second person in 2 weeks to suggest Tim Low. I agree that systems nearly everywhere have been modified by humans, so “pristine” is probably a left-over white anglo dream. I lived in Albany WA as a kid and watched wild-fire every summer burn for weeks across the bay. Records of fires in this same region seen from passing ships are described by early Europeans, prior to settlement. The ‘first’ people burn daily regardless of season, and still would when taken back to ‘country’. I suppose what you are seeing re Pittos is evolution taking place with European “modifications”


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