Tag Archives: Birdlife Australia

Horses and Beef also cause extinction

Here’s a little (unfinished) video which I shot and edited on the run in the Northern Territory, Australia.  The location is about one hour drive east of Alice Springs, known as Ross Creek.  “Arid” is a description which covers more than 90% of this country, water is the most precious commodity.

We call places where water naturally occurs a rock-hole, a waterhole, a soak or a well. They were revered and cared for for thousands of years by the first Australians. In the middle east they would be called oases. What WE do is use them to water stock (and make money). This is achieved by simply running stock on land with unrestricted access to natural waterholes. This video is an attempt to show the results of this practice. Native species have to cope with what is left, a stinking brew of warm mud, urine and faeces.

One can only wonder how much of our wonderful wildlife is slowly being poisoned on a daily basis.  They have no choice but to drink what is left.

Homesteaders proudly describe their properties by the square kilometer, holdings are huge by any standard. Beef cattle raising is one of very few ways money can be made from these arid lands, but at what cost?

Chasing Regent Honeyeaters

regent1

(Must get a better camera)

Regent Honeyeaters anthochaera phrygia where once widespread and abundant in south-eastern Australia but since the 1950s have declined and are now critically endangered.  Last week I was in northern Victoria working with the captive release monitoring programme (La Trobe, Monash, DELWP, NE Catchment) radio-tracking the 40 birds fitted with transmitters. I spent a great day with Dean Ingwersen (Birdlife Aust). Honeyeaters are Australia’s pollinators (honeybees are from Europe) and normally, these birds move in large flocks following flowering events. The release was timed for Ironbark flowering in Vic autumn/winter. Individual birds are constantly harassed by aggressive noisy-miners and wattle-birds, so large flock numbers is important to Regent survival. Lets hope the programme works!