Tag Archives: cats

Cats are lovely pets but;

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And there’s other reasons to discourage cat ownership..

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Predators are disappearing world-wild, including from our seas. On land this can have unforseen effects. The left diagram below is what we have done, and the right is what the science suggests we should do. The problem is these decisions would effect on-farm income.

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However agriculture and conservation can work together. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus in arid South Australia released 4 threatened study mammals from feral predation. The result was the 4 species’ removal from the IUCN Red list.

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So next time you see a spider or cockroach in your cupboard remember your own actions and decisions also have consequenses.

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No rabbits this Easter!

Small mammals in this country under the 5kg weight range are being decimated by introduced cats and foxes, but how many of us understand this is a part of a global extinction event that is underway?

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Yellow-footed antechinus, recently photographed on Goulburn river bank amongst fallen logs and flood debris. This species is one of the few small marsupials still seen in the wild in Victoria (and can be active in daylight hours). Each year ALL the males die after mating.  

squirrel glider in hand

Squirrel gliders are rarely seen however. This little chap was found in a bad way on a road and brought to the Bohollow Wildlife Centre, Kotupna Vic and was my first chance to see one close up….a truly beautiful creature. These gliders are capable of a 90meter ‘flight’ and are mainly found in non-fragmented dry sclerophyll forest on inland slopes of the great divide. We have all but destroyed such places, hence Petaurus norfolcensis’s increasing rarity.

A human devised technologically based system has replaced the natural system. This pie chart shows how humanity and our domestic animals now dominate the planet’s biomass.

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Fossilized carbon has been used to make this change and has heated our planet.

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Carnaby black cockatoo’s dead from heat stress. This bird has decreased 50% in 45 years! I went to school in Albany WA and these birds were a daily part of my world, I walked through a pine forest on my way to school, they love pine trees.

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Red-tailed black cockatoos in WA (race Naso) are now classed as ‘near threatened’ and only 500-1000 Vic birds (race graptogyne) still exist, and are listed as endangered. 

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It is likely your children and their children will be living in a much reduced biome. So don’t teach your kids about fluffy rabbits and cats, Aussie kids need to know about Aussie warm and fluffies.

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Rufous Hare-wallaby or Mala Largorchestes hirsutus

Mala, the smallest surviving hare-wallaby, now extinct on mainland Australia but once common in spinifex country.

Mala, the smallest surviving hare-wallaby, now extinct on mainland Australia (except behind wire)  but once common in spinifex country.

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The beautiful coat of Mala

Boodie or burrowing bettong Bettongia lesueur:   now extinct on the mainland (except behind wire) once lived in communal burrows over most of southern Australia. At Lake Mungo (NSW) huge circles of exposed light coloured earth indicate how large these systems once were. Invading rabbits simply moved into the bettong warrens displacing the marsupial owners.

Boodie young being weighed and measured, rudely interrupted from slumber by ecologist

Boodie young being weighed and measured, rudely interrupted from slumber by ecologist!

Ecologist Felicity L'Hotellier at work, Scotia Sanctuary NSW, winter 4am after starting at midnight. These people are dedicated. Understanding the biology and requirements of these animals is the first step in helping them survive in a fragmented and warming future Australia.

Field Ecologist Felicity L’Hotellier at work, Scotia Sanctuary NSW, winter 4am after starting at midnight. These people are dedicated. Understanding the biology and requirements of these animals is the first step in helping them survive in a fragmented and warming future Australia.

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The indignity of having one’s tail measured!

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Adult Burrowing bettong

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Onychogalea fraenata: photographs do not do this animal justice. Adults present as both beautiful and tender. Joeys are even more beautiful, to my eye they have the proportions of the red kangaroo in miniature, the result is a fine and delicate creature which contrasts with its arid preferred home.

nailtail young Nailtail joey, a bucket of cuteness

By the 1950’s this wallaby along with their cousins the crescent nailtail were considered extinct everywhere but were rediscovered by an alert bushman in 1973. Once common it is now restricted to a tiny area of Qld, and also behind wire.

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