Saturday, August 13, 2016
Denis introduced me to blogging and nurtured my love of photography and the natural world.
As a naturalist with attitude he was not afraid to take on the big issues and was a champion of causes such as those to stop fracking and the preservation of aquifers that supported fragile and rare environments.
Denis passed peacefully in the early hours yesterday after a long battle with leukemia.
Always upbeat and a fighter to the end he was a positive example and mentor to many over many years.
We continue in the memory of him and the example he set. You will be missed Denis.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
On a recent trip to the inland of Australia I was able to check out some temporary surface waters around the South Australian and Northern Territory borders.
To my surprise I was able to capture a fierce battle between a horse shoe crab like creature and what I assume are two small predatory larvae.
As the waters do not last very long the race is on to grow and procreate with these tadpole sized players fighting hard to survive. I had been informed that the little horse shoe crab like creature had been found in ponds on top of Uluru after eggs had been blown in the winds with the smallest ponding of water enough to hatch them.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Devil in Recovery
Since the discovery of the mouth cancer that has decimated over 90 percent of the Tasmanian Devil population back in 2009 moves have been made to ensure the continuance of this unusual marsupial.
The South East Peninsular is being used as a sanctuary to release disease free animals in an attempt to stabilise the wild population numbers. The land of the peninsular is separated from the rest of the island by a man made canal used originally to hamper the escape of convicts.
Devil's will posture over food and occasionally this ends in nasty bites that can spread a transmittable cancer. This is one of only two types of cancer possible to transmit and it is done so through open wounds caused during a fight. The only other known example of such a cancer is transmitted dog to dog.
There may also be a feline strain though I believe it has not been substantiated yet.
Keeping track of animals released in the sanctuary is carried out by staff from UnZoo to monitor numbers and gain a better knowledge of this elusive and relatively unknown creature.
When in Tassie make sure you pay them a visit.
If and when the disease dies out in wild populations, the plan is to restock the island from the captive breeding programs. As not all animals in the wild will succumb it may take years to ensure that reinfection cannot occur and that the strain of cancer is extinct.