Author Archives: Around the WEB

In the news: October 2020

Victorian ecovillage The Cape sees nearly 100 bird species take up residence

Residents in a regional Victorian housing development are reporting nearly 100 bird species living in their neighbourhood, which the developers and experts say is evidence the project has helped biodiversity.

By Jim Mao, Domain. 20 Oct 2020

Sulphur-crested cockatoos can be noisy and destructive, but they’re also very clever

Here are some facts you may not know.

By Anna Salleh, ABC Science. 18 October 2020

Australia needs a new agency to monitor threatened species, top scientists say

The federal government should establish a new agency similar to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to observe and make forecasts on the state of Australia’s wildlife, according to leading Australian scientists.

By Lisa Cox, The Guardian. 14 October 2020

How maverick re-wilders are trying to turn back the tide of extinction

A handful of radical nature lovers are secretly breeding endangered species and releasing them into the wild. Many are prepared to break the law and risk the fury of the scientific establishment to save the animals they love.

By Patrick Barkham, The Guardian. 13 October 2020

One-Fifth of countries at risk of ecosystem collapse, analysis finds

…because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian. 12 Oct 2020

‘Major gaps’: no state meets national environment standards

State and territory governments should make major reforms to their environmental laws and increase compliance regimes to meet the national standards, new research has found.

The findings are revealed in a report from the “Places You Love” alliance of conservation groups, released on Monday, which found “not only does no state or territory law meet national standards, but in some jurisdictions, the environmental protections in state and territory laws have actually been weakened”.

By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 October 2020


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Koalas over Barilaro any day

NSW PREMIER GLADYS Berejiklian will stand her ground and refuse the Nationals’ demands for an urgent cabinet meeting to debate planning policy relating to koalas.

Her stance is likely to infuriate the junior Coalition partner, which has threatened to boycott a joint party room meeting next week ahead of a parliamentary sitting period.

It may also see two Nationals MPs, Chris Gulaptis and Gurmesh Singh, sit on the crossbench next week, which would leave the Berejiklian government without a majority in the lower house.

The issue is causing bitter division in the Coalition and threatens to split the government.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday asked Ms Berejiklian to hold a special cabinet meeting on September 14 to urgently debate issues around the guidelines which form part of a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) that seeks to protect koala habitat.

NSW Berejiklian government in chaos as Nationals quit over koala protection policy
By Anne Davies, The Guardian. 10 September 2020

The Nationals want Planning Minister Rob Stokes to agree to a raft of changes, including the definition of core koala habitat, before Parliament resumes next Tuesday.

But on Tuesday Ms Berejiklian ruled out the special meeting and said the issue would be added to a further cabinet agenda. She also backed Mr Stokes.

“There are scheduled cabinet meetings and of course, that issue will be discussed at a scheduled cabinet meeting,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I’m really pleased with the way in which Mr Stokes has listened to the concerns of members and I feel that he has continued to provide a good balance where we protect one of our most loved species but also protect the property rights of people.”

By Alexandra Smith, The Sydney Morning Herald.  8 September 2020

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In the news: September 2020

It’s all about this

Property developer complained to John Barilaro about NSW koala protection policy

By Ben Smee and Anne Davies, The Guardian. 16 September 2020

‘We are relying on a pinky promise’: The problem with the Government moving its environmental powers to states

As the NSW Government descends into chaos over koala protections, the Federal Government is in a scramble trying to hand over its environmental powers to the states.

Just over a month ago — perhaps an eternity in the political news cycle — Environment Minister Sussan Ley welcomed a landmark review into our national environment laws by reaching across the aisle.

By Michael Slezak, ABC News. 13 September 2020.

Blood sports favoured — in British Royal child-rearing it’s traditional

… learning to chase animals and kill them, as Prince George is also doing, age seven? Reports suggest this veteran — he started at five — has again joined his family on a grouse shoot near Balmoral.

By Catherine Bennett, The Guardian. 6 September 2020

WWF report finds 71pc decline in koala numbers across northern NSW bushfire-affected areas

The study was commissioned by the WWF (previously known as World Wildlife Fund) for Nature Australia and chief executive Dermot O’Gorman said the findings are devastating.

By Kirstie Wellauer and Kerrin Thomas, ABC News. 6 September 2020

Australia’s environment minister orders investigation into export of hundreds of endangered parrots

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, has appointed an auditor to investigate her own department over the export of hundreds of native and endangered parrots to Germany over a three-year period.

By Lisa Cox, The Guardian. 4 September 2020.

Crossbenchers furious after Government shuts down debate on environmental protection laws

The Federal Government has been compared to the North Korean autocracy by furious crossbench MPs, who were denied a chance to speak on environment laws in Parliament this afternoon.

The Government used its numbers this evening to pass legislation that would streamline environmental approval processes by handing powers from federal authorities to states and territories.

By Jordan Hayne, ABC News. 4 September 2020.

Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards ceremony goes digital

Most of us humans have spent a fair bit of time at home lately.

But while we’ve all been inside, the animal kingdom’s circle of life keeps on turning — and some of the beauty of it has been captured by talented snappers in this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

By ABC News. 3 September 2020.

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research study finds honeybee venom rapidly kills aggressive breast cancer cells

Venom from honeybees has been found to rapidly kill aggressive and hard-to-treat breast cancer cells, according to potentially groundbreaking new Australian research.

By Nicolas Perpitch, ABC News. 1 September 2020.


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Cornerstone of environmental protection in Oz has failed. Why?


THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Biodiversity Conservation Act has been the only thing standing between Australia’s beleagured native animals and plants and even more development destruction and pending extinctions. But its 20-year review shows it has been failing our wildlife and habitats. This ABC podcast explains why and where to from here.

with Annabelle Quince, Keri Phillips, on Rear Vision (ABC RN)

Photo: Swift Parrot, Gunjan Pandey. Wikimedia CC-4.0

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Esperance (WA) kookaburra sighting raises questions about native wildlife management


THE NATION’S LARGEST bird organisation has logged its first ever record of a kookaburra in the West Australian south coast town of Esperance.

But given it is the “king of the bush”, one expert has suggested a kookaburra cull could be an idea worth exploring.

Sean Dooley, the national public affairs manager for BirdLife Australia, said kookaburras were introduced to WA from the east coast back in 1896 and records show they had reached Albany by the 1960s.

But BirdLife had no record of a kookaburra ever being in Esperance before, until local resident Barbara Jones took a drive with her husband this week.

“Out the corner of my eye I saw a bird and I thought, ‘That’s a kookaburra!’ ” she told the ABC.

“[But my husband’s] comment to me was, ‘Well, in the 22 years that I’ve been here I’ve never seen a kookaburra.’ ”

By Emily Smith, ABC News


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In the news: August 2020

Aboriginal rangers locate rare Night Parrot in outback WA’s Martu country

One of Australia’s most mysterious birds has been found by Aboriginal rangers in outback WA.

A recent sound recording of the elusive night parrot on Martu country is the fifth confirmed location in WA.

By Tom Zaunmayr, Kalgoorlie Miner. 26 August 2020

What this critically endangered bird tells us about Australia’s failing environment protection laws

When Sean Dooley started birdwatching as a kid in the 80s the swift parrot was already rare.

“It’s a beautiful bird. I remember around that time it was said that there were maybe 8,000,” he says. … there now could be as few as 1,000 left in the wild.

By Nick Wiggins and Keri Phillips for Rear Vision. 25 August 2020

NSW’s new national park in ‘koala country’

A key koala habitat in the NSW Southern Highlands will be protected by the creation of a new national park, which the state government hopes will go some way toward stabilising declining populations.

The new 3558-hectare Guula Ngurra National Park is home to 139 species, including more than 20 threatened species such as the koala, glossy black cockatoo, flame robin and squirrel glider.

By Dominica Sanda, AAP, PerthNow. 23 August 2020

Fundraisers try to save the last patch of unburnt forest in Manyana

The state government will contribute to a fund to buy land slated for a bitterly contested residential development on the last patch of unburnt forest in the South Coast town of Manyana in an effort to have it turned over to NSW National Parks.

By Nick O’Malley, The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 August 2020

Flying foxes trigger federal govt review of South Coast development

An endangered colony of grey headed flying foxes has triggered a federal government review of a controversial NSW South Coast development near the bushfire ravaged Conjola National Park.

The federal environment department will probe the contentious clearing of bushland for the proposed 182-lot housing estate on a 20-hectare site near the town of Manyana.

By Rob Harris, The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 August 2020

Bald Eagle attacks govt drone and send its to bottom of Lake Michigan

Drone was about 162ft in the sky when bald eagle attacked and tore propellor off, possibly mistaking it for a rival bird or snack.

By Guardian staff, Michigan. 15 August 2020

Magpies are not getting their ten hours of sleep a night, research finds, and light pollution’s to blame

New research has shown that artificial lighting, including street lights and domestic garden lighting, could be preventing magpies from getting much-needed sleep.

A study by La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne has been the first to measure neurological responses to light pollution for magpies and pigeons.

By Debra Pearce, ABC Mildura-Swan Hill. 9 Aug 2020

Evidence of platypus population found near major Sydney urban development

There are few creatures more elusive than the platypus but a team of citizen scientists and researchers have recently uncovered evidence of their existence in surprising places on Sydney’s northern fringe.

By Matt Bamford, ABC News. 7 Aug 2020

‘Miracles in our backyards’: Rare ecosystems on the brink

Almost half of Australia’s national-listed threatened animals and a quarter of the plant species at risk are found in the largest towns and cities, and the threats are intensifying.

By Peter Hannam, The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 Aug 2020


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