Author Archives: Around the WEB

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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‘Fundamental failure’: Environment Department not protecting koala habitat


By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Only 10 percent of the koala habitat cleared in NSW and Queensland between 2012 and 2017 was assessed by the federal government, despite national environment law requiring protection for threatened species.

KOALAS WERE LISTED as a vulnerable species in 2012 and of the 160,000 hectares of known and likely habitat cleared up to 2017, 90 percent was not reviewed by the federal government for its impact to the species. The new figures are revealed in an analysis of government development approval registers by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

SEEN ABOVE:  Koala displaced by habitat loss, Leard State Forest, NSW. Image Maria Taylor, District Bulletin March 2016.

Significant challenges confront koalas after last summer’s bushfires. Environment Minister Sussan Ley warned earlier this year that their status in some areas of their range may be upgraded to endangered. But since the species was listed as threatened, there has not been one enforcement action taken by the federal government against unapproved clearing of habitat.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act requires the federal government to assess developments which could impact the health of threatened species, as well as World Heritage areas.


In a submission to the Victorian government the AWPC have formulated a number of recommendations:

The Building Blocks of Extinction and Biodiversity Loss in Victoria

Australian Wildlife Protection Council submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the extinction crisis in Victoria.



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In the news: July 2020

Huntsman spider rescue and rehabilitation earns Townsville woman PETA ‘animal hero’ award

When Elina Walsh found an emaciated huntsman spider with only two legs, she did what most people would never consider doing — she saved its life.

Ms Walsh received the Hero To Animals award after she hand-fed the spider, nicknamed ‘Peggy’, for a month, while it grew its legs back.

By Nathalie Fernbach and Jessica Naunton, ABC North Qld. 31 July 2020

Fossil fuel industry levy should pay for bushfire impact, climate action group report

Former emergency leaders, climate scientists, doctors and community members are calling on the Federal Government to impose a levy on the fossil fuel industry for a climate disaster fund to help pay for the impact of natural disasters.

By Phillipa McDonald, ABC News. 30 July 2020

Vietnam bans wildlife imports and markets amid concerns over coronavirus spread

Vietnam has announced it will ban wildlife imports and close wildlife markets in response to renewed concerns about the threat from diseases that can jump from animals to humans, such as the virus that causes COVID-19.

By AP/ABC. 26 July 2020

NSW minister urges Morrison government not to ‘smash through’ conservation law changes

State Liberal Matt Kean calls on his federal counterpart to drop opposition to an independent environment protection authority.

The New South Wales environment minister has called on the Morrison government not to “smash through” changes to national conservation laws and to drop its opposition to an independent environment protection authority.

By Adam Morton, Environment editor, The Guardian.  25 July 2020

Echidna breeding season underway, with rare group sightings by bushwalkers more likely

Having a steady stream of suitors vying for your affection might seem like a dream come true, but for a female echidna it’s just a regular part of life at this time of year.

The usually solitary mammals are rarely sighted in groups, with the exception of the June to September breeding season, when lucky bushwalkers may come across an “echidna train” in action.

By Debra Pearce, ABC News. 25 July 2020

Meet Moss, the detection dog helping Tassie Devils find love

Moss bounds happily through the bush showing the usual exuberance of a young labrador. Despite this looking like play, he is on a serious mission to help fight the extinction of some of our most critically endangered species.

Moss is a detection dog in training. Unlike other detection dogs, who might sniff out drugs or explosives, he’ll be finding some of Victoria’s smallest, best camouflaged and most elusive animals.

By La Toya Jamieson and Marissa Parrott, The Conversation. 20 July 2020

Why is Australia a global leader in wildlife extinctions?

Plant and animal species in Australia are becoming extinct as fast as ever. Why is it happening? And what would it take to reverse the decline?

By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 July 2020

‘Fundamental failure’: Environment Department not protecting koala habitat

Only 10 percent of the koala habitat cleared in NSW and Queensland between 2012 and 2017 was assessed by the federal government, despite national environment law requiring protection for threatened species.

Koalas were listed as a vulnerable species in 2012 and of the 160,000 hectares of known and likely habitat cleared up to 2017, 90 percent was not reviewed by the federal government for its impact to the species.

By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 July 2020

A million mink culled in Netherlands and Spain amid Covid-19 fur farming havoc

Spain has ordered the culling of nearly 100,000 mink on a farm and an estimated one million mink have already been culled on Dutch fur farms, as coronavirus wreaks havoc in the European fur farming industry.

By Sophie Kevany, The Guardian. 18 July 2020

The Agile Project wins approval for nation’s largest relocation of wallabies after three-year battle

A Cairns-based wildlife rescue group has finally received a State Government permit for Australia’s largest ever macropod relocation.

The Agile Wallaby Project has been campaigning to relocate 400 wallabies that have been displaced because of development on the northern beaches of Cairns, and move them to a safer location.

By Kier Shorey and Amanda Cranston, ABC Far North. 16 July 2020

Mongolian teenager dies of bubonic plague caught from infected marmot

A 15-year-old boy has died in western Mongolia of bubonic plague, the country’s national news agency reported. The Health Ministry said laboratory tests confirmed the teenager died of plague that he contracted from an infected marmot, according to the Montsame News Agency.

By ABC News. 15 July 2020



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In the news: June 2020

Captive-bred regent honeyeaters successfully released in Hunter Valley, giving new hope for critically endangered species

There is renewed hope for critically endangered regent honeyeaters after a large-scale release of captive-bred birds in New South Wales.

By Emma Siossian, ABC Mid North Coast. 23 June 2020

The long-nosed potoroo outsmarts and lives alongside cats

A new study has found that long-nosed potoroos are capable of co-existing with a deadly predator.

By The Conversation. 16 June 2020

Banned: No more pangolin scales in traditional medicine, China declares

The Chinese government has banned pangolin scales from use in traditional Chinese medicine, and elevated pangolins to be a level one protected species within China.

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts, Mongabay. 10 June 2020

Mysterious night parrots may be blinded by the night

Australia’s most elusive bird, the night parrot, may not be as good at seeing in the dark as its name would suggest, and not much better at seeing in the dark than daytime active parrots.

By Dr Vera Weisbecker, The University of Queensland. 10 June 2020

The photographers changing the way we see animals

Popular culture can create stereotypes of ‘cuddly’ pandas or ‘evil’ snakes — but some photographers are setting out to change how we see wildlife, writes Graeme Green.

By Graeme Green, BBC. 9 June 2020

Discovering Colombia’s rare flora and fauna

Colombia’s tropical rainforests have been disappearing fast. Since the 2016 peace deal between the government and the Farc guerrillas much of the virgin jungle that was previously off-limits due to conflict has now been chopped down, destroying entire ecosystems. But now efforts are under way to save what’s left.

By Frank Gardner, BBC. 7 June 2020


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In the news: May 2020

Wildlife markets are the tip of the iceberg and not just in China

In the heart of central Jakarta, about 20 minutes from Joko Widodo’s Presidential Palace, the Pramuka Bird Market is open for business: Today, Vonis, a local trader who uses just the one name, is holding forth about the origins of the coronavirus that has infected nearly 6 million people … “It’s hoax. It is not true that bats caused COVID-19. I’ve been selling this [bats] for many years, nobody gets sick here. No one. Also, many Indonesians eat bat meat and nobody is sick. I myself healed my asthma after consuming bat. It happened when I was around 25 years old. I’m a bit over 40, I am healthy now,” he says.

Stop the Wildlife Trade: Descriptions of new species in research can help traffickers find them

Scientific research that heralds the discovery of new species can have an unintended but potentially devastating consequence: providing a roadmap for wildlife traffickers.

By Louise Boyle, Independent, UK. 31 May 2020

First Koala of the season born named Ash!

We have a very special announcement… Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello! [VIDEO]

By Australian Reptile Park, YouTube. 27 May 2020

Israel seals bat caves [from] visitors to shield endangered species from virus

[Israel] Nature and Parks Authority on Tuesday banned the entry of visitors to a host of caves across the country that serve as a natural habitat for bats, due to fear humans might transmit coronavirus and harm the flying mammals.

By Ynet News, 26 May 2020

Claudia Karvan joins last-ditch campaign to save unburnt bushland from development

Residents say South Coast site saved from bushfires by volunteer firefighters should be preserved for threatened species.

By Anne Davies, The Guardian. 25 May 2020

Angle Vale [Adelaide] bird rescuers left ‘traumatised’ as hundreds of corellas drop dead from the sky

Wildlife rescuers say they have been left traumatised by the carnage as hundreds of birds dropped dead from the sky in Adelaide’s north.

By Emily Ollie, 7 News. 20 May 2020

Victorian duck shooter’s guns seized and licence suspended after drone spies suspect behaviour

A Melbourne duck shooter has had his guns seized and gun license suspended after being caught with illegal drugs on the opening weekend of duck season.

The man was filmed by an animal welfare campaigner’s drone, who contacted police after seeing what they believed to be a duck shooter snorting drugs off a camping table before hunting.

By Ben Knight, ABC News, 20 May 2020

Australia Fires: Rescue dog ‘Bear’ saves scores of koalas

An Australian Koolie dog who was abandoned by his family has been rescued and retrained to detect koalas. [Watch video via link on headline.]

Bear has been following the aftermath of Australia’s bushfires since January, finding sick, injured or starving koalas that otherwise would have perished. He has now found more than 100.

By Isabelle Rodd, BBC News. 15 May 2020

Inspiring stories of protecting wildlife

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Africa’s national parks and local communities. With most of Southern and East Africa on lockdown, tourism and local revenue is plummeting. During this time of financial hardship, national parks across Africa are seeing a rise in poaching events and wildlife crime.

IFAW-supported rangers in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia are on the frontlines, protecting wildlife during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the first line of defense against poachers, ensuring that Africa’s beautiful national parks remain safeguarded and rich with biodiversity.

By James Isiche, ifaw. 13 May 2020

Fears for endangered species as housing development continues to destroy habitats

Housing development on the fringes of Australia’s cities is destroying hectares of habitats needed for endangered animals, experts warn.

Analysis of satellite images of urbanisation in Harrington Grove in NSW, Craigieburn in Victoria and Springfield in Queensland show hectares of natural habitats eliminated by spread of the cities’ urban footprint.

By Jim Malo, Domain. 10 May 2020

Fear of flying foxes: coronavirus is topping off a bad year for Australia’s bats

They’ve faced drought, extreme heat and bushfires, and now they have to deal with a new paranoia courtesy of the pandemic.

By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian. 9 May 2020

How COVID-19 is linked to the way we treat animals

SARS, swine flu and COVID-19 all have something in common: these viruses crossed to humans from animals. “Wet markets”, factory farms and slaughter practices are pieces of the puzzle — globally. So how can we reduce the risk of future pandemics, to help people and animals?

By Animals Australia. 15 May 2020

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In the news: April 2020

On and on it goes

We now know that one of the main triggers in regards to the increasing outbreaks of Zoonotic Diseases such as #Coronavirises like #Covid_19 are Wildlife Slaughter Industries, so not only is #RayBorda & his #MacroGroupAustralia Kangaroo Killing Empire showing no care in the eradication of Kangaroos via introduced mass slaughter but they are showing no care for the impacts on human health given the increasing outbreaks in #Zoonotic Diseases.

By Ngaya Palawa, Wugongga Kangaroo, Public Facebook Group. 30 April 2020

Australia’s threatened mammals decline by more than a third since 1990s, but there’s a silver lining

Populations declined by more than a third on average over the 20-year period — but the data also revealed that targeted conservation efforts are working.

By Nick Kilvert, ABC Science. 22 April 2020

Locust plague begins to strike farms in western NSW

After a year of battling drought, fire, dust, flood and disease, farmers in far western New South Wales are now facing a plague locust infestation.

Landholders are being asked to report locust activity to Local Land Services to help biosecurity experts stop the destructive insects from spreading.

By Lucy Thackray and Jessie Davies, ABC Rural. 21 April 2020

Expert bats away call for ‘ridiculous’ cull of Yarra Bend flying foxes

One of Australia’s leading bat experts says he can see no evidence native flying foxes pose a coronavirus risk, saying calls for Melbourne’s largest bat colony to be relocated or culled are “ridiculous”.

By Bianca Hall, The Age. 21 April 2020

Wildlife carers, vets call for faster and better prepared wildlife rescue after bushfires

A Snowy-Monaro-based wildlife carer has criticised the slow response to rescue and treat injured animals following the summer bushfires

By Bill Brown, ABC News. 19 April 2020

Love calls of powerful owls ring out along eastern Australia

It turns out our big cities are an important refuge for the owl — especially since the recent fires burned much of its natural home. And researchers want our help in finding its urban haunts.

By Anna Salleh, ABC Science. 17 April 2020

‘Massive’ funding boost needed to stop animal extinctions

A “massive” funding boost is needed to address the threat of extinction for more than 100 plants and animals that had habitat wiped out in the catastrophic summer bushfires, scientists and conservation groups say.

By Mike Foley, The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 April 2020

Coronavirus cripples wildlife sanctuaries, zoos as staff, volunteers pay for animals’ food

Wildlife sanctuaries, zoos and animal hospitals are being crippled by the coronavirus, with the ban on gatherings robbing them of the funds needed to feed the animals and retain staff.

By George Roberts, ABC News. 16 April 2020

Ending logging in Victoria now would save taxpayers $192m, budget office estimates

The Greens asked officials to calculate the cost of shutting down the native forest timber industry immediately rather than 2030 as planned.

By Adam Morton, Environment editor, The Guardian. 13 April 2020

Jane Goodall says global disregard for nature brought on coronavirus pandemic

Renowned conservationist and activist Dr Jane Goodall is hoping the coronavirus pandemic will be a wake-up call, warning the crisis is a result of human disregard for nature and animals.

By Kirsten Diprose and Matt Neal, ABC South West Vic. 11 April 2020

As yet UNKNOWN virus killing macropods

The Australian Registry of Wildlife Health is asking to be contacted if wildlife rescuers and vets are finding “unexplained cases of acute mortality and oedema” in macropods. Please keep eye out for symptoms, and report to the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health (

By The Bathurst Kangaroo Project, Facebook. 10 April 2020

China’s dogs to be recognised as pets not livestock under coronavirus regulation review

China has drawn up new guidelines to reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock …

Though dog meat remains a delicacy in many regions, the ministry said dogs would no longer be considered livestock.

By ABC News. 10 April 2020

Dingoes divide scientists and farmers over ecological importance

Some of NSW’s top scientists and farmers are at odds when it comes to the importance of dingoes to the state’s landscape.

By Giselle Wakatama, ABC Newcastle. 9 April 2020

Coronavirus is the biggest global science policy failure in a generation

The warnings of doctors and scientists were ignored, with fatal results.

By Richard Horton, The Guardian. 9 April 2020

Video: Young wombats

… can be very playful! Thank you Sammy’s Mob and all the carers.

Wombat Awareness Organisation, Facebook. 3 April 2020

Australia’s killing ways

“The birds that were released in 1902 apparently didn’t take, they didn’t survive very long,” he told Chris Wisbey on ABC Radio Hobart. “In 1906 there were birds released in places like Epping …

By Carol Rääbus, ABC Radio Hobart. (Archive 25 Jan 2018)


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