Category 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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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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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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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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