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Articles: nature

What Has Biodiversity Ever Done For Us?

| nature

By Lauriston Muirhead Biodiversity is the diversity of life found in an ecosystem.  The more biodiverse, the more balanced and resilient the ecosystem.  A diverse ecosystem is more resistant to shocks and will last longer. What has biodiversity ever done for us? Well for a start, it has provided nearly all the oxygen on the …

Garden Planning

| garden, nature

By Jenny Indian A friend of mine recently lamented that when she planned her garden she failed to take into account the importance of planting native vegetation to attract native birds.  Although she had planted some natives, her feeling was that she should have planted a total native garden. On reflection, I thought that was …

How old can trees grow?

| nature

By Alan Hewett What is the single oldest living thing on Earth? Until recently it was a Great Basin bristlecone pine in California called, appropriately, Methuselah. It’s age? 4,853 years old. Amazing as that sounds a tree recently discovered in Chile called Gran Abuelo (great-grandfather), is estimated to be 5,484 years old. This tree is …

Frog habitat matters

| garden, nature

By Anne Stelling, Parklands Albury Wodonga It’s frog season and anyone walking in the parks will be well aware – in some places the evening chorus can be almost deafening! Hearing their combined calls, I find myself listening for one in particular – the big, intermittent ‘gulp’ call of the Eastern Banjo frog. I haven’t …

The Beauty of Bogong Moths

| nature

By Alan Hewitt If you have driven along the Great River Road near Tintaldra or walked along the Yindymarra trail and the recently opened Crossing trail you will have seen the various sculptures celebrating the Bogong moth. But what was the importance of the moth to indigenous people? For millennia the Bogong moths travelled thousands …

Become a Sloane’s Champion

| nature

By Karen Retra, Wodonga Urban Landcare Network Have you heard of the Sloane’s froglet? It’s a tiny, local, endangered frog. They are around 2cm long and grey-olive in colour. Male frogs call to advertise to potential mates and to warn off other male frogs. Frog calls are distinctive, so hearing them is enough to identify the …

Water is Life

| energy, nature

By Olivia Brozecki As a first generation Australian, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realise my olive-skin is read as ‘white’ in every way that matters. I’ve never been refused a job due to the colour of my skin. I’ve never had someone grip their handbag tightly upon my approach. Etc. Up until …

Brumbies: Separating Fact from Fiction

| nature

By Alan Hewett The plans of the Victorian government to proceed with shooting brumbies in the Alpine National Park has seen another outbreak of protest. Culling any animal species is an emotional issue, especially if they are native, but brumbies are an introduced species so why the outrage? In October 2000 the NSW Parks Service …

For better or worse …

| nature

By Jonathon Howard Can animals be married? According to the dictionary marriage is a ‘legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship’. There is no such thing as ‘legal recognition’ for animals, but we can recognise when two individuals have close lifelong partnerships. Shingleback lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) sometimes referred to as …

Hobby beekeepers need to step up

| food, nature

By Debbie Rodda There are three main reasons why people like to keep bees. One is to pollinate their fruit trees and vegie gardens. Another is to “save the bees”. A third reason is to provide honey for family and friends. To my thinking, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) doesn’t necessarily need ‘saving’ in Australia. …