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Articles: nature

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. …

Winter wonders

| nature

By Karen Retra, Wodonga Urban Landcare Network Winter has never been my favourite time of year. I ‘feel the cold’, as they say. The shorter daylight hours feel constrained compared to when they extend into the evening. Previously, my approach to winter was perhaps like animals that hibernate or avoid much activity in winter – …

Hollow firewood

| energy, nature

By Graham Parton In the winter months who doesn’t like a nice warm fire to warm the house up. Unfortunately, this may be something we should be giving up if we want to preserve native species such as koalas and gliders. The main driver for species extinctions in Australia is not climate change, or cats, …

Robin Hood

| nature

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability Quite a few species of birds occurring throughout the north-east region feature conspicuous black and white plumage. This includes many common and familiar species such as the Willie Wagtail, Magpie-lark and of course the Australian Magpie, but one black and white species that is …

Forest bathing

| health, nature

By Jonathon Howard As we emerge from isolation during the Covid pandemic, now is a good time to exercise both your body and soul.  Something that might take your fancy is ‘Forest bathing”. The concept of forest bathing emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku. Contrary to the name, …

An opportunity gone missing?

| food, nature, waste

By Jonathon Howard There is increasing interest in ‘regenerative’ agriculture. It is a system of farming that promotes a reduction in external inputs, such as chemicals and synthetic fertilisers, and focuses on ‘regenerating’ the natural assets on the farm. In doing so there is evidence to suggest the approach reduces peaks and troughs in farm …