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Articles: nature

Platypus need our help

| nature

By Geoff Williams, Australian Platypus Conservancy A juvenile platypus typically emerges from its nesting burrow in mid-summer when it’s around 3-4 months old. They then face a steep learning curve if they are to survive, as their mothers will continue to provide milk for only a few weeks before they are left to fend for …

Are mussels the champions of our rivers?

| nature

By Jonathon Howard I think mussels should be given an award. Afterall, mussels are amazing biofilters, they play a crucial role in keeping rivers healthy, and are an important part of the food web of our inland fisheries. Yet mussels are dying in the thousands, each mass death event brings those endangered molluscs species closer …

Native plants take over a New Zealand exotic plantation

| nature

By Mick Webster Locals may be interested in a citizen science conservation project undertaken by my brother near Christchurch in New Zealand. Next to his conservation covenanted bush block on the Banks Peninsula is a sizable plantation of exotic Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa). These trees were planted 30 years ago on extremely steep land and …

White-plumed honeyeater: a common resident

| nature

By Ian Davidson and Chris Tzaros – Wangaratta Landcare & Sustainability The White-plumed Honeyeater is often one of the first birds to call in the morning and the last to call in the evening. It is commonly observed along the treed waterways and roadsides throughout our district, flitting around the canopies of trees and on …

Innovate to Regenerate

| climate change, energy, nature, transport

By Kirsten Coates What would Australia look like by 2030 if we simply listened to the needs of its people? Imagine what a high-speed rail network connecting regional areas and cities would look like! Imagine what large scale wind, solar, battery and hydrogen projects would do for hundreds of thousands of employees and imagine the …

Pond life

| climate change, food, nature

By Bruce Key Sometimes we come across a story with a message. Here is one such story. The story is about a large pond, about the size of a farm dam. On day one, a microscopic weed blows into the pond. The weed is very vigorous, and every day it doubles in extent as it …

Keeping ahead of climate change

| climate change, nature

By Charles Robinson After noticing the increasing intensity of summer downpours on our property over a ten-year period, I decided to take decisive action.  Heavy rainfall would often result in water lapping at our doorstep and it would only be a matter of time before extreme rains would force this water inside. Accordingly, I contracted …

People power – watching out for platypus

| nature

By Geoff Williams of the Australian Platypus Conservancy We’ve frequently had cause to describe how the Australian Platypus Monitoring Network (APMN) is helping to harness volunteer energy and enthusiasm on behalf of platypus conservation. APMN participants have to date conducted over 43,000 standardised scans and recorded nearly 12,000 platypus sightings that are summarised online. An …

Getting to know ladybird beetles

| food, garden, nature

By Karen Retra Did you know there are about 500 species of ladybird beetles in Australia? Of these, I regularly see five species in my garden. Ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae family) are terrific pest controllers. For many species, both the larvae and adults feed on small, soft-bodied and sap-sucking insects like aphids, scales and mites. Maybe …

Dear Santa

| nature, waste

By Jonathon Howard Dear Santa Although I am in my fifties, this is my first letter to you. You see I normally don’t ask for anything at Christmas. I think it is because part of me believes I am on your ‘naughty list’. But this letter is not about me. I am a dad now …