Monday, November 1, 2010


Lead Stories


Eco tourism operators have a special duty to help save Australia's natural wildlife by creating corridors for threatened animals, says consultant Chris Warren. The strategy of creating national parks and protected land to preserve threatened species is not working, says the "responsible tourism" consultant from Kangaroo Valley in southern NSW. The protected areas end up as islands which eventually become isolated, he told the 18th annual Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference at Noosa. But with many eco tourism operators now owning substantial tracts of land, there was potential for local operators to work together to create pathways for wildlife to travel from one safe haven to another. "Australia has now developed three connectivity conservation projects, where protected areas are linked through corridors or buffer zones to enable wildlife to survive," Mr Warren told AAP. "It is our duty, because we are consuming nature as part of the core element of our tourism product."

Mr Warren said he would write to state and federal tourism ministers urging them to support the concept. Unless the industry changed the way it operated, the very resource it relied upon would suffer. "We morally have to do something to protect it, and as a strategy already exists in the connectivity program, it seems logical and efficient to tap into that," he said. "What's exciting is that it's about developing conservation at a local level, so the people in the communities start to develop a sense of place, an idea of where they are living, and by doing that begin to reassess their values and consider sustainability on a wider basis." Mr Warren offers the example of a low-carbon economy project he has led in Kangaroo Valley. "Importantly, there was no financial incentive through government grants - the principle has got to be what you're doing with your life, the value of where you're going in your life, and what your legacy is." * AAP

Coal Seam Gas

The establishment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing and export facilities at Gladstone could have a disastrous impact on threatened marine life, the World Wildlife Fund says. Endangered species will include Australia's only native dolphin - the rare snubfin dolphin. "The Gladstone developments will result in mass dredging on a scale never seen before in Queensland - enough to bury a football stadium almost 4km deep in mud and rock," said Lydia Gibson, WWF-Australia's Marine Species Manager. "The decimation of feeding and breeding grounds, increased shipping traffic, boat strikes, and chemical and noise pollution could all spell disaster for threatened snubfin dolphins, dugongs, and turtles. "The scale of dredging proposed is astounding - potentially more than 40 million cubic meters - and it's possible this mud and rock will be dumped inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area."

Ms Gibson said there were more than 100 major coastal developments proposed for the Queensland coast, including a number of coal and gas developments proposed for highly sensitive marine areas, including the LNG plant planned for Curtis Island, off Gladstone. She said a coal terminal planned for Balaclava Island on the mouth of the Fitzroy River 40kms north of Gladstone was proposed in prime snubfin dolphin habitat whre less than 100 snubfin dolphins live. "The loss of just two or three of these dolphins could be enough to trigger the extinction of this local population," Ms Gibson said. Without a strategic approach to managing the impacts on wildlife, it would be death by a thousand cuts for marine turtles, inshore dolphins and dugongs, she said. "If governments are serious about protecting unique wildlife they must put a stop to the current piece-meal approach to coastal development, adopt a more coordinated approach and designate sanctuaries that protect species from potentially devastating impacts of major coastal developments." *AAP

State of the Environment

New polling shows that Australians consider the state of the environment third amongst their most important issues, ahead of other important social issues, including unemployment. A surprising 13% of people polled named the environment their top issue of concern, while 91% said they thought big business should do more to reduce its impact on the environment. The poll also showed that 80% thought they could do more recycling at home, as well as widespread confusion about what can be recycled. *Network Item

Murray-Darling Backflip

We are hearing that the Murray-Darling Basin Authority may be reversing its stance on returning water flows to the river system. The Federal Minister for Water, Tony Burke, was seen to publicly pressure the Authority to adjust its management plans to reduce pain for irrigators, when he released new legal advice and demanded more consideration for economic and social impacts. This decision, which some media are describing as a backflip, occured after an outcry from local farmers facing water allocation cuts to improve the environmental flows and health of the river system.At least one conservatino group has described the whole process as having ‘‘gone off the rails’’. And no wonder, when Burke is involved.

Flying Foxes

A Lismore vet has performed an emergency Caesarean on a dying flying fox. The bat was taken to the city's veterinary hospital last week after it was found tangled in barbed wire. Lib Ruytenberg, from the animal-rescue group WIRES, says it was badly-injured and heavily pregnant. She says staff at the hospital had discussed the scenario, and were jubilant when the bat baby was successfully delivered. "Well it was a first for all those there, not just for me but for the vet staff, so it was squeals of excitement and the staff were grabbing their mobile phones and taking pictures and things like that so it was really, really exciting," Ms Ruytenberg said. "Baby Jemma is thriving and it's a grey-headed flying fox, which are the vulnerable-to-extinction flying foxes so she's pretty special and she's doing very well," she said. *ABC NthCoast

Stolen Monkey Recovered

A cross-eyed monkey stolen at the weekend has been found safe and returned to its wildlife park enclosure. Thieves broke into the Nowra Wildlife Park on the New South Wales south coast and stole Cheeky, a tiny, two-year-old common marmoset, from a mesh enclosure at the weekend. Possibly the only cross-eyed monkey in the country, its keepers feared it would struggle to survive without proper care. The primate has spent her whole life at the park and head keeper Trent Burton told The Daily Telegraph yesterday she would find it very difficult adapting to change. The ABC reports police discovered Cheeky at a home in Wollongong following a call to Crime Stoppers. They are questioning the residents. *Herald-Sun


A post-mortem examination on a rare Australian sea lion, washed up on the South Australian coast last month, reveals it was shot through the head. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials said today a hole in the animal's skull was consistent with a 5mm bullet. The sea lion was found on October 20, washed up on a beach near Port Wakefield, north of Adelaide. It was thought to have been dead in the water for about a week. Regional investigator Tony Zidarich said the killing of the sea lion was inexcusable and called for witnesses to come forward. "In South Australia all seals and sea lions are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act," he said. "It is illegal to kill or harm them in any way. "But not only that, these are vulnerable species and the Australian sea lion is one of the rarest seal species in the world." Mr Zidarich said only about 12,000 Australian sea lions were left in local waters, about 8500 in South Australia and 3500 in Western Australia. Maximum penalties for killing a sea lion in SA are a $100,000 fine or two-year jail sentence. *Adelaide Now

European Judge Marc Jaeger has refused to suspend a ban on the import of seal products in Europe, a move that will save the lives of hundreds of thousands of harp seals, sparing them from the brutal clubs of Canadian sealers. The European Union's decision to ban such imports prompted Canada to mount an expensive legal challenge using indigenous Inuit groups from Canada and Greenland as their pawns in a move to elicit sympathy for the commercial hunt, which is really a slaughter and has absolutely nothing to do with Inuit traditional hunting. Judge Marc Jaeger rejected the argument made by the Inuits that the embargo on seal products would cause severe financial damage and raise the risk of suicide among youths in their communities. The ban in question took partial effect on August 20, 2010, and included a temporary exemption for Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a native Canadian group, and 15 other plaintiffs who sought a freeze until Europe's top court makes a final ruling. But Jaeger rejected the request, making it a total ban until the European Court of Justice decides on the legality of the prohibition. *Sea Shepherd
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A teenage boy was shot dead by his friend in a tragic hunting accident in Victoria's north-east yesterday, police say. The two 16-year-olds were hunting rabbits in a paddock off Merriang South Road in Merriang, about 50 kilometres south-east of Wangaratta, when they spotted a fox about 6.45pm. A Victoria Police spokesman said the teenagers were tracking the animal through telescopic sights when one of the boys fired a shot. The bullet struck the other youth, who was standing a short distance ahead of him and to the side, in the back of the head. The boy suffered a critical head injury and was flown from Myrtleford to the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he died from his injury. It is the second fatal hunting accident involving a teenager in the same area in a matter of months. In July, 19-year-old Nick Welch was shot dead when his friend mistook him for a deer while on a hunting trip at Noorongong, south-east of Wodonga. The teenager, from Thurgoona in NSW, had become separated from the group when his friend fired upon him with a shotgun in fading light. And last month, a New Zealand high school teacher was shot dead by a hunter who mistook her for a deer in Turangi, in the North Island's centre. Rosemary Margaret Ives, a 25-year-old maths and science teacher, was brushing her teeth while on a camping holiday at a Department of Conservation site when she was shot dead on October 22. *Age


An Icelandic whaling firm has shipped 500 to 600 tons of finback whale meat to Japan this year, after resuming full-fledged whale meat exportation, sources said Saturday. Japan annually catches around 4,000 tons of mainly minke whale meat under its so-called research whaling program, and markets the meat domestically. However, stocks currently exceed the sluggish demand for whale meat. The shipment of finback meat, which has a high market value, is certain to affect overall prices. Kristjan Loftsson, managing director of Hvalur, the largest whaling firm in Iceland, said in Reykjavik the finback whale meat exports to Japan are not intended to crowd minke whales out of the Japanese market. "We are confident this should be, could be good for both parties," he said. With an eye on the Japanese market, the firm has caught 148 finback whales this year, whereas Japan has hunted only two during the past two years. Hvalur exported 66.6 tons of finback whale meat to Japan on a trial basis in 2008. * Japan Times


Sounds of killer whales played to scare seals away from a fish farm instead attracted a pod of whales into a loch off the Outer Hebrides, it is thought. Coastguards, conservationists and divers raced to the loch ready to mount a rescue operation on Thursday over fears of a mass stranding of the 24 pilot whales in South Uist. Stornoway Coastguard said that a fish farm in the loch had been using the recorded sounds of a killer whale to scare away seals. There were also reports that the pod had come into the sea loch to allow one of the group to calve. "The seal scarer may have attracted the pod in. The fish farm has now turned off the recording," said a spokesman for Stornoway Coastguard. "There is also the theory that the pod may be protecting the lead female who is sick - another that one of the group has given birth. We just do not know why they are in the loch." Fish farmers used their boats to head off one possible stranding. * Telegraph.UK


A traffic police officer in Russia had to dive for cover - when a pack of wild wolves started chasing after him on a motorway. The shocked officer had pulled over a motorist who had a headlight out on the M23 highway, near Rostov-on-Don. Suddenly, he spotted the pack of maurauding wolves behind him and jumped into the back of the car he had just stopped. The officer stayed inside the car until the 10-strong pack of wolves had passed by before returning to his patrol car. Wolves have been in the news in Russia this week following a seperate accident in which wolves attacking shoppers in a Moscow supermarket car park. The two wolves were caught on camera by passers-by who filmed them scavenging in grocery bags dropped by scared shoppers. The animals, thought to be grey wolves, appear to have overcome any fear of humans in their search for food. *Network Item


Almost 190 nations were represented in Nagoya, Japan in the last 2 weeks at the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the end of the convention, delegatess agreed to support the Protocol, and a treaty was signed. Biodiversity has been determined to equal climate change in terms of crises. The world leaders have agreed to help wildlife try and survive. But its probably too late! The critical actions that have been outlined still have to be implemented by our politicians, an unlikely scenario at the moment. A report tabled during the Nagoya meeting revealed almost 25% of mammals, 33% of amphibians, and more than 20% of all planet species face the threat of extinction. The nagoya Protocol contains a 20-point strategic plan, to protect land and marine biodiversity while saving larger areas of the planet. The Protocol agrees to save up to 17% of the Earth’s land and inland waters, and 10% of coastal and marine waters by 2020, which compares to a current goal of 13% land and 1% marine areas. However, there is now a World agreement to halt the loss of biodiversity. Nations present agreed to halve the loss of habitats, and produce national biodiversity plans to chart action taken on overfishing, invasive species control and generally to “stop the rampant destruction of the world.” As we noted earlier, the words of the Nagoya Treaty may be there, but the political strength to implement it is not!

Climate Change

Thanks to glob­al warm­ing, the Un­ited States and many oth­er pop­u­lous coun­tries face a grow­ing threat of long, harsh drought in the next 30 years, a new study in­di­cates. If the pro­jec­tions “come even close to be­ing real­ized, the con­se­quenc­es for so­ci­e­ty world­wide will be enor­mous,” said Aiguo Dai of the U.S. Na­tional Cen­ter for At­mos­pher­ic Re­search in Boul­der, Co­lo., who con­ducted the re­search. His anal­y­sis con­cludes that glob­al warm­ing will likely cre­ate in­creas­ing dry­ness across much of the globe, pos­sibly reach­ing a scale in some re­gions by the cen­tu­ry’s end rare­ly, if ev­er, seen in mod­ern times. Us­ing an en­sem­ble of 22 com­put­er cli­mate mod­els and a com­pre­hen­sive in­dex of drought con­di­tions, as well as anal­y­ses of pre­vi­ously pub­lished stud­ies, Dai re­ports that by the 2030s, dry­ness is likely to in­crease sub­stanti­ally across most of the West­ern Hem­i­sphere, along with large parts of Eur­a­sia, Af­ri­ca, and Aus­tral­ia. *World Science
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Lately, we have had the CSIRO reporting that climate change is pushing fish from Queensland further south. The study found that 43 types of fish are now outside their normal range. Species on the move include rock flathead, tiger sharks and Queensland gropers. The problem is they have nowhere to go once they get to the tip of Tasmania. The study also found that up to 19 species of Tasmanian coastal fish have undergone serious declines. Birds in the North are also reported to be moving further South, most notably the Sunbird, and crocdiles have recently been reliable reported from Brisbane rivers.

The low-lying Marshall Islands, a Pacific atoll chain that rises barely a metre above sea level, has announced plans for a wall to hold back rising sea levels. "We want to prevent erosion and stop flooding," UN ambassador Phillip Muller said at the weekend, launching an appeal for $20.2 million in international donor funds to get the project underway. The full cost of the protective seawall has not been released and Mr Muller said the initial plea for donor funds is for detailed engineering work on the project. The vulnerability of the Marshalls was highlighted two years ago when floods hit the eastern shore of the main Majuro Atoll, causing several million dollars in damage and forcing dozens of islanders to live in temporary shelters. The Honolulu-based National Weather Service, a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-supported agency, recently warned of possibly more severe flooding in the next two months. The Marshall Islands, a nation of 29 coral atolls and five single islands, stretches across 800,000 square kilometres of Pacific Ocean but has only about 116 square kilometres of dry land, most of which is not more than a metre above the high-tide mark. Mr Muller said the government is asking donors to put up climate change funding to help his country forestall pending floods. *ABC

Ostriches and Emus

Researchers have uncovered why the ostrich, and perhaps the emu, can run the pants off a kangaroo. It comes down to a literal spring in the flightless bird's step. A team of Australian and US scientists has found the ostrich uses its tendons to store and return twice as much elastic energy per step than humans, reducing the amount of effort required by their muscles. The findings may be critical in the development of better prosthetic limbs and orthotics and in helping engineers design more agile and mobile robots, Dr Jonas Rubenson, of the University of Western Australia says. Rubenson, an assistant professor in the School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health, says the aim of the study was to discover the mechanical adaptations made by species that are adept at running economically. *Network

New Seahorse Found

Researchers in north Queensland think they may have discovered a tiny new species of seahorse. Scientists from James Cook University (JCU) have just returned from a week-long expedition examining what lives deep beneath the ocean, about 200 kilometres off Cairns. Expedition leader Tom Bridge says scientists were looking at corals and the creatures that live in the "twilight zone" - an area between 30 and 150 metres below the ocean's surface. "As you go deeper and deeper you find less familiar critters," he said. "We found a tiny little seahorse that was about four or five millimetres tall. "Pygmy seahorses have been discovered before but I've never seen one quite that small before and no one has ever recovered one from quite that deep either." He says scientists took samples back to the university to study. "They'll be taken back to the Museum of Tropical Queensland here in Townsville, also the Queensland Museum in Brisbane," he said. "We look at the skeletons and examine them that way and also take genetic samples of exactly what they are, so it's a fairly long process, especially if it isn't something that's been described before." *ABC

Rare Wildlife Sightings

Two spectacular wildlife discoveries have been made off the Territory coast. An incredibly rare whale - or, possibly, even a new species - was seen and photographed a few hours from Darwin. And a bird unknown in Australian waters - or even a species unknown to science - was spotted nearby. Consultant marine ecologist Simon Mustoe and a boatload of elderly birdwatchers made the discoveries while sailing from Darwin to the Ashmore Reef. The news highlights the lack of marine research off the Territory coast. Mr Mustoe said: "What we don't know is far greater than what we do know." Mr Mustoe, 36, who was leading the Ashmore Reef trip for the Peregrine wildlife tour company, said the whale was either an endangered Omura's whale, a new species or a new sub-species. The exact location of the whales is being kept secret. The birds - about 60 in several flocks - were seen closer to Darwin, feeding at Flat Top Bank in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. They are believed to have been Arabian shearwaters - a bird never recorded in Australia - or a new species. If Arabians, it would mean that a major wintering ground for the bird has been found. The shearwater breeds in the far northwest Indian Ocean. For more information visit: *NT News

Coal Seam Gas Disaster Proceeds

A lobby group says Queensland faces great environmental risks from the world's first coal seam gas to LNG project. But the state government says it will not let the company risk the environment, even for such an important economic project. BG Group on Sunday gave final investment approval for the first stage of the Curtis LNG Project in the state's southwest. It committed $15 billion to the project, which includes building a liquefied natural gas plant at Gladstone, a 450km underground pipeline network and expanding production in gas fields in the Surat Basin around Chinchilla. The federal government ticked off the project on October 22 and placed 300 environmental conditions on the development to protect groundwater, the Great Barrier Reef and threatened species. But Friends of the Earth spokesman Drew Hutton says the government has allowed the project to go ahead without insisting the company show how it will meet the conditions. *Courier Mail

Rare Freshwater Fish

Scientists are collecting samples from Australia's most endangered inland fish to help save the species from extinction. Conservation group Bush Heritage says there are only four populations of the red-finned blue-eye fish left in Australia and they are all found in artesian springs on the group's property near Aramac in central-west Queensland. Ecologist Adam Kerezsy says researchers are trying to save the blue-eye fish because its habitat is being invaded by a noxious fish. "The most interesting thing about the blue-eye is that there is nothing else like it anywhere in the inland," he said. "In terms of recent history, I don't know - I couldn't tell you whether they had a wider distribution in western Queensland but I very much doubt it. "There has been a fair bit of effort that's been expended looking into that and they've never been found anywhere else but here." Scientists have sampled more than 200 fish on a remote property at Aramac in Queensland's central-west. Fisheries scientist Leanne Faulks says DNA sampling will help researchers learn more about the species. "Trying to increase population sizes and minimise the risk of extinction and one way of doing that could be to captively breed populations," she said. "We're collecting samples from the fish, so we just take a little piece from their tail and that allows us to extract DNA." *ABC

Port Macquarie Management Plan

Bats, boardwalks, history and education are some of the elements to be considered for a nature reserve in the centre of Port Macquarie. Your comment is wanted by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to help create a management plan for Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park. Council natural resources officer Thor Aaso said the coastal wetland was bounded by major roads and residential areas. It is home to three species of flying fox, which are protected and listed as vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Act and the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. “The bats are one of the main issues affecting adjacent residents,” Mr Aaso said. “Last summer, a lot of residents contacted [Port Macquarie MP] Peter Besseling’s office about them and council wants to address the issue.”

He said the present management plan for the area was outdated and did not incorporate new environmental legislation or knowledge. Bush regeneration, urban weeds, flying foxes and bushfire management are some of the issues council already has identified for inclusion in the plan. Mr Aaso said further information was needed from the community to establish the values for the area. Public education, the historic cemetery, the culture of our region’s traditional owners, the Birpai, would all be included. So would the boardwalk, recreation areas and general open space. A two-hour meeting will take place at council’s Burrawan St headquarters on November 16 from 6pm. “The forum will be one of many community consultation phases to provide an opportunity for the community to help develop up a plan of management for the reserve,” Mr Aaso said.

Nationally renowned bat ecologist Dr Peggy Eby has been invited to the event. The flying fox expert will speak about bat ecology, needs and habitat requirements and answer questions during the forum. The council began vegetation mapping and data collection for the Kooloonbung Creek Reserve more than three months ago. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has applied to the NSW Department of Lands for funding to help create the management plan. “The success of this grant application will determine how quickly council can draft a plan of management,” Mr Aaso said. *Port Macquarie News


The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) says landholders in Lithgow’s Marrangaroo Fields can adopt a range of actions to help them live alongside populations of Eastern grey kangaroos.
NPWS has responded to concerns by some residents of the estate about kangaroos in the area. NPWS Ranger Dave Noble said the issues experienced by residents are quite common across the country. "All native animals are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and NPWS is happy to work with communities and local authorities if they become an issue,” Mr Noble said. “Rural residential estates are just as appealing to kangaroos as they are to the people who have moved there. “Generally the natural environments of these estates have been modified to create habitat that is optimal for kangaroos — tree removal has created more open space for grasses preferred by kangaroos as well as the occasional dam which provides easy water.

“The result can be a growth in the population. “There are things people can do to make living with these beautiful wild creatures manageable.” Mr Noble advised:
* Never feed kangaroos and reduce the opportunities for them to find feed on your property. Kangaroos can become aggressive when they lose fear of people because they are being fed.
* Fence off small orchards, gardens and watering points. * Do not approach kangaroos, especially the large buck.
* When driving through areas known to be frequented by kangaroos it is always wise to reduce driving speeds to avoid collisions.
* Limit the potential for interaction between your dog and a large male kangaroo.

“These simple actions will help but people living in these kinds of areas should come to accept that kangaroos are part and parcel with living in such an environment,” Mr Noble said. Mr Noble said culling native animals is always a last resort and in the case of kangaroos extensive experience has shown only to be a short term solution. “As you reduce the ’roos, they breed quickly and more fill the gaps from outlying areas.” *Lithgow Mercury

Hendra Virus Breakthrough

Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available. The approach could also lead to new therapies for measles, mumps and the flu. The new research appears in today's edition of the prestigious journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens. The Nipah and Hendra viruses are members of the genus Henipavirus, a new class of virus in the Paramyxoviridae family, which includes the measles and the human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) that causes pediatric respiratory disease. The henipaviruses are carried by fruit bats (flying foxes) and are capable of causing illness and death in domestic animals and humans.

"These viruses are of great concern. The Hendra virus is highly fatal and is a considered a potential agent of bioterrorism. It currently poses a serious threat to livestock in Australia, where sporadic and deadly transmission to humans has occurred, with the potential for broader dissemination," says Dr. Matteo Porotto, the study's lead author and assistant professor of microbiology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College. "And the Nipah virus, which causes fatal encephalitis in up to 70 percent of human cases, causes seasonal outbreaks in Asia with person-to-person transmission now becoming a primary mode of infection. This virus could certainly cause global outbreaks." GEN news

Fascinating study of the movement of flight in a bat. Watch the Reuters video in this article.

King Island Corellas

Up to 1000 little corellas may have to be shot, poisoned or gassed as Kangaroo Island residents try to rid themselves of the unwelcome visitors from the mainland. Island authorities have been given State Government approval to kill the native little corellas which are stripping trees of their leaves near towns and forcing endangered bird species out of their nesting areas. Kangaroo Island Council wants the cull, but the Natural Resource Management Board wants funding from the State Government to solve the problem, with a recent board meeting being told: "Shooting, baiting and trapping are the management options that have been considered". A report by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources this month outlined culling as "an option available to the board". Kangaroo Island Mayor Jayne Bates said there should be a unified solution to the problem.

"There is no opposition to taking action, but it is a problem that just seems to get passed around; it just seems to be a funding issue now," she said. "People are frustrated, but because of the close proximity to the towns it is complicated. You can't just go in and start blasting away ... it is a very hard problem to solve." Deputy Mayor and island environment expert Craig Wickham said more of the birds had been attracted by increased cropping on the island. "Scaring won't work and reducing the numbers will, like it does for kangaroos, wallabies and possums under permit," he said. "It is controversial like the Port Lincoln case was, but there is no reason it shouldn't be done and it would reduce the pressure on other wildlife and the trees." The board's presiding member Janice Kelly said any cull would have to be guaranteed of success given the likely high cost.

"It is a never-ending cycle because there are a few that live here, but many come from the mainland," she said. DENR regional conservator Bill Haddrill said the corellas were shot only when they competed too strongly for nesting hollows with the glossy black cockatoo. He said they had been on Kangaroo Island since the 1970s, but the resident population was only about 200, with the remainder arriving in summer and forming one flock, usually at Kingscote. *Adelaide Now
Comment Here,

Meanwhile, Wildlife kill permits have fallen in SA. The number of permits issued to destroy wildlife has dropped sharply in SA over the past four years, official figures show. The Dept Environment & Natural Resources issued 737 permits last financial year, down from 934 on 2006-2007, Last financial year 65,459 animals - mainly kangroos - were killed, compared with 73,681 in 2008-09.

National Parks for Development

The South Australian State Government has given the green light to undertake development in National Parks without approval under an overhaul of planning laws. The Government has pushed through amendments to Development Act planning regulations that will allow developments in national parks without any formal approval or independent assessment. Under the reforms, which took effect on September 16, dam expansions, local desalination plants, waste water pumping stations, and boat ramps can also be built without approval. The changes to the planning regulations - which only affect developments undertaken by the Crown - sparked concern from Greens MLC Mark Parnell, who on Wednesday moved a motion in the Upper House to disallow the changes, arguing it was further eroding the community's involvement in the planning process. "That's an appalling situation given that national parks and other conservation areas are managed on behalf of the whole community," he told the Sunday Mail. "The whole community should have a say on how they are run and what is being built."

"A private company wouldn't get away with development in a national park, but the Government can." Under the regulations councils must be notified of a proposed development, which has been listed as exempt from approval, but Mr Parnell said they had "no further right to engage in the process". In Parliament, he said all development "other than the most minor" should be subject to some assessment process and consultation. "But under these regulations these forms of development do not have to comply with local planning schemes, they do not have to comply with zoning and they do not have to fit in with existing surrounding developments," he said. A spokesman for Planning Minister Paul Holloway said the regulations were part of a range of reforms adopted in June 2008, after a major planning review. "That review recommended, among other things, an increase in the number of minor developments to be exempted from the need to obtain a development approval to encourage a more efficient and streamlined planning system," he said. "Mr Parnell is engaging in cheap populism to push his anti-development credentials." *Adelaide Now

Meanwhile, Queensland Sustainability Minister Kate Jones has tried to allay concerns about a proposal to develop and operate low impact eco-tourism accommodation in the Lamington National Park inland of the Gold Coast. The State Government has called for expressions of interest, but the Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council says it will fight the plan. Ms Jones says there will be minimal impact. "In other states, whether it's WA or Tasmania, they've been doing this low impact tourism in national parks for a very long time, the most iconic being Cradle Mountain," she said. "When it comes to the Green Mountains site the development will only happen on an area of four hectares which has already been cleared." *ABC

Take a look around this site and if you can help in any way our kangaroos and other wildlife that are under threat then you will have made a valuable contribution to our beautiful and unique Australian fauna.
By doing so will help ensure they are still here for future generations of Australians.

All the animals that come into our care are treated and rehabilitated. Our aim is to return every animal that is capable of surviving back into its natural environment.

This is a video website for bird enthusiasts to watch and share original bird videos worldwide, through the web -- it's simply a website for user-submitted videos of birds, combined with a sharp and well-working real-time onscreen interface (i.e., just like YouTube).