Helping Our Wildlife In Crisis

Reposted from Wildlife Queensland’s Townsville Branch Blog

In the face of the ongoing, horrific and completely unprecedented devastation of wildlife and habitat across our country please consider making a donation to the wonderful wildlife carers and rescuers desperately trying to help those animals that have survived. Many will have severe injuries and all will find their familiar territory transformed to an alien landscape without shelter, food or water.

Below is a list of some of the Wildlife Care and Rescue groups dealing with this crisis in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.

If anyone has information for Western Australian groups covering the fire-affected areas (I believe mostly in the SE of the state at present) please let WQ know. Or indeed any other organisations in particular need  or which you can vouch for – this list can be added to. It is only a small selection – but we are truly in uncharted territory and these groups need your now more than ever before. THANK YOU!!
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Wet-season visitors – PIPs and Koels

Torres Strait Pigeons, aka Pied Imperial-Pigeons (i.e. PIPs) and Koels, aka Stormbirds or Rainbirds, are Wet-season visitors to the Townsville region. As I write, the Wet hasn’t arrived but the visitors have been with us for months.

The PIPs are often to be seen high in the tallest trees; their call is a baritone “Coo”, as befits their size, and we tend to smile when we hear them. The Koels, on the other hand, are rarely seen but the males’ incessant calling – a frantic rising wockawockwocka! – can wear out its welcome. The females are far quieter, which is probably a good thing.

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Minor site updates

The fallow period between Christmas and the New Year has often been a good  time for revisiting my websites and tidying them up. In some ways the process is analogous to making one’s home presentable for the beginning of a new year, and perhaps that is a subconscious motivation.

Whatever the reason, that’s what I have been doing recently. Regular readers may notice some new header images, and random visitors will encounter fewer broken links, even in very old posts.

Moving towards a plant-based diet

In Eating for the Planet (two years ago) I argued that the ideal diet is “one which minimises harm to the environment and to animals while maximising benefits to our health. There is no logically necessary connection between the three objectives but there is a ‘sweet spot’ where all three happen to coincide: a plant-based diet emphasising fresh, local, seasonal food.”

carbon footprint of meats and other protein
Environmental footprints of various proteins, from the Environmental Working Group, UK.

Since then, calls for all of us to adopt a plant-based diet for the sake of the environment have become ever more frequent and more urgent. Not entirely coincidentally, I have been moving towards such a diet myself, and thinking about how to do so as easily as possible. After all, if a change seems worthwhile and isn’t too hard, then more of us will try it.

Changing the lifetime habits of a household all at once may be impossible but what if we can gently move in the right direction – one dish at a time, one meal at a time, and maybe have some fun doing so? Continue reading “Moving towards a plant-based diet”

The joy of sprinklers

The Dry Season continues, and the birds are more and more grateful for our bird baths and lawn sprinklers – well, they seem to be, but who knows what’s going on in their little minds? All we can say for sure is that they come to fly through the spray or sit where the water is falling.

Spangled Drongo on mock orange
Sprinkled Spangled Drongo

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