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It's an Ill Wind ....


old man emu
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It's an ill wind that blows no man any good. The ill wind we have suffered is the bushfires that have devastated so much country. Apart from the losses to humans and their property, we are also aware of the loss of native fauns. While the media has focused on the loss of our larger marsupial animals, just think of the uncountable numbers of living creatures of the forests that have been killed. I doubt if you could find a nit on a gnat's nut in the burnt-out country. And since this micro-fauna are the basis of the food chain,there are vast areas that would be as devoid of living creatures as the far side of the Moon. 

 

But, it's an ill wind, as I said. Along with the native creature populations that have been lost, the fires have no doubt killed off the populations of feral placental animals such as cats, dogs and pigs. Perhaps this annihilation of ferals will make it easier for native creatures to recolonise.

 

 

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Can we have a conversation that doesn't immediately become partisan? All I was trying to do was to raise consideration and discussion about the effects of the fires on fauna and flora in the affected areas, and how the devastation of populations will take a lot of time for recovery. 

 

Taking action to minimise the effects of extensive fires in the future is a topic for an altogether other thread. 

 

 

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Sorry OME, but the response does have to be political. We need to rethink a bunch of things, and the labor lot need to change too.

 

On the farm here in western victoria , we were more hamstrung by the green/labor prohibitions against making firebreaks than from the LNP.

 

That's why I am thinking we should pay some blackfellow to come up with a plan for burning off.

 

( I am off the word "indigenous" since I found that the first indigenous doctor in Australia was a blonde woman )

 

 

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the response does have to be political. We need to rethink a bunch of things, and the labor lot need to change too.

 

No argument with that, but can we carry on the political one in one of the other threads which are more specific to the politico-climate debate? Can we keep this thread on the track of the restoration of flora and fauna within the devastated areas? 

 

 

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Good-oh!

 

Problem No. 1 - How do we restrict the migration of ferals into the devastated areas?

 

The problem ferals for the native fauna are the carnivores - cats, dogs and foxes. They won't come into the picture until there is prey for them.  Herbivores (and pigs) are likely to be the first ferals to join the natives in the recovery.

 

But what about the meso-fauna - the bugs and the reptiles?

 

 

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Send in the army to track and shoot every feral animal.

 

We spend huge billions giving them deadly force, about time to use it to our benefit. Also the best possible training to defend our actual country not fight in offensive overseas missions.

 

We should have this as part of normal mission and training. 

 

Any feral horse or camel or goat or cattle or buffalo farmer cum exporter your time is up. Either farm them in a controlled area you own or f..k off.

 

The environment pays the price for the ferals not the harvester/ exporter.

 

A fully funded long term indigenous ranger program that does not get played as a budget saving or football would help immensely.

 

A actual real account of species and their level of endangerment would help. Govt priorities and funding cuts seem to make the problem disappear.

 

Three simple things, none hard nor very expensive.

 

If you say we can't afford it, you need to learn actual economics.

 

 

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Why would feral move into an area devastated by bushfires? I would expect a few carrion eaters would possibly move in for a short time, but with little living animals, there would be nothing to attract the normal predators. Which herbivores are considered to be ferals?

 

Insects would have little to attract them and the same goes for birds.

 

The first regrowth will be eucalypts sprouting and grass after rain, also fungi, which will not attract ferals.

 

 

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There was a well-answered call for volunteers to go to KI to feed fauna which would otherwise starve in the aftermath of the fires.

 

I have read that regeneration only happens with a relatively cool fire, so the landscape will permanently change where the fires have been too hot.

 

I agree that imported feral animals like foxes and cats need killing off. What a great use for the army I agree. Does anybody know if rabbits survived the fires in their burrows? Better than koalas did in the trees, I guess.

 

 

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The regrowth is usually weeds. In the tree category it's usually wattles, blackberries. etc Latent seed carried there by birds, animals and pooped and winds, vehicles tyres.. The only way to combat bad weeds is have something else  better there to out compete it.  Nev

 

 

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I expect that by "weeds" you mean introduced plants like lantana and Paterson's Curse. My theory is that the heat intensity of the fires cooked all the seeds on the ground, natives and exotics alike.  I suggest that the fires sterilised large areas of the burnt ground. Perhaps birds and animals as well as the wind might bring seeds into the first 100-500 metres from the edges, but what about a few kilometres towards the centre of the burnt areas? With no food that far in, why would birds and animals go there?

 

 

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Something always grows. weird mushrooms and toadstools fungi. . A bare patch is a chance for opportunistic plants. Insects eat grasses and other insects eat insects. There are myriad insects under the bark of trees that aren't hot burned.. The blackberries and lantana get further into the good stuff. Birds fly large distances and look for burned carcases. Plum and hawthorn from settled areas get into parts of  the once pristine bush. Nev

 

 

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I have looked out at some of the burnt grounds here-the Moonbi Range and around Ebor, some trees are sprouting the green fluffy regrowth from showers recently, but there are an awful lot that are just black frames out there. these two fires were probably not as large as the 300,000 ha ones so maybe cooler burning. How this country going to recover without consistent rainfall is anyone's guess. There are houses around Ebor that were never visible through the bush, now you can see them, it must of been hard yakka saving them from the fire that has burnt to their doorstep. Even how bare and rocky the Moonbi Range looks without even a speck of growth on the granite sand. I too have been thinking about the Lizards and little things that have no hope of outrunning or escaping fire like this. We have a long recovery ahead.

 

Lets hope the rain keeps coming with the latest storm activity up north.

 

 

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Native wildlife, insects and flora have an amazing ability to recover and reproduce to high levels. How many major fires would Australia have had, in the centuries before Europeans settled here? The native wildlife recovered from them.

 

I find it interesting talking to really old folk, who relate stories from their old folk, from their youth. They often tell stories of how the old people told them the bigger wildlife was relatively rarely seen, in the early days of the colonies.

 

They said it was rare to spot a kangaroo or wallaby or possum or wombat, because the natives hunted them down, and drought and fires took their toll on them.

 

Then the Europeans arrived, cleared the native vegetation, making it easier to move around, installed reliable water points everywhere, and grew crops - and the native wildlife levels boomed, because of all this. 

 

In addition, the Indigenes stopping hunting so much, and became dependant on the Europeans for easy food supplies. So the pressure on the native wildlife eased.

 

 

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