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Why we need more trees


red750
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Our airstrip is in a grazing paddock, which is lightly grazed. In the last six months the number of trees would have increased several hundred percent. THey are about 1 1.5m high and about 1m apart. It will be a mess in a few years.

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I'm not sure why the sheep are standing in the shade of the tower. Sheep rarely pick shady spots to rest, even when it's hot. Their wool is a natural insulator, and they normally don't feel direct heat.

 

But if you run them around in hot weather (such as by chasing them with a vehicle or horse), they will overheat then - because the wool is insulating their heat loss, and they can't shed the heat buildup, as we do, by sweating.

 

The only reason I can think of, for the sheep sheltering in the shade of the wind tower, is that they are relatively freshly shorn, and they are probably more sensitive to the direct suns rays.

 

I do know that cold winds will kill sheep rapidly when freshly shorn, and it's very important to have thick, low vegetation in a paddock, capable of allowing freshly-shorn sheep to shelter in, when the strong winds blown in from the Antarctic.

 

For this simple reason, the BOM issues sheep-weather warnings for Southern States, when cold Antarctic winds are forecast.

Edited by onetrack
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That pic is a sad reminder of how much land we’ve buggered up.
No idea where it was taken, but wherever sheep (and goats) have been intensively grazed, the country tends to be denuded of vegetation. Right across the Sahara, Southern Europe and the Middle East, forest and savannah have been converted to desert. 
Australia might have been built on the sheep’s back, but we wrecked a lot our good country in the process. My own ancestors brought cattle by sea-going vessel up the Hunter River and off-loaded them at Morpett; now that stretch of once-pristine river is silted up with topsoil from sheep farming land further upstream.

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Of all the areas I've seen and travelled over, that are most damaged, the area North of Carnarvon, encompassing Quobba and Gnaraloo Stations, rates right up the top. These areas are running goats, and goats are the most destructive of all animals.

 

Sheep don't graze right to ground level because of their thick lips. However goats, with their thinner lips and more protruding teeth, graze to ground level, and even pull plants right out by the roots. 

Sheep are selective in what they eat, whereas goats eat anything and everything - even labels off cans! The pastoral country near the coast, North of Carnarvon, is quite fragile, with a soil profile that is a very fine loam, that doesn't hold together well.

It is easily damaged by overgrazing and grazing by destructive animals such as goats. There's a big push to get goats off these stations, but so far, they have been able to resist all Govt attempts to turn this whole area back into a Nature reserve, which is sorely needed.

 

There's a thought-provoking article below that outlines the argument that kangaroos now cause as much damage today as introduced animals, because kangaroo numbers have exploded with the advancement of white civilisation and land development practices.

 

https://www.moffittsfarm.com.au/2019/06/12/controlling-kangaroos-is-essential-for-rangeland-resilience/

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In Alice Springs, the hill in the SW of what is now the CBD is called "Billygoat Hill". It got this name from the old days when goats grazed around the town and made dust storms worse than ever. In my time ( the 1950's on,) the goats had been banished.

And yes onetrack, roo numbers have exploded with land clearing and stock water-points.

A neighbor says he once saw over a hundred in a small paddock we were trying to grow some hay in.

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There's a park called Whiteman Park on the outskirts of Perth - a recreation and conservation reserve of 4000 Ha. The 'roo population in this park is staggering, I have seen about 500 'roos just in one of the small cleared paddocks of this park.

 

Speaking to people who brought forth discussions from ancestors from the early days of the colony, they all remarked that the old-timers told them that (Western Grey) 'roos were relatively uncommon to sight, when travelling through the bush in the mid-1800's.

The Aboriginals hunted them constantly and relentlessly in that period, and their numbers had obviously stabilised at a modest level. We put in yummy crops and watering points such as dams, bring in laws to stop killing them, and the 'roos (and emus) think it's heaven.

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8 hours ago, onetrack said:

Of all the areas I've seen and travelled over, that are most damaged, the area North of Carnarvon, encompassing Quobba and Gnaraloo Stations, rates right up the top. These areas are running goats, and goats are the most destructive of all animals.

 

Sheep don't graze right to ground level because of their thick lips. However goats, with their thinner lips and more protruding teeth, graze to ground level, and even pull plants right out by the roots. 

Sheep are selective in what they eat, whereas goats eat anything and everything - even labels off cans! The pastoral country near the coast, North of Carnarvon, is quite fragile, with a soil profile that is a very fine loam, that doesn't hold together well.

It is easily damaged by overgrazing and grazing by destructive animals such as goats. There's a big push to get goats off these stations, but so far, they have been able to resist all Govt attempts to turn this whole area back into a Nature reserve, which is sorely needed.

Old Chinese proverb - If you have no problems, buy a goat.

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