Sunday, January 31, 2010

Veteran Cassowary Conservationist Margaret Thorsborne Nominates Southern Cassowary for Father of the Year Award!

Sometimes newspapers print some real tripe!

Today in our local paper I noticed a page 2 headline “Stolen council barrow found at Cardwell jetty” and near wet my pants in excitement!

Fortunately the day was saved by another paper, the Townsville Bulletin, which published this great public interest story! “Let’s hear it for doting dad” by journalist John Andersen is a pearl in an ocean of average today!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Upset Ma:mu Traditional Owners and Conservationists at Ella Bay

This will be a long story as it covers some pretty important topics like, respect for country, traditional owner’s rights, and long term conservation goals.

On 7 January 2010 I was very disappointed to observe two fresh sets of quad bike tracks exiting the Ella Bay Pty Ltd property and travelling north along Ella Bay.
Ella Bay Pty Ltd management and staff have made assurances that they would no longer drive vehicles along this turtle nesting beach.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Pair of White-Bellied Sea-Eagles Haliaeetus leucogaster Eat A Poisonous Toadfish at Ella Bay

Recently I have been communicating with Queensland Parks and Wildlife regarding the methods used and behaviour of their personnel at Ella Bay. This is something I will blog about in the near future. It has caused me to re examine the low impact methods I use to conduct field observations at Ella Bay as I am always seeking ways to do things better!

Whilst looking through my notes and photographs I was reminded of the following interesting observation I made on 12 December 2009. Incidentally this was the same day I first observed Snub fin dolphins at Ella Bay but that’s another story.
During this Ella Bay beach walk I was surprised when I accidentally disturbed a pair of White-bellied Sea-eagles that were on the ground near the high tide mark.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 International Year of Biodiversity

As some of you may already know 2010 is International Year of Biodiversity.
The following is the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Year of Biodiversity (2010):

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ella Bay’s Great Grey Ghost: The Great-billed heron Ardea sumatrana

Ella Bay is well known for its biggest bird, the endangered Southern cassowary.

Ella Bay is also home to another huge bird which is even harder to photograph, the Great-billed heron, a wary bird that has evaded my camera on many occasions at Ella Bay!
My own experiences with this bird generally consist of frustrating fleeting glimpses of the tail end of this huge bird disappearing into the mangrove swamps. The Great-billed heron certainly does not like human company and is quick to scoot if disturbed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The ABC 730 Report Examines Fragmentation and Fencing of Cassowary Habitat at Mission Beach

Ella Bay Pty Ltd wish to fence the 3 kilometre long Ella Bay Road so when I was told there was a cassowary trapped behind a fence at Mission Beach on ABC television you can bet I was interested!
I missed “Endangered Cassowaries Under Threat” on the ABC’s 7.30 report but fortunately the internet came to the rescue and I was impressed by the ABC’s story.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dogs and Cars threaten Australia’s remaining Endangered Southern Cassowaries at places like Mission Beach and Ella Bay

Lately I have blogged a fair bit about recent cassowary deaths due to vehicle strike incidents at Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. The 2 latest killings were hit and run incidents which made me question how many cassowaries are hit by vehicles and simply wander off into the bush to die from their injuries, unnoticed and unrecorded.

Domestic and feral dogs also present a major threat to our endangered cassowaries as noted in a recent brochure released by C4 (Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation)
Liz Gallie from C4 brought this matter to my attention again recently.

World’s largest orchid Grammatophyllum speciosum flowers at Bramston Beach in Australia

Bramston Beach and Ella Bay both have some wonderful native orchid species growing in the wild.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Shark Nets, Sharks, Whales, Marine Fauna, People and Saving Lives . . .

Sharks evoke many emotions in our species from respect and awe, to fear and revulsion, but I must admit I have a sincere fondness for these amazing fish and the important place they occupy in our marine ecosystems.
It sickens me to see shark and ray carcasses left to rot on our beaches by fellow fisherman who possibly feel they are doing us all a favour by ridding the world of these dreadful killers one at a time!

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