Hi all –
Again there has been so much going on that time to compile a blog has been hard to find – between the email subscriptions, and the myspace subscriptions, this blogalong now has over 500 subscribers, with thousands more readers of each issue –
I would like to thank all who have left comments and messages of support – and I wish you safe holidays, and an upcoming positive year---
It has been a busy few months, with magpie rescues and care being but one of the issues to deal with.
Wildlife at Wadalba has been active, [check the wadalba reports in the documents section of www.whalecall.org ]
The Whaling issue is on the table again, and there has been a new government in Australia - which has required re establishing contacts and organizing new contacts to brief on environment issues, both locally and country wide.
Despite pre election promises by the new environment minister to ‘send the navy to stop illegal whaling in the southern ocean sanctuary’, this action is unlikely to occur. Since the election, the tune has changed to ‘monitor and collect evidence’ – and at the time of writing this blog, the only ships in the southern ocean are the Japanese killing fleet, and Sea Shepherd – no greenpeace in sight, no navy in sight either –and the killing has started.
The I.F.A.W/Whale Call/Oceania Project/Surfers for Cetaceans Humpback Icon Project has attained its goal of fifty Humpback Whales adopted by Coastal Councils around Australia
The news release is as follows –
FIFTY HUMPBACK ICONS UNDER THREAT
On behalf of the Humpback Icon Project, IFAW and Whale Call are pleased to announce that 50 councils and communities around Australia have officially adopted individual humpback whales.
Tragically, these whales, including Wyong’s own adopted whale Norah (www.iconproject.com.au) could become victims of Japan’s expanded “scientific” whale hunt. The whaling fleet, which is due to arrive in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this weekend, is set to kill more than 1000 whales, including for the first time in four decades, 50 humpback whales.
“The whales are an incredibly important part of our community – we look forward to the return of these magnificent creatures on their migration each year. To lose a single humpback to whalers’ harpoons would be a tragedy,” said Debra Raymont, local HIP Coordinator.
Wyong is calling on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to honour his election promise and take decisive action to protect whales from the hunt.
“Although it’s wonderful to see that 49 other towns have joined us in adopting a humpback, we must all unite now to urge the Australian Government to take action and protect our iconic humpback whales, and the $300 million whale watch industry they support,” Ms Raymont from Whale Call said.
“The depth and breadth of feeling about humpbacks among the Australian communities is almost tangible. To have reached the landmark figure of 50 adoptive communities clearly demonstrates that Australians will not sit back and let the Government of Japan unlawfully and inhumanely kill these animals for their “scientific” scam,” said Darren Kindleysides, IFAW Asia Pacific Campaigns Manager.
Each whale adopted through the Humpback Icon Project can be individually identified by its distinctive tail markings. Each of the 50 communities has named their whales, aiming to use them to educate people about the marine environment and raise awareness of the threats facing this vulnerable species.
The 50 communities stretch along the east coast of the mainland down to Tasmania and up the west coast of Australia, forming a symbolic chain of communities determined to save humpback whales from the harpoon.
The Humpback Icon Project is led by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), with support from the Oceania Project, Centre for Whale Research (WA) and Surfers for Cetaceans.
The Humpback Icon Project aims to reach 100 adopted whales before the next International Whaling Commission meeting, in May 2008. For more information, please visit www.stopwhaling.com.au
Global warming and climate change has been big in the news due to the Kyoto conference in Bali. Despite postulating by right wing deniers, the CO2 reductions we have to commit to, have started world wide. But it seems in the rush to get the Global Warming issue onto the world stage has impacted on other environmental issues.
Basic environmental protections are being undercut by state law, and more and more land is being excised from environmental law, mostly in the name of development.
We are fully aware of the lowering of species numbers with flora and fauna, but it seems the insect world is being left behind.
The lack of information, data and specimens on Australian insects is allowing councils to approve land for development without even noting the insect populations in the ecological studies – its in the ‘too hard basket’ – instead of gathering data on insects, each investigation is absolved somehow from assessing the part of the local insects in the studied environment.
Here is a good example -
This is Periclystus circuiter, an antlion, belonging to the order Neuroptera, which also contains the Lacewings.
The Australian Museum has about 20 specimens of this insect, indicating it is rarely seen, but the habitat data for the species is the huge drainage basins of N.S.W. N.T. and Queensland, where sand is available for larval growth.
This adult was found in my vegetable garden, and as I hadn’t seen it before, I photographed the specimen and emailed it to my entomology contacts at the Aust Museum, and in Queensland.
The Queensland entomologists I sent the pic to hadn’t seen it before, the museum specialist had seen it twice in the wild, in the Sydney region.
This is the first identification of this species from the Wyong Shire.
For many years I have seen antlion holes in sandy soil at Wadalba, but the common antlion in this shire is the Heoclisis species. This find puts out an alert that one of the country’s rarest insects resides in one part of the shire, and a part of the shire that is planned for development.
This find also points out that the environment surveys requested by council before development applications can be approved, are faulty, and because of failing to include the insect orders within the collected data, localized extinctions are highly likely to occur.
A long term study of Periclystus circuiter in Wyong Shire, in particular Wadalba should now be initiated – this would be a perfect study subject for the Wadalba Community School.
This is Nymphes myrmeleonide, a Lacewing, also in the Neuroptera order.
And a close up pic of a dragonfly –
Back to climate change and global warming – its summer time here – but December has been noted this year for huge storm cells – one of which passed through the Whale Call Camp last week – this pic is from my bedroom window – half-spheres the size of golfballs rattled the roof, ripped the canvas annex to pieces, and trashed leaf and flower bud on the trees.
After the 20 minute storm, I found this supply of ice hanging in the shadecloth --
Fortunately, I located no injured birds after this cranky thunderstorm cell.