Category: Science

School students blaze trail in bid to help tackle climate change
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School students blaze trail in bid to help tackle climate change

Earlier this year, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres referred to climate change as ‘the most systemic threat to humankind’. He certainly isn’t wrong. Climate change rhetoric can often be disheartening – all doom and gloom and time running out – but there are many groups who remain optimistic about our future and are doing...

The emu-wren diaries
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The emu-wren diaries

There is a bold plan underway to bring Mallee Emu-wrens back to South Australia, where wildfires have wiped them out. Simon Verdon details the decline of this mysterious and beautiful mallee bird and the efforts underway to save the species. 2014 Monday, January 13th The heathlands stretch out in every direction, as far as the...

On the hunt for superpowered slugs
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On the hunt for superpowered slugs

As a diver and dive guide, I have always felt a bit awkward searching for the small, hidden things at the bottom of the ocean rather than looking for bigger, faster, more obvious fishes, mammals and other creatures. I guess I have always found the search rewarding. I have felt pride in finding creatures other...

Remembering the Thylacine: Endangered, Extinct… Resurrected?
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Remembering the Thylacine: Endangered, Extinct… Resurrected?

Amid the battle to save our increasing list of threatened and endangered species it is important to remember the ones already lost to history. Threatened Species Day commemorates the date on which the last known Tasmanian Tiger died in Hobart Zoo in 1936. Though numbers had been in rapid decline for decades, it was not...

Sugarbag Bees lend a hand in Australian fruit crop pollination
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Sugarbag Bees lend a hand in Australian fruit crop pollination

Bee stings are worse than wedgies. Still, I’m squirming and dreading bending over while wearing this bright white bee jumpsuit. My supervisor informs me – while smirking – that the tag of the suit reads ‘Extra Large’, making it clear that my 170-centimetre stature must be considered gargantuan in the beekeeping world. There is only...

Redefining the environmental scientist
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Redefining the environmental scientist

Edward O. Wilson describes ‘the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life’ as biophilia, which directly translates to a ‘love of life or living systems.’ This innate love that we have for our natural world is therefore intrinsic to our human nature and can be seen as the foundation of the...

It’s not just species that go extinct
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It’s not just species that go extinct

Life is made up of moments. In the warm waters off Heron Island, on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, I remember the moment I first swam with a Green Sea Turtle. I dived down to find it resting on the seafloor and, as I rose, it rose with me. My head broke...

It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition
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It takes a village: saving the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo is a community ambition

In Victoria’s far south-west, the Red-tailed Black-cockatoo survives in a fragmented landscape of stringybark forests within a matrix of agricultural lands. The birds here are a distinct subspecies of Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne or the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, isolated from others of their kind by thousands of kilometres. Their life history is inextricably tied to...

What can parasites teach us about managing koalas?
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What can parasites teach us about managing koalas?

Koalas are a beloved Australian icon, arguably as popular amongst tourists to Australia as the Giant Panda is for those visiting China. Yet, across their range koalas are causing a commotion amongst conservationists and land managers. The Northern Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus adustus) is threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, while the Southern Koala (Phascolarctos...