Australian armed forces bishop charged with child abuse


This video is called Australia: bishop charged with abuse.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Catholic Bishop Max Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969

Updated Mon 30 Jun 2014, 2:24pm AEST

The Bishop of the Australian Defence Force has been charged with a sex offence dating back to 1969.

Bishop Max Davis is believed to be the most senior clergyman in the Catholic Church, and the first bishop, to be charged with a child sex offence.

The 68-year-old is due to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court on July 25, charged with three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14.

The alleged incident took place when Bishop Davis was teaching at St Benedict’s College in New Norcia, north-east of Perth. …

According to The Catholic Weekly, Bishop Davis grew up in Perth and was ordained in 1971.

He is one of a long line of military bishops to have served the Defence Forces.

He was in the Navy in the early 60s, according to the weekly. He has been Australia’s military bishop since 2003.

Australian governmental shark killing not saving a single human


This video says about itself:

Massive Mako Shark Surprises Diver and Blue Marlin

While on a Guy Harvey Expedition off Cat Island in the Bahamas, diver and shark expert Jim Abernethy was filming a blue marlin underwater when he got a surprise visit from a 10ft. long, 600 lb. mako. Out of nowhere, the massive shark shoots past Jim like a missile, passing within feet of the unsuspecting diver and turning a quiet, peaceful dive into an explosion of bubbles and shouts!

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Australia shark cull: Government destroys 50 sharks in trial programme – but fails to catch a single great white blamed for fatalities

Opponents of scheme say it is hurting the wrong shark species and doing nothing to protect beachgoers

Adam Withnall

Wednesday 07 May 201

More than 170 sharks have been caught and 50 destroyed as part of Australia’s controversial culling policy, government figures have revealed.

Officials said the programme was “successfully restoring confidence” among beachgoers in Western Australia, but opponents have been critical after it emerged that the animals caught did not include a single great white – the species most often blamed for fatal attacks.

The trial scheme involved placing drum lines along seven of the state’s most popular beaches, and while tiger sharks were the most commonly caught there were also five protected makos, four of which were either killed or found already dead on the line.

The largest shark caught measured was at Floreat Beach, and measured 4.5m (15ft). All the animals destroyed were longer than 3m (10ft).

The government is now seeking permission to extend the programme for the next three years, but opposition politicians described attempts to justify the cull as “utter nonsense”.

Greens MP Lynn MacLaren told Australia’s ABC News that tiger sharks had not been implicated in a human fatality for almost 100 years, and that reducing their numbers “does nothing to improve beach safety”.

She said: “We know that the great white shark is the shark that has been implicated in fatalities off our coast, and no great white sharks were captured on the drum lines in this whole programme.”

Labor’s fisheries spokesman Dave Kelly said the policy had proved “very unpopular”, adding: “It has hardly caught any of the sharks it was destined to catch and the government hasn’t produced any scientific evidence to say that the policy is working.”

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Australians protest against governmental shark killing


This video from Australia says about itself:

Thousands protest Western Australia catch-and-kill shark cull plan

4 Jan 2014

Thousands of people held protests in Melbourne and Perth on Saturday.

From the BBC:

4 January 2014 Last updated at 13:15 GMT

Australians protest at plans to kill sharks in Perth

Thousands of people have been taking part in protests in Australia over a plan to kill large sharks.

The Western Australia government is set to install baited hooks off Perth’s popular beaches in response to seven fatal shark attacks in three years.

But protesters say a cull is not the answer, and will only damage the sea’s delicate ecosystem.

More than 4,000 people gathered for a demonstration at Perth’s Cottesloe beach alone.

“Without the sharks there will be no future for humanity because they balance out the ecosystem and every living creature in the sea is really important,” one protester said.

At a demonstration in Melbourne, one protester said: “We’re better than killing wildlife in vengeance. We need to use the science that’s there, to work with the science that’s there, to learn to live with these creatures instead of culling them.”
Sabotage fears

The WA government is planning to install some 72 baited hooks on drum lines one kilometre (mile) off the beaches by 10 January.

A contract to maintain and patrol the lines will be awarded to commercial fishermen in the coming days.

Any shark more than three metres long – which could include Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks – will be shot and disposed of.

But the protesters have vowed not to let up in their opposition to the plans. Further demonstrations are planned, and the Green Party says it is consulting its lawyers over the legality of the move.

Dutch news agency ANP reports (translated):

The protesters are afraid that sharks less than 3 meters long and other sea creatures will also be caught in the lines with bait which the authorities want to install.

January 2014: Despite experiencing just 20 fatal shark attacks in their area in the past 100 years, the government of Western Australian has decided on a controversial policy of catching, destroying and dumping sharks of more than 3m to come near its popular beaches: here.

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Australian musk ducklings hatching, video


Australian Geographic writes about this video:

Ducklings hatch out of eggs

IT WAS THE CHANCE DISCOVERY of a hatching egg by wildlife filmmaker Simon Cherriman that led to this spectacular footage of a musk duck chick’s first breaths.

Simon was thrilled when he returned to a nest he had found in a small wetland in the Perth Hills, WA, and found the eggs about to hatch.

“I had returned only with the intention of getting some better still photos of the nest as it was such a rare opportunity,” says Simon, who shot the footage with Canon 600D and GoPro miniature HD cameras.

Musk duck: largest duck in Australia

The native musk duck (Biziura lobata), found from north-west WA across to the south and east coasts, is Australia’s largest species of duck. The male of the species can grow up to 70cm long. The musk duck is named for the odour it releases from a gland on its rump.

The nest location in the film is typical of the species – hidden within a thick reed bed in a freshwater lagoon. Female ducks lay one clutch of eggs per year in cup-like nests that are lined with feathers and grass.

Musk ducks aren’t often seen on land, as the positioning of their legs make them ungainly walkers. They are, however, expert divers and swimmers, allowing them to easily escape predators and find food.

- Jude Dineley

Restoring Western Australian wildlife


This video says about itself:

Learn how to help save woylies in Western Australia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Western Australia to reconstruct one of the world’s most important islands for mammal conservation

Return to 1616: Dirk Hartog Island National Park ecological restoration project

February 2013. A ground-breaking and world-class project is set to restore ecosystem health and wildlife diversity to Western Australia’s biggest island, Dirk Hartog Island, situated in the Shark Bay World Heritage area on the far western edge of the Australian continent.

13 ground dwelling mammals disappeared from the island

The Return to 1616 project aims to return the 63,000 hectare island to its pristine state of 400 years ago, when Europeans first landed there. In 1616 at least 13 ground-dwelling native mammal species occurred on the island. These included small kangaroo-like boodies and woylies, and western barred bandicoots, chuditch and dibblers.

Removal of sheep and goats

The ambitious program will see the removal of all sheep, goats and feral cats from Dirk Hartog Island, re-establishment of healthy vegetation and re-introduction of mammal species once known to exist there.

The project is funded by DEC and the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits fund in a partnership that has the potential to yield world-class conservation outcomes over the next 20 or more years.

Chuditch and dibblers

In 1616 the island was pristine, with at least 13 ground-dwelling native mammal species. These included small kangaroo-like boodies and woylies, and western barred bandicoots, chuditch and dibblers. From the 1860s until the early 2000s, the island was used by pastoralists to run sheep, and the Cape Inscription lighthouse was established in 1910. By the late 20th century the island had become popular with fishing enthusiasts, divers and snorkellers.

All but 3 mammals disappeared

By this time goats and feral cats were well established on the island and only three small mouse-sized native mammal species still occurred; the ash-grey mouse, sandy inland mouse and little long-tailed dunnart. In 2009 Dirk Hartog Island became a national park, providing the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) with the opportunity to restore its natural environment in partnership with the island’s other land managers and the Shark Bay community.

Eradicating feral animals

Over the past 150 years, sheep, goats and cats have caused the local extinction of 10 native mammal species on the island. DEC has already taken steps to reduce the number of sheep and goats on Dirk Hartog Island. In July 2010 an aerial survey revealed there were up to 3,600 of these animals on the island. Sheep are now considered to have been removed. Through continued operations, DEC has made significant progress to reduce the feral goat population and aims to eradicate them by 2014. If this program is successful, Dirk Hartog Island will be the largest island in the world where feral goats have been eradicated. Removal of goats and sheep will promote soil and vegetation recovery, which will improve habitat, food and water availability for native species.

Feral cats a major problem

Feral cats are currently widespread across the island and prey on turtle eggs and hatchlings, small mammals, reptiles and birds. DEC is building on its expertise in feral cat eradication, having undertaken successful operations on several smaller islands, including Faure Island in Shark Bay. The department will construct a temporary 10-kilometre cat barrier fence across the island to divide it into two sections. This will allow cat control efforts to be concentrated in one section at a time. Intensive monitoring, baiting and trapping will follow. The eradication of cats is critical to the success of the island’s restoration, as it is unlikely that introduced mammals will survive there if cats remain.

Return to 1616: ecological restoration project

Significant funds are being invested by DEC and the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits fund in a partnership that has the potential to yield world-class conservation outcomes over the next 20 or more years. The Dirk Hartog Island ecological restoration project will see some of the most extensive feral animal eradications ever attempted in the world. It is at the global forefront of science, conservation and land management. The groundbreaking project aims to re-introduce 10 native mammal species that once existed on the island and introduce a further two species considered likely to have been there. It will also involve weed management, vegetation reconstruction and fire management. Biosecurity protocols will be implemented to prevent the introduction of high-risk invasive species.

Dirk Hartog Island National Park

Dirk Hartog Island is Western Australia’s largest island, covering 63,000 hectares and spanning almost 80 kilometres in length. Situated in the Shark Bay World Heritage area on the far western edge of the Australian continent, the island shelters the shallow waters of Shark Bay.

It was at Dirk Hartog Island in 1616 that Europeans first landed on Western Australian soil. The island is named after the Dutch sea captain who landed at Cape Inscription, the northernmost tip of the island, aboard the Eendracht. English explorer William Dampier also visited the island aboard HMS Roebuck in 1699, making many detailed observations of wildlife and vegetation. The 400th anniversary of the first landing at Dirk Hartog Island will be celebrated in 2016.

Australian baby dolphin endangers, saves pod


This is a video from Australia on moving a baby dolphin away from the shore in order to prevent its pod from beaching.

From Wildlife Extra about this:

Dolphin pod saved using baby dolphin as a lure

Large pod of dolphins off Albany

February 2013. Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) staff have successfully herded a large pod of dolphins out to sea avoiding a potential mass stranding at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve on Western Australia’s south coast.

Pantropical spotted dolphins

Between 100-150 pantropical spotted dolphins Stenella attenuata were discovered milling around in shallow water at Whalers Cove, south-east of Albany yesterday morning at 9.00am. One dolphin had already died. DEC officers monitored the dolphins until high tide yesterday when conditions were suitable for the pod to be herded out to deeper water.

Lured into deep water by baby dolphin

Regional leader nature conservation Deon Utber said DEC officers translocated a juvenile dolphin by boat to deeper waters as part of the operation.

“The juvenile was sending out distress signals, which was calling the dolphins in, as soon as it was translocated to deeper waters the pod followed it out and last we saw they were swimming out to sea,” he said.

There was no sign of the pod the following morning. A DEC spotter plane conducted aerial surveillance off the coastline but the pod could not be found.

‘Extinct’ Australian echidna still living?


This video from Australia says about itself:

19 Oct 2010

Taronga has recently moved one of its two Long-beaked Echidnas into the Australian Nightlife nocturnal exhibit creating a world first for the zoo. This means that Taronga is now the only place in the world where people can see all three [?] species of monotreme together. A monotreme is actually a rare family of mammals unique to Australia, which lay eggs. They include the Platypus, the Long-beaked Echidna and the Short-beaked Echidna.

From Wildlife Extra:

Long-beaked echidna, thought extinct in Australia since Ice Age, may still cling on in Kimberley

Scientists discover Australian long-beaked echidna in London’s Natural History Museum

January 2013. The western long-beaked echidna, one of the world’s five egg-laying species of mammal, became extinct in Australia thousands of years ago…or did it? Smithsonian scientists and colleagues have found evidence suggesting that not only did these animals survive in Australia far longer than previously thought, but that they may very well still exist in parts of the country today.

Small, Critically Endangered, population survives on New Guinea

With a small and declining population confined to the Indonesian portion of the island of New Guinea, the western long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijnii) is listed as “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Considered extinct in Australia since Ice Age – but……………

It is also considered extinct in Australia, where fossil remains from the Pleistocene epoch demonstrate that it did occur there tens of thousands of years ago. Ancient Aboriginal rock art also supports the species’ former presence in Australia. However, no modern record from Australia was known to exist until scientists took a closer look at one particular specimen stored in cabinets in the collections of the Natural History Museum in London. Previously overlooked, the specimen’s information showed that it was collected from the wild in north-western Australia in 1901-thousands of years after they were thought to have gone extinct there.

“Sometimes while working in museums, I find specimens that turn out to be previously undocumented species,” said Kristofer Helgen of the Smithsonian Institution, the lead author and the scientist to first report the significance of the echidna specimen. “But in many ways, finding a specimen like this, of such an iconic animal, with such clear documentation from such an unexpected place, is even more exciting.”

Egg-laying mammals

Long-beaked echidnas are known as monotremes-a small and primitive order of mammals that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young. The platypus, the short-beaked echidna, and the three species of long-beaked echidna (Western, Eastern and Sir David Attenborough’s) are the only monotremes that still exist. The platypus is found only in eastern Australia, the short-beaked echidna is found in Australia and New Guinea, and the long-beaked echidnas were previously known as living animals only from the island of New Guinea. Long-beaked echidnas, which grow to twice the size of the platypus or the short-beaked echidna, are beach-ball sized mammals covered in coarse blackish-brown hair and spines. They use their long, tubular snout to root for invertebrates in the forests and meadows of New Guinea. Among many peculiar attributes, reproduction is one of the most unique-females lay a single leathery egg directly into their pouch where it hatches in about 10 days.

Found in Kimberley in 1901

The re-examined specimen in London reveals that the species was reproducing in Australia at least until the early 20th century. It was collected in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia by naturalist John T. Tunney in 1901, on a collecting expedition for the private museum of Lord L. Walter Rothschild in England. Despite collecting many species of butterflies, birds and mammals (some new to science at the time), no full report on his specimens has ever been published. The collection, including the long-beaked echidna specimen, was then transferred to the Natural History Museum in London in 1939 after Rothschild’s death. It was another 70 years before Helgen visited the museum in London and came across the specimen with the original Tunney labels, which both challenged previous thinking about the species’ recent distribution and offered insight into where it may still occur.

“The discovery of the western long-beaked echidna in Australia is astonishing,” said Professor Tim Flannery of Macquarie University in Sydney, referring to the new study. “It highlights the importance of museum collections, and how much there is still to learn about Australia’s fauna.”

Search for live animals

Learning whether the western long-beaked echidna still exists in Australia today will take time. “The next step will be an expedition to search for this animal,” Helgen said. “We’ll need to look carefully in the right habitats to determine where it held on, and for how long, and if any are still out there.” To find it, Helgen hopes to draw on his experience with the species in New Guinea and to interview those who know the northern Australian bush best. “We believe there may be memories of this animal among Aboriginal communities, and we’d like to learn as much about that as we can,” he said.

With the species in danger of extinction, finding Australian survivors or understanding why and when they vanished is an important scientific goal. “We hold out hope that somewhere in Australia, long-beaked echidnas still lay their eggs,” said Helgen.

The team’s findings are published in the Dec. 28, 2012 issue of the journal ZooKeys.

One should hope that Big Oil and Big Mining, which threaten dinosaur tracks in the Kimberley region, will not also threaten western long-beaked echidnas, if they survive there.