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.

Australian freshwater fish endangered

This video says about itself:

10 April 2010

Critically endangered around the world, Australia is the last bastion for the Freshwater Sawfish (Pristis microdon). The team from Cairns Marine venture into the remote and inhospitable regions of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, home to an abundance of crocodiles, in order to collect a small number of juvenile specimens for conservation and display in public aquaria.

From Murdoch University in Australia:

Freshwater fish under pressure

Friday, 26 February 2010

Sources of groundwater such as springs are helping keep threatened species alive, by providing a supply of good water.

Habitat change, decline in water quality and introduction of exotic fishes has had a major impact on the freshwater fish of the South-West, according to Murdoch freshwater fish experts Drs David Morgan and Stephen Beatty.

The Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research researchers say extensive surveys in every river system in Western Australia’s South-West have shown major range reductions and loss of populations of the region’s unique freshwater fishes, a number being listed as endangered. …

“These areas of fresh groundwater intrusions in systems such as the Blackwood River effectively dilute the main channel and maintain permanent tributary habitats for threatened species, such as the Balston’s Pygmy Perch, and therefore it is very important to maintain this input – particularly in light of the predicted reduction in rainfall due to climatic change in the South-West,” Dr Beatty said.

“The surveys have mapped the introduction and colonisation of feral fishes such as goldfish [see also here] and mosquitofish that are also having a massive impact on these fishes.

“In fact, our research has shown that there are now more species of exotic fishes than natives in these waterways, with a number of new species having being recently recorded.”

The Freshwater Sawfish (also known as the Largetooth Sawfish or Leichhardt’s Sawfish) is a critically endangered species that can be found between latitudes 11 N and 39 S in the Indo-West Pacific oceans. It grows up to 23 ft (approx. 7 m) in length: here.

New species of stingray discovered off Western Australia: here.

Talking about fish in Australia; from the University of Queensland:

Poisonous friends help mimic

Friday, 26 February 2010

UQ research has found being a copycat works out pretty well for a certain reef fish.

Dr Karen Cheney, from the School of Biological Sciences, has revealed the secrets of an underwater imposter – the bicolour fangblenny.

“This fish resembles another poisonous reef fish – the yellowtail fangblenny – to avoid predator attack and to also avoid detection from passing reef fish, which they approach and attack to gain a meal of skin and fins,” Dr Cheney said.

“This is the first example of a mimicry system in which the mimic gains multiple benefits from its resemblance to another species.”

The research, conducted at Hoga Island, Indonesia, and at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, involved observing the number of attacks made by the mimic and how close it stayed to the fish it resembled.

Mimics who stayed in close proximity to models were more likely to be successful in securing food, Dr Cheney found.

To investigate whether the mimics also benefited from a reduction in predator attacks, Dr Cheney placed replicas – photographs glued to Perspex – of the bicolour fangblenny among potential predators.

“Significantly fewer predators approached the true replica compared with the other replicas,” she said.

Dr Cheney said it was possible that the mimic used its colour as a signal to warn potential predators not to attack.

A previous study conducted by Dr Cheney confirmed cleaner fish – which remove parasites from passing reef fish – used colour to advertise their services.

The study will be published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on February 24.

In a remarkable new finding, scientists have reported that certain coral reef fish use ultraviolet (UV) vision to tell the difference between their own and other similar species: here.

Top 10 Most Endangered Fish Species: here.

Britain: Teenage angler reels in 5lb goldfish: here.

March 2011. A biologist from the University of Toronto has discovered a new kind of tropical freshwater stingray. Dr Nathan Lovejoy’s 10 years of research with his collaborator, Marcelo Rodrigues de Carvalho of the University of Sao Paolo, confirmed the first new genus of stingrays from the Amazon region in more than two decades: here.

Object Recognition in Fish: Scientist trains goldfish to touch objects for food rewards: here.

Marsupial lion in Aboriginal rock art discovered

This video says about itself:

15 Nov 2011

Bone Diggers: Mystery of a Lost Predator

Australia is known for its cute marsupials, the koala, the kangaroo and the wombat among others. Very few people are aware that there was once a marsupial that was a deadly “creep up and get ya” predator that was more ferocious than a sabre tooth tiger. It was Thylacoleo Carnifex — the Marsupial Lion, Australia’s lost predator.

The Nullarbor Plain is a remote treeless desert resting between the Great Australian Bight and the Great Sandy Desert. It is hard, stony country…flat and featureless.

In May of 2002 an group of cavers, in an Indiana Jones style operation, discovered three caves, which had never been entered by man. The entrance to one of the caves was mere shoulder-width, vertical tube that rapidly expanded to cathedral proportions. In the first cave their head torches illuminated a sight that caused scientific wonderment and a world-wide media frenzy.

At the far end of a side tunnel the cavers discovered the pristine and complete skeleton of the fabled marsupial lion, Thylacoleo. It lay there as if it had died only a year ago. The skeleton was bleach white against the red earth and not a speck of dust on it. Their immediate reaction was to take a photo and get out – their main concern was to preserve the site for scientific analysis.

The photo of Thylacoleo and the cave coordinates ended up on the desk of Dr John Long, vertebrate palaeontologist a world renowned Bone Digger with the Western Australian Museum. Within a matter of weeks funding and an expedition to recover the remains had been arranged. It would prove a journey full of surprises both during the expedition and later as the remains were studied. The first surprise to take John and his team by surprise was the age of the remains. He was sure the skeleton could only be about 40,000 years old — several dating techniques later and a shattering date of at least 500,000 years suddenly propelled the find into mega-star status.

Bone Diggers – Mystery of a Lost Predator is the amazing story of the dangerous recovery mission and how the remains of the marsupial lion allowed science a unique opportunity to reconstruct the beast and it’s behaviour.

From recreating its brain to morphological analysis, the life and form of Thylacoleo began to take shape – this is science at its best!

A co-production between Storyteller Media and the Western Australian Museum

Storyteller produce and distribute documentaries and factual programming specialising in animals and nature; from endangered species and what’s being done to save them to mysterious animal and monster stories.

From COSMOS magazine in Australia:

Marsupial lion found in Aboriginal rock art

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

by Kerensa McElroy
Cosmos Online

SYDNEY: Ancient rock art depicting the extinct marsupial lion has been found in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, says a study in the journal Antiquity.

The first convincing example of a marsupial lion found in rock art to date, the find suggests that early Australians and marsupial lions co-existed.

It also hints at what marsupial lions may have looked like. Painted in red ochre, the image depicts a large four-legged animal, with a strong, prominent front limb poised for action, protruding claws and stripes running the length of its back.

New look at an old beast

The rock art “adds to our knowledge of the animal’s appearance that, without the discovery of a mummified animal, would have remained conjecture,” says the study. “The artist has depicted a tail with tufted tip, the ears are pointed rather than rounded [and] the animal is striped, rather than spotted.”

The marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) is well known from the fossil record. The first complete skeleton was unearthed in 2002 in a Nullarbor Plain cave by researchers from the Western Australian Museum. From that find, scientists know that Thylacoleo was front heavy, with large, strong forelimbs. They also had vicious claws and razor-sharp teeth, making them ferocious predators.

However, as the species has been extinct for tens of thousands of years (some estimates suggest 30,000 years, but direct dating of the fossils has not been completed), experts don’t know exactly what they looked like. They’re also unsure what drove them extinct and even if they were still around when the first Aborigines arrived on the continent.

Some evidence suggests climate change was to blame, whilst other evidence points to early Australians hunting them and burning the land.

Lion or tiger?

Tour guide and amateur archaeologist Tim Willing found the painting while exploring rock art near the northwestern Kimberly coast in June 2008. He took digital images of the painting and then, along with co-author Kim Akerman, published a description of them in Antiquity earlier this year.

Many Australian cave paintings have been found to depict the Tasmanian tiger or thylacine, which is known to have persisted on the mainland until around 2,000 year ago. However, the newly discovered painting has several features that set it apart from others thought to depict thylacines.

The stripes of the animal in the painting are more extensive than those of a thylacine, which cover only the animal’s rear end. The creature also appears to have cat-like claws, a feature of Thylacoleo. Furthermore, the muzzle is blunt, not long and tapered like a Tasmanian tiger’s.

“Compared with the powerful forequarters, the hindquarters appear underdeveloped,” write the authors. “This apparent asymmetry is not seen in rock art images of thylacines, where both hind- and forelimbs are usually of similar dimensions. However thylacoleos were equipped with powerful claws on the hind limbs and these appear to be depicted in this image.”

The discovery suggests that early Aborigines and marsupial lions were contemporaries, and may also lend weight to the idea that the arrival of people contributed to the demise of the species.

Unanswered question

According to the study, Australian palaeontologists John Long, of Museum Victoria in Melbourne, and Rod Wells, of Flinders University in South Australia, agree that the animal pictured is likely to be Thylacoleo.

However, Steven Wroe, a palaeontologist from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, isn’t convinced. Whilst conceding that the coexistence of marsupial lions and Australian aboriginals would be exciting, he believes the rock art could still be a representation of a thylacine.

Wroe points out that mainland Tasmanian tigers may have had a different pattern of stripes than the isolated Tasmanian population. “The fact that it has stripes at all, that are in any way similar to the Tasmanian tiger, suggests to me that it is a Tasmanian tiger” he told Cosmos Online.

Aboriginal rock paintings on Cape York fade away: here.

Archaeologists document rock art sites in Australia by helicopter: here.

April 2011: A massive section part of the Nullarbor in South Australia is being declared a Wilderness Protection Area, giving the unique parcel of land the highest level of environmental protection: here.

Did dingo attacks drive the Tassie tiger extinct? Here.

Isolation Doomed the Tasmanian Tiger. The Tasmanian devil could suffer the same fate as their homeland cousin — the extinct Tasmanian tiger: here.

Illegal killing of cockatoos in Australia

This video says about itself:

During the Parrot International Symposium Rosemary Low showed us this remarkable video of a an Australian couple, David and Deidre Patterson, who are working hard to save two distinct subspecies of black cockatoos from going extinct. In the video they tell about the importance of the area next to their property, Helms block, for the black cockatoos, which is a key area for food and nesting sites and its survival is imperative for the release of the cockatoos that they rehabilitate. We were alarmed to learn that the moratorium on logging this area made in 2001 has been overturned.

We understand that, if this goes ahead, a valuable area of native forest will be rendered unusable as a food source for these cockatoos, thus further imperilling the two species of White-tailed Black Cockatoos and the sub-species naso of the Red-tail. It would also mean that the Pattersons would be unable to release a flock of rehabilitated Baudin’s Cockatoos as planned for the coming October, when marri nuts would have been available for these birds in the forest.

From Wildlife Extra:

Illegal shooting of endangered black cockatoos in Western Australia

31/01/2009 23:44:17

Black cockatoos being persecuted

January 2009. Landowners in Western Australia are again being reminded of the consequences of shooting white-tailed black cockatoos, following the conviction of a Bridgetown man who shot the protected birds on his property last year.

The man was fined $3000 and ordered to pay court costs for shooting eight white-tailed black cockatoos in his orchard in February 2008.

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) continues to receive reports of landowners killing the birds, both Carnaby’s and Baudin’s white-tailed black cockatoos, because of the damage to orchards and other horticultural crops. DEC Senior Investigator Rick Dawson said the birds are listed as a threatened species under State and Federal legislation and killing or harming them was illegal.

Seven forest red-tailed black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso), which have just been added to the Commonwealth Threatened Species List by Australia, have been released at the Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre in Martin: here.

April 2011: An estimated 200 or more endangered Baudin’s black cockatoos are being illegally shot each year in Western Australia as they come into direct conflict with Southwest fruit growers during harvest: here.

It is well known that a great source of stress between the sexes is map reading and giving and taking directions when driving. Whilst the invention of the Sat Nav was hoped to lessen the tension between the sexes it was found that males don’t respond well to directions given by female voices and vice versa. Medical experiments showed that the level of the hormone cortisol in the blood, an indication of stress, were much lower in both sexes when taking directions from cockatoos. “We believe that by using talking parrots we will have less road rage and accidents on our highways” said Olof Prila, a spokeperson from MotMot: here.

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