HG Wells, Attenborough, Martians and Tasmanian genocide

BRITISH MADE GENOCIDE: The last four Tasmanian Aborigines of solely Aboriginal descent c1860s. Truganini, the last to survive, is seated at far right

This photo shows the last four Tasmanian Aborigines of solely Aboriginal descent c1860s. Truganini, the last to survive, is seated at far right.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Alien invasions and meetings with Stalin

The BBC TV adaptation of HG Wells’s War of the Worlds has finished. PETER FROST reminds us what a great socialist the author was

LAST SUNDAY saw the screening of the third and final episode of the BBC’s magnificent, if controversial, adaptation of HG Wells’s War of the Worlds.

Wells’s classic tale of Martians invading Earth has long been a favourite of mine. It is a beautifully ironic analogy of British imperialism’s invasions of foreign lands. Gun in one hand, a bible in the other the British invaded so many places in order to colour the globe pink.

Soldiers and missionaries carried a whole arsenal of fatal secret weapons. Viruses and bacteria of diseases like influenza and even the common cold. These were endemic back home but unknown and deadly among folk who had never built up immunities to them.

By coincidence before I watched the first episode of War of the Worlds I watched David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet documentary on the animals of Australia.

Attenborough focussed on two Tasmanian species. The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial. Once widespread, today it is fighting hard in just a few Tasmanian locations to avoid total extinction.

He also showed amazing black and white footage of the very last Tasmanian tiger, or Tasmanian wolf. The Thylacine, (Thylacinus cynocephalus), was a marsupial wolf and the largest carnivorous marsupial of recent times. That film showed the very last survivor in a private Hobart zoo before the species became totally extinct in 1936.

The documentary however didn’t mention another Tasmanian species that was wiped out by the arrival of the white man. They were the indigenous people of the island — the Tasmanians — a population of Aboriginal people known as the Palawa.

It was the tragic fate of the Palawa that inspired HG Wells to write War of the Worlds. Wells told his brother Frank about the catastrophic effect of the British invasion on indigenous Tasmanians. What would happen, he wondered, if Martians did to Britain what the British had done to the Tasmanians?

So what of the BBC adaptation? I’ll leave most of that to TV reviewers more erudite than me. One widespread complaint was that the BBC adapters had added — horror of horrors — a woman hero.

The series opened with a hero, a journalist called George having left his wife, his cousin, to live with a woman called Amy in a small cottage called Lyndon near Woking, Surrey. Not one fact of the above can be found anywhere in the original book.

However H George Wells, a journalist, did marry his cousin and left her to live with a woman called Amy in a cottage called Lynton in Woking, Surrey.

It was at Lynton that Wells wrote the book and set the start of the Martian invasion in the countryside around the cottage.

What I want to do here is to remind readers what an incredible man HG Wells was. He always described himself as a committed socialist and wrote a wide variety of political writings — pamphlets, political books, newspaper and magazine articles — as well as novels and stories.

He was never afraid to use his novels and stories to advance his political opinions. Wells saw that socialism would abolish class barriers and foster equality of opportunity. Other writers such as Virginia Woolf berated him for using the novel as a vehicle for delivering his political ideas.

His novels took up diverse individual political issues. For instance The Island of Dr Moreau (1896) examined the fierce debates over vivisection. Ann Veronica (1909) deals with the struggle of the suffragettes for the vote for women.

In his Experiment in Autobiography (1934), he explained his political thinking was motivated by an awareness of the “incompatibility of the great world order foreshadowed by scientific and industrial progress with the existing political and social structures.”

For him the question was: how could politics and society catch up with the advances of science and technology? How could social and political institutions become more scientific, more efficient, more ordered?

As early as 1905 he described his ideal socialist society in his book A Modern Utopia. In it he paints a picture of a highly regulated world state where all property is state-owned, and where sexes are equal.

The Fabian Society were keen to have Wells on board. Despite some earlier differences with George Bernard Shaw and Beatrice and Sidney Webb he accepted an invitation to join the Fabians in 1903.

It would not be a happy time for the Fabians. They quickly realised that Wells could be a loose cannon. Openly criticising the Fabians from the beginning, in 1906 he shocked them with a paper called, unambiguously, The Faults of the Fabian.

In the paper Wells called the Fabian Society a talking shop for middle-class socialists, which lacked the appetite for real change. He argued Fabians should aim for mass membership and more radical reforms.

Wells’s love life and his reputed advocacy of free love didn’t go down well either. When In 1908 he advocated a wage for all mothers and the Fabians refused to adopt this as a policy, he left.

What Wells wanted was a single, socialist world state, a great world order, and it was no doubt to study this kind of development that he visited and championed the young Soviet Union repeatedly.

Wells visited Russia in 1914, 1920 and 1934. During his second visit his old friend and fellow writer Maxim Gorky arranged for him to meet and talk with Vladimir Lenin.

In July 1934, on his third visit to what had become the Soviet Union, he interviewed Joseph Stalin for the New Statesman. The interview lasted three hours.

He told Stalin how he had seen “the happy faces of healthy people” in contrast with his previous visit to Moscow in 1920 but he also raised some serious criticisms. Stalin, we are told, enjoyed the conversation.

During the second world war, Wells drafted a Universal Rights of Man that was published in the Times. This document and the advocacy he did around it led to the development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times but never won.

He suffered for much of his life from diabetes and in 1934 co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association known today as Diabetes UK.

Winston Churchill was an avid reader of his books, and after they first met in 1902 they kept in touch until Wells died in 1946. Prime minister Churchill famously described the rise of Nazi Germany as “the gathering storm”. He actually took the phrase from War of the Worlds.

War of the Worlds has never been out of print since its original publication in 1897. Films, radio dramas, comic-books, video games, and many television series have been based on it.

The most famous, or infamous, adaptation is the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles. Presented as a live, realistic set of news bulletins interrupting normal programming, supposedly terrified listeners had heart attacks and even committed suicide, though recent scholarship has suggested this is an urban myth.

Perhaps the greatest and most surprising tribute to the author and the book is that of Robert Goddard, the father of American rocketry. Goddard says his interest in rockets and space travel was first inspired by reading War of the Worlds aged sixteen.

Goddard would invent both liquid fuelled and multi-stage rockets that put men on the Moon and sent robotic probes to Mars — HG Wells would have wanted no finer tribute.

Saving Tasmanian wombats, new research

This 2016 video is called Cuddly Baby Wombat Compilation.

From the University of Tasmania in Australia:

New treatment program offers hope for controlling wombat mange

July 24, 2019

New research from the University of Tasmania is offering hope that the deadly mange disease affecting Tasmanian wombats could eventually be brought under control for wild individuals and populations.

Long-term disease control or eradication in wildlife is rare and represents a major challenge to wildlife conservation across the globe.

Control is particularly difficult for pathogens that can be transmitted through the environment, which includes the mite that causes sarcoptic mange in bare-nosed wombats.

In a paper published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers present a treatment program and lessons learned from it to guide the development of more effective and feasible control of sarcoptic mange disease in wombat populations.

Disease control was attempted during the mange outbreak at Narawntapu National Park in northern Tasmania, where PhD student Alynn Martin showed the disease could be controlled temporarily using a Cydectin treatment, remotely delivered to wombats using flaps over their burrows.

“The logistics of this treatment made long-term disease control extremely challenging,” she said. “After three months of trying to treat each wombat in the population every week, the disease returned, and wombats continued to die. It was very disappointing to see after going to so much effort to save these wombats.”

Rather than giving up, the researchers used their study to identify practical solutions to the problem.

With the help of University of Tasmania ecological modeller Dr Shane Richards, they discovered that a combination of a longer-lasting treatment and improved delivery of the treatment to the wombats would improve capacity to control mange in wombat populations.

“Slight improvements in multiple aspects of disease control can have dramatic impacts on our capacity to control this disease in wombats,” Dr Richards said.

Lead researcher Dr Scott Carver says that they are now researching a longer-lasting treatment for wombats, called Bravecto.

“We have researched the safety and dose, and are currently determining the effectiveness of the new treatment. Our overarching aim is to make the management of this pathogen much more feasible for individual wild wombats and local at-risk populations,” Dr Carver said.

Dr Richards said that field results suggest that the frequency in which wombats change the burrow in which they sleep was an important factor in disease persistence in populations.

The Sarcoptes scabiei mite was introduced to Australia by European settlers and their domestic animals.

David Attenborough and wildlife of Tasmania

This video says about itself:

David Attenborough‘s Tasmania

Attenborough narrates the story of a vast island wilderness – ancient forests, pristine rivers & spectacular coastline. Seasons vary from dry heat, strong winds & cold bringing wombats, wallabies & platypus out in daylight. Broadcast on Australian Broadcasting Corporation 7:45pm Sun 3 Jun 2018.

Tasmanian thylacines, video

This video says about itself:

How Evolution Turned A Possum Into A Wolf

5 June 2018

Until the early 20th century, Tasmania was home to a very weird wolf-like creature. Except that it wasn’t a wolf. Even though it looked like a wolf. How did that happen? Here’s the science of convergent evolution!

Extinct and threatened animals

This video from Australia says about itself:

Here is a combination of all the footage of the Tasmanian Tiger, now believed to be extinct.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Going the way of the Tasmanian tiger

Friday 3rd March 2017

PETER FROST sounds a warning about some iconic species struggling to survive humanity’s follies

THE Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf (Thylacine cynocephalus) is perhaps the best known and most spectacular of relatively recently extinct animals.

Eighty years ago this curiously striped wolf-shaped marsupial which carried its young in a pouch like a kangaroo, lived in Tasmania off the coast of Australia.

It was recognised as being in danger of extinction in 1936 but in September of the same year the last known Thylacine died in captivity and none has been seen since.

Another large carnivore that has gone extinct more recently is the Javan tiger. These became extinct in the 1980s due to habitat loss caused by changes in agriculture on the Indonesian island of Java.

The Caribbean monk seal is now extinct due to habitat loss, as well as human hunting — it was the only seal native to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico until the species was declared extinct in 2008.

The Baiji river dolphin population declined drastically in recent decades as China industrialised and made heavy use of the Yangtze river for fishing, transport and hydroelectricity. Only a few hundred were left by 1970, 400 by the 1980s and then to just 13 in 1997 when a full-fledged search was conducted. It was declared extinct after an expedition late in 2006 failed to record a single individual.

The golden toad was only discovered in 1966 in the tropical cloud forests of Costa Rica. It last bred in normal numbers in 1987 but the same year, due to erratic weather, 30,000 toads perished, leaving only 29.

By 1988, only eight males and two females could be located and a year later only a single male was found — this was the last record of the species.

The Pyrenean ibex was the first species to ever be brought back into existence via cloning but the cloned baby lasted just seven minutes after being born due to lung failure. The last naturally born Pyrenean ibex, named Celia, died in January 2000.

Thousands more species are threatened with extinction. Here are some of the most iconic. Only urgent and strong worldwide action can save them.

Pangolins are not well-known but are one of the most threatened of animals — they are the only mammals with scales rather than fur. Four species live in Asia, four in Africa.

A number of their species have already become extinct. They are hunted for food, for medicines and folk remedies and to satisfy a huge illegal international trade in their scales, skins and meat.

Public campaigning has at last persuaded world leaders to vote for the highest level of protections for all eight remaining species.

Sharks: a quarter of the world’s population is threatened with extinction due to overfishing. Every year, over a 100 million sharks are slaughtered — their fins sliced off while alive to make exotic soup while the still living sharks are thrown back into the water where, unable to swim they die a slow and painful death.

Rays: over the last decade the growing demand for the gills of rays has led to a massive decline in stocks of these fascinating fish. Populations have dropped by more than half in some areas and the slaughter is continuing unabated, with ray gills fetching over £400 per kg in certain Asian markets.

African Lion: the population of these big cats has halved in 30 years. Many populations have been wiped out across much of Africa.

Poaching by traffickers seeking alternatives to endangered tiger products, coupled with massive loss of habitat and prey base due to human settlement mean that unless we act now African lions could be extinct in the wild by 2050.

Narwhals: these members of the beluga whale family are the unicorns of the oceans best known for their single long tusk protruding from their nose.

Populations have been hovering around 75,000 which means they are considered near threatened and without appropriate protection could disappear, threatened by climate change and industrial activity. Yet even today narwhals are actively hunted in Canada and Greenland.

Rhinoceros: they historically roamed in large numbers across much of Asia and Africa — today only a fraction remain on the planet. Three African rhinos are killed every day because of demand for their horns as a status symbol, aphrodisiac and a cure for cancer in Chinese medicine. Coupled with a dramatic loss of habitat, all five species of rhinos are now threatened and three of the five are critically endangered.

Tigers: just 3,200 of these majestic creatures remain in the wild. No less than 97 per cent of the wild tiger population has disappeared in the last century. Originally there were nine subspecies of tigers, but over the last 80 years three have become extinct. All tiger species are now considered critically endangered, due in large part to the market for their pelts, meat and body parts.

Cheetahs: conservation experts warn that cheetah populations continue to collapse in the wild, in large part due to poaching. Since 1980, their population in the wild has fallen by about 90 per cent in Africa. In Asia, only about 200 cheetahs remain in the wild, limited to small regions in Iran.

Marine turtles: all seven of their species are endangered, three critically so: leatherbacks, hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley turtles. Slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells, tens of thousands of these creatures are lost each year to feed the demand from illegal markets. More than 80,000 are estimated to be killed each year.

Elephants: once common with many million strong populations throughout Asia and Africa, elephants have taken a devastating hit over the last century. Poachers slaughter one elephant about every 15 minutes to fuel a massive and lucrative illegal ivory trade.

Latest news is that more than 25,000 of Gabon’s savannah or bush elephant, some 80 per cent, were killed between 2004 and 2014.

Many countries all over the world have at last agreed to a ban on domestic ivory markets but illegal ivory trafficking is still a multimillionpound business.

Australian sheep Sheila not dead, 22kg of wool

This 4 January 2016 video from Australia says about itself:

Tasmanian sheep narrowly misses record

Sheila the sheep was found stuck in a culvert after escaping from her farm in 2010.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Sheep, presumed dead, supplies nearly 22 kilos of wool

Today, 12:25

For six years it was thought that she was dead, but recently the Australian sheep Sheila was found along the side of the road. After all these years she has been sheared for the first time. Yield: nearly 22 kilos of wool.

Since 2010, Sheila was wandering around in the wilderness of the state Tasmania. When the sheep was found, she was not able to stand up, said Peter Jones, who found the animal. “She winked at me. It was clear that she was not dead, so I tried to get her back on her feet.”


It is noteworthy that the sheep had been for so long walking around while loose, says correspondent Robert Portier. “The sheep are let loose in nature. They find their own food there. Once in a while they are driven together and sheared. It’s very rare that a sheep can for so many years stay out of the hands of the farmer.”

That the animal is still alive, is special, he says. “The large amount of wool that the sheep carries with it may result in inflammations. The chance of a sheep surviving that is very small.”

No record

The amount of wool resulting from shearing Sheila is no record. The record is the sheep Chris’. He also ran around in nature for six years before he was sheared. That resulted in 42.45 kilos of wool.

Swift parrot reports from Australia

This video from Australia says about itself:

Tasmania’s swift parrot set to follow the dodo

31 March 2015

The iconic Tasmanian swift parrot is facing population collapse and could become extinct within 16 years, new research has found.

The researchers have called on the Federal Government to list the birds as critically endangered.

“Swift parrots are in far worse trouble than anybody previously thought,” said leader of the study, Professor Robert Heinsohn, from The Australian National University (ANU).

“Everyone, including foresters, environmentalists and members of the public will be severely affected if they go extinct,” said Professor Heinsohn from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the forestry industry, which controversially continues to log swift parrot habitat.

The five-year study discovered that swift parrots move between different areas of Tasmania each year to breed, depending on where food is available.

The new data was combined with a previous study that showed that swift parrots are preyed on heavily by sugar gliders, especially in deforested areas.

The research predicted that the population of the birds will halve every four years, with a possible decline of 94.7 per cent over 16 years.

A moratorium on logging in swift parrot habitat is needed until new plans for their protection can be drawn up, said co-researcher, Dr Dejan Stojanovic, also from ANU Fenner School.

“Current approaches to swift parrot management look rather inadequate,” he said.

“Our models are a wake-up call. Actions to preserve their forest habitat cannot wait.”

The research has been published in the latest edition of Biological Conservation.

From Birdline Victoria in Australia today:

Sat 15 highlight Swift Parrot
You Yangs Regional Park–Visitor Entrance Area
4 Swift Parrots in eucalypts close to Park Office. Fuscous Honeyeaters and Black-chinned Honeyeaters still in area also.
John Newman & David Tytherleigh 15/8 #224210
highlight Swift Parrot
Deakin University–Waurn Ponds Campus
2 Swift Parrots vocal and mobile around the NA building and Koorie studies building of the campus this morning.
John Newman 15/8 #224209

Criticizing corporations illegal in Tasmania, Australia?

This video from Australia says about itself:

Tasmanian World Heritage Areas under threat

5 March 2014

A culmination of three years of hard work by Environment Tasmania, The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation together with timber unions, saw millers, contractors and the timber industry resulted in the historic Tasmanian Forestry Agreement.

This agreement has, for the first time, provided a plan to protect our world class forests and the jobs of timber workers, and create a future we can all be proud of.

As a direct result of this agreement, critical areas of Tasmania’s spectacular ancient forests were officially protected with World Heritage status in June last year — with unprecedented support from the Tasmanian timber industry and unions.

“World Heritage” status is awarded by the international community to recognise the highest natural values on Earth, and is a key feature of our tourism industry, providing direct employment to many thousands of Tasmanians.

Now the Abbott Government and some State politicians are seeking to have the forest protection stripped and the agreement torn up.

We know that Tasmanians don’t want to revert to the conflicts of the past, and want our leaders to stand up for our interests rather than simply playing political games.

We need your help to spread the message.

By Patrick Kelly in Australia:

Australian state government drafts anti-free speech defamation laws

12 January 2015

The state Liberal government in Tasmania is setting sweeping precedents for the suppression of protests against, and even criticism of, corporate activities. Having already imposed laws last November banning protests near business premises, the government last week confirmed that it is preparing new legislation, unique in Australia, to allow corporations to sue people for defamation.

The anti-democratic legislation will give companies operating anywhere in Australia the power to drag individuals or organisations through the courts, potentially bankrupting them, just for criticising their activities, including on social media. Defamation damages can run into millions of dollars in alleged lost profits, on top of the legal costs of fighting such cases.

Those potentially subject to the new defamation laws will include workers organising industrial campaigns against a company or industry, groups mounting boycott campaigns against particular corporations, and organisations exposing exploitative or destructive corporate operations. Even historians writing on the nefarious past record of a still-operating company could be financially ruined.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman demagogically insisted last Tuesday that the new laws were about “defending jobs,” claiming that there were “radical environmental groups who make a hobby of spreading misinformation to markets with the aim of destroying Tasmanian jobs.” The premier bluntly stated that the “right to free speech needs to be balanced by the opportunity to challenge clearly false and misleading claims.”

Hodgman’s measures have national scope, because they will allow corporations throughout Australia to take defamation action in the Tasmanian courts, even if the allegedly defamatory action or speech took place elsewhere.

In 2006, the Australian states adopted nationally uniform defamation laws. Part of the package removed the ability that had existed in some states for corporations with more than 10 employees to sue for defamation. Businesses were instead able to take legal action for “injurious falsehood.” This set different requirements. Sydney University associate professor in law David Rolph told Crikey: “In injurious falsehood claims the plaintiff has to prove the defendant published false statements about a plaintiff’s goods or services, that the defendant was motivated by malice or another improper motive, and that there was injury, or damage, caused to the plaintiff.”

The new defamation laws will remove the requirement that corporations must both prove malicious intent, and establish that they have suffered financial losses as a result of the allegedly false statements.

The legislation follows similarly draconian laws targeting the right to protest, passed by the Tasmanian government in November.

The Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act defines “protest activity” as any act “in furtherance of, or for the purposes of promoting awareness of or support for, an opinion, or belief, in respect of a political, environmental, social, cultural or economic issue.” Any such activity conducted on a “business premise” or a “business access area” is prohibited if it “prevents, hinders or obstructs the carrying out of a business activity” or if “that action is likely to have that effect.”

Police can use force to remove protesters, and issue “on the spot” infringement notices, fining individuals $2,000. Offences can also be pursued in the courts, with repeat offenders subject to $10,000 fines and four years’ imprisonment.

This four-year jail sentence was doubled from the two years initially proposed by the government. Premier Hodgman had also first suggested limiting the anti-protest laws to five industries: mining, forestry, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. However, the amended act extended its scope to also cover shops, markets and warehouses, as well as government business operations. In other words, there is virtually no limit on the scope of business activity covered.

So-called independents in the Tasmanian upper house voted for the laws after the government removed a proposed three-month mandatory jail term for repeat offenders, and made other cosmetic amendments. One amendment provides a limited exemption for industrial action, but only if it is “protected” action under the federal Fair Work Act, which outlaws industrial action except within narrow enterprise agreement “bargaining periods.”

Michel Forst, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, described the measures as “shocking,” noting that they “curtail [protestors] right to express their opinions, especially when they are at odds with the government or industry.”

Neighbouring Victoria last year enacted anti-protest laws bolstering police powers to “move on” demonstrators in “designated areas,” including near businesses. But the Tasmanian measures set a new benchmark. Corporate law firm Clayton Utz issued a memo last month noting: “The Bill imposes criminal sanctions for a range of protest related activities, and is specifically intended to protect economic activity. It breaks new ground in Australia, and may provide a significant precedent for governments around the country which are concerned about the effect of protest activities on Australian businesses.”

New South Wales Liberal Premier Mike Baird recently told a Minerals Council Awards dinner that similar measures would be enacted this year in Australia’s most populous state. “For too long protesters have entered mining sites, illegally damaged equipment and disrupted activity and escaped serious penalties,” Baird declared. “We need legislation which provides a real deterrent to this unlawful behaviour and protects businesses from illegal protesting activities.”

While they opposed aspects of the Tasmanian legislation, the Labor Party and the Greens are complicit in this offensive against democratic right. In Tasmania, the two parties formed a coalition government between 2010 and 2014, and their austerity budget cuts to basic services triggering widespread working class opposition, paving the way for the Liberal Party’s 2014 election victory.

The Labor Party’s only complaint about the anti-protest laws was that they were “poorly written” and a “dog’s breakfast” as a result of many amendments. During the parliamentary debate, Labor leader Bryan Green falsely claimed that the amended bill was substantially watered-down, and insisted that Labor agreed with the need to “support business” against “protest activity.”

The Greens sought to defend the environmental protest organisations that form part of their constituency, playing down the legislation’s wider anti-democratic implications. The Greens’ former federal leader Bob Brown declared that “the four-year jail sentence for nature lovers, people who defend Tasmania’s forests peaceably, are totally out of kilter,” adding the laws were “a bad look for Tasmania.”

Those first prosecuted under the anti-protest laws may prove to be anti-logging environmentalists, as the government is preparing to grant timber companies lucrative new licences to operate in previously protected forests.

The real target of the anti-democratic legislation, however, is the working class. Like their international counterparts, the Australian ruling elite has responded to the post-2008 global economic breakdown by bolstering the state’s repressive apparatus in preparation for the eruption of social and political unrest. The scaffolding of a police state has been steadily erected, under the banner of the “war on terror” and various “law and order” campaigns. Now state governments are going further, openly proscribing political protest and cracking down on any criticisms of corporate activities.

Facing a worsening economic slump, governments in three Australian states have brought forward sweeping laws that criminalise protests or any other activities that are alleged to disrupt business operations: here.

Australian birds news update

This is a Beautiful Firetail video from Tasmania in Australia.

From Birdline Victoria in Australia:

Thursday 8 January 2015

Fork-tailed Swift, White-throated Needletail, Latham’s Snipe, Eastern Bristlebird

Cape Howe Wilderness Area.

Mixed flock of over 100 forks and needles over Howe Flat around midday in hot and humid conditions, ratio of around 70:30 in favour of needletails. (200+ WTNT & 30 FTS seen later over Mallacoota before cool change) Single Latham’s Snipe flushed near start of boardwalk at Howe Flat (track still flooded), and 3 Eastern Brist[l]ebird heard but not seen; contact calls and intermittent song only. No sign of White-cheeked H[oney]E[ater] from November. On Lakeview Track near Barracoota Tk a pair of Beautiful Firetail was nest building, and lots of Little & Musk Lorikeet were present in flowering bloodwoods.

Save Tasmania’s rainforests

This video says about itself:

Tasmanian Eucalypt Forest Giants

21 Sep 2011

Paradise at the End of the World – This is an extract, featuring Pepper Bush Adventures’ Craig Williams, from a DVD produced showcasing some of Tasmania’s premier features. Craig takes the film crew in to Tasmania’s north east forests visiting the “White Knights”, the tallest white gum trees in the world at Evercreech Forest Reserve as well as visiting the virgin oldgrowth forest at Tombstone Creek Forest Reserve to view the mountain ash eucalypts, the world’s tallest flowering tree species.

From Rainforest Portal:

Action Alert: Old-Growth Forests in Tasmania‘s World Heritage Area Again Threatened

Only a year ago together Ecological Internet and you participated in successful protests to end industrial clearcut logging in 170,000 hectares of Tasmania, Australia’s old-growth temperate rainforests; as vital intact ecosystems including Butlers Gorge; and the Florentine, Weld and Styx valleys, were added to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Now Australia’s ecologically challenged federal government – led by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who famously stated “climate change is crap” – is reneging on these commitments, in an unprecedented move pushing to remove 74,000 hectares from World Heritage Area protection. We need your help to once again call on the Australian government to honor their international obligations and protect Tasmania’s World Heritage old-growth temperate rainforests from industrial destruction. Tasmanian, Australian, and global ecosystem sustainability depend upon doing so.

By Forests.org, a project of Ecological Internet – February 8, 2014

Tasmania’s ancient rainforest faces a grim future as a warming climate and the way people used the land have brought significant changes to the island state off mainland Australia’s southeastern coast, according to a new study: here.

Tasmania has prehistoric roots in North America, scientists show. Minerals in Tasmanian rock formations matching those found in North America’s west suggest ancient connection: here.