Speaking for koalas
You’ve probably seen quite a bit about koalas lately. About their population numbers reaching dangerous lows, about cars and dogs causing the biggest number of fatalities and about the dedication of volunteer groups who nurse injured koalas that reach them with limited success as injury is typically fatal.
There is a reason you’ve been reading so much lately – the time to do something to make a considerable impact on koala survival has arrived. Are you a friend of the Tweed koalas? If a friend could not stand up or speak up for themselves in the face of threat surely you would be there for them to do whatever you could.
Well NOW is that time – the koalas earnestly need friends at a meeting of Tweed Shire Council on Tuesday 24 January 10.30am. (Alternatively write a quick line to [email protected])
Councillors will be considering the recommended protections for koalas in the Kings Forest residential development.
They have the option of supporting the expert advice of staff regarding this endangered koala colony or they can simply disregard it.
Strange as it seems, such advice has been previously disregarded – they have ‘noted’ rather than ‘endorsed’ it.
As they are your representatives please come and show them you support the right action on behalf of the silent but highly valuable minority that is Tweed’s wildlife.
Marion Riordan, Condong.
People are pests
Why are Aussies brainwashed to think of native animals as ‘pests’?
They all perform ecosystem services without pay. Kangaroos regenerate native grasses by dispersing seeds, eat dry grasses that ignite easily in bush fires (thereby minimising fires), their waste fertilises soil and helps soil ecosystems, and many species depend on their ability to aerate soil with their big toes helping many seeds take root.
Flying foxes’ pollination and seed-dispersal services are second to none. They collect from night-flowering species and carry them long distances necessary for trees’ survival. Without them we would have no bananas, papaya, banksias, eucalypts, melaleucas, hardwood trees or rainforests.
What can we say about white man? The destruction by the livestock industry (soil erosion, deforestation leading to biodiversity loss and a hotter, windier climate, pollution of air, soil and ground/surface waters, and impact on human health and world hunger), logging, coal mines, never-ending sprawl of concrete is infinitely worse. Perhaps we are the pest?
If Adrian read the extensive documentation on www.stopkangarookilling.org proving kangaroos are being shot by the kangaroo industry in areas where they are quasi-extinct (ie fewer than five kangaroos per sq km) he would realise they are on track to extinction. Red kangaroos are being killed three times faster than what they can breed and their average lifespan is only two years. Kangaroos give birth to one joey every year and that joey has only a twenty per cent chance of survival. The impacts of floods, fires and drought have a huge toll on their numbers.
It’s time to stop vilifying kangaroos and flying foxes and have some respect for these sentient beings.
Farmers could use kangaroo-proof fencing and bat netting. They could give 10 per cent land as a wildlife corridor. They could replace the top strand of barbed wire with single wire. Some farmers are willing to live in harmony with our native animals and I hope this trend continues. But as long as people like Adrian remain brainwashed into thinking kangaroos and flying foxes are pests and ‘in plague proportion’ that day is far away, and their potential extinction looms ever closer.
Give kangaroos and flying foxes a break! On Australia Day, celebrate our national icons for a change.