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The curiosities and absurdities in Australian environmental science

Did the dingo do it?

The Great Emu War of 1932
It's blamed for eradicating the thyacline but could there be another explanation?
Emu War
They could beat the Germans but the Diggers were no match for the emus.
Although patriotic, the love of gum trees could be likened to encouraging tiger snakes to live in the back yard and then periodically milking their venom to lower the danger
Tasmanian Devil biting back
Tasmanian Devil
Aside from the thylacine, Tasmania has not lost a single marsupial since colonisation. The state has the devil to thank.
Shark Attack Australia
How to ensure you don't go by the name of Bob
Cane Toad golf
Scientists say: "We need to offer a humane death" (to the 3 out of every 10,000 tadpoles that aren't killed before adulthood.)
The dilemma is whether the priority should be the ecosystem's health or the dingos' membership of kennel clubs.
Funnel web ugg boot
The have fangs the size of cats claws which can piece a toe nail...and a fondness for hiding in shoes!
Blackwater fish kills
From 1950 to 1980, government departments encouraged the planting of willows. From 1990 to the present, they encouraged their destruction.
It's not the snakes you have to worry about, it's the cows.
Some say you are safe if you wear stockings and it's best to have a full bladder in case you need to treat a sting, but is that really true?
There are great prospects to make pets out of native animals but scientists warn of catching unknown diseases. Animal Rights groups also warn of animal cruelty not being confined to cats and dogs.
It doesn't get the fanfair of koalas or the tourism exposure of kanagroos but it's hard not to love them...unless you are a farmer.
The Thylacine has almost become symbolic of Tasmania’s tragic human history fusing with a beautiful environment.
Killing Koalas
What is to be done when scientists say gum trees have right NOT to be eaten by koalas?
Forget the roo, it is the fly that has most shaped Australian culture.
It may be the mainland's largest marsupial predator, but it was forever cursed when given a one-syllable name.
Failed rabbit control in Australia
A fence almost 2,000 km long to keep rabbits out of WA? Sounds like a great idea! If it doesn't work, we'll build two more!
On a continent teeming with weird mammals, the echidna is one of the weirdest. It has a beak like a bird, spines like a hedgehog, lays eggs like a reptile, lactates in the pouch like a marsupial, and has the life span of an elephant
Blue Tongue
New Zealander rugby players know how scary tongues can be, and so do the blue tongues.
In warmer times and before the eucalypts came to dominate 25,000 years ago, Australia was covered in rainforests. Could rainforests return?
When a platypus specimen was first sent to England, the local scientists concluded that some smart-arsed Australian had tried to play a joke on them by sewing the feet and bill of a duck onto the body of a rat. How it looked was only half the story.

Most herbivores don't develop a backbone until the size of a hippo or elephant. They won’t leave the safety of the group nor stand their ground to the predators that want to eat them. The kangaroo is very different.

Sadly, environmental science in Australia is more cultural than scientific...and then there is the profit motive.
Crocodile Feral cats
They comprise up to 80% of the biomass in some waterways but will killing them improve the fishing?
Mythical creatures Birds Culling
It is a non-descript region, somewhere out behind the black stump. It is a place where few people survive and feelings of isolation rein supreme. It is a harsh landscape but also beautiful and emotional.
Dating back more than 100 million years, the rainforests are more than 10 times older than the Amazon and still contain ferns, conifers and angiosperms that once covered the Gondwana super continent.
Although the outback dominates popular culture, considering that around 80 per cent of Australians live in coastal catchments, it could be argued that Australia is more of a coastal dreaming culture.
I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam,
But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen.'
It is fair to say that most Australians have approached ravines and gorges of the Great Dividing Range as something to pass, rather than something to settle in or explore...but there is beauty to be discovered.
The land of East Antarctica between longitude 40 deg. E and 160 deg. In total, 42 per cent of the continent. The claim is largely thanks to Douglas Mawson and his remarkable tale of survival.