Brushturkeys, Alectura lathami, belong to a family of birds known as megapodes. Found in rainforests, wet schlerophyll forests and scrub habitats across eastern Australia, brushturkeys are the only birds in which egg incubation temperature is known to affect the sex ratio of hatchlings.
As an Australian, I believe it is my duty to reblog this! And to add that we used to have brushturkeys (we also call them scrub-turkeys) in our backyards in Southeast Queensland. They would rake leaves from your yard into a huge mound for their nest, leaving a trail of leaf-litter and the remnants of your garden across the lawn. Although I found this whole exercise fantastic to watch, it did not sit well with the avid gardeners of suburbia. I haven’t seen a brushturkey this side of town for years…
A golden Brushtail Possum joey was rescued a few months ago and buddied up with a grey Brushtail joey already in care after his mother had been killed by a car. Their wildlife carer Lynda says “possum joeys tend to do better in care when they have a buddy of the same species to put them at ease. Both joeys having lost their mums are seeking reassurance in each other and it’s working a treat.”
A healthy population to extinction in just 20 years…
“Saving the bat wasn’t an impossible mission. It’s just that the government and the people of Australia - one of the richest countries on earth - decided it wasn’t worth doing.” - Tim Flannery
[Read more on Tim Flannery’s warning of a new wave of extinction.]
HEALESVILLE SANCTUARY 2012 STEVE PARISH KIDS PHOTO WORKSHOP PHOTO COMPTETION RESULTS
FIRST PRIZE WINNER: ‘Dingo Lick’ by Georgina
The illegal trade of birds into and out of Australia is going virtually unchecked… with two sweeping government investigations failing to prosecute the smugglers they identified.
The investigations revealed the role of sophisticated networks of criminals trading eggs of native parrots with those of exotic parrots from South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines.
But despite having some of the toughest penalties in the world for wildlife crime, up to 10 years in jail and $100,000 fines, the alleged perpetrators were not even charged.
The previous national manager of investigations with the Australian Customs Service says that is because wildlife investigations are poorly resourced…
Success Story: Blue Iguana Crawls Back From Extinction
by LiveScience staff
Just a decade ago, the Grand Cayman blue iguana was on the brink of extinction, with only 10 to 25 individuals left in the wild. But the reptile has made a major comeback and is no longer listed as a critically endangered species.
The blue iguana, which is only found on the Caribbean island Grand Cayman, now has a population of about 750 thanks to a recovery program. And over the weekend, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) updated its listing of the species from critically endangered to endangered.
An endangered status is probably the best conservationists could ever hope for as far as the reptile is concerned, said Fred Burton, director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.
“Human impacts on Grand Cayman are now so extensive that there just isn’t scope for these iguanas to regain numbers in the tens of thousands,” Burton explained in a statement. “However, we are confident that we will achieve our lon-term goal of restoring at least 1,000 Grand Cayman blue iguanas to the wild.”
The blue iguana is the largest native species on Grand Cayman. The reptiles often grow to more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and weighs more than 25 pounds (11 kilograms). They once ranged over most of the island’s coastal areas and interior dry shrub lands before habitat destruction, car-related deaths and free-roaming dogs and cats pushed them toward extinction.
The recovery program involves habitat protection, research, monitoring and releasing captive-bred iguanas into the wild.
(via: Live Science) (photo: male Cayman Blue Iguana, by Fred Burton)
I always love to hear good conservation news!
Nom nom nom!
An orphan ringtail possum laps up food and attention from the clucky vet nurses!
A baby ringtail possum was brought into our clinic. In Australia, vets will take in and treat any native wildlife for free. We fed this little orphan, gave him a check up and gave him to a professional carer to raise him and release him back into the wild oneday. This is a clip of his very first meal after a couple of days on his own - he was like, ‘stop shoving this stick in my face.. oh wait… hang on a tic… yummy!’
This card will grow into an Australian shrub known as a ‘bottlebrush’. These free seed-infused, biodegradable cards are the RSPCA’s new initiative to encourage native plants and wildlife in suburbia. Fantastic idea don’t you think?