Tasmania's journal of discovery

Dolphin capers

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A pod of dolphins, two adults and four young ones, was spotted on September 2 feeding in the busy working port area of Sullivan’s Cove. A week later they were still at it.

They are not the first dolphins to be sighted in the area over recent months but they obligingly came close enough to shore for Graeme Paine to take these evocative photographs.

Continued …

A special night

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By SHEVILL MATHERS | Our nearest star, the Sun, from a distance of 150,000,000 kilometres, provides us with light and warmth and from time to time a magnificent nighttime ‘laser light’ show. Well, not quite a laser light show, but something on a much grander scale. The Southern Aurora, Southern Lights or Aurora Australis are term used to describe the displays we see in out southern skies when the sun has had a particularly bad day! 

Continued …

What’s in a name?

imageWell, it’s official. Just ask Muddles, officially named by Trina Mangels of Hobart.

We decided our bedraggled little Adelie penguin needed a name and out readers responded with zeal, and often, tongue in cheek.

Five of them will be receiving a copy of Images of Antarctica as a reward for their effort.

Lorraine McNeair of Wynyard came close with Mudwaddle (really, really, close at the judge’s lunch, the tie being decided by the waiter).

Other names submitted included Adelie, Mudelie, Mudslide, Mudson, and some more obscure ones, including Pengathlon, Percy and Maximus. There were many more and we thank our readers, from all parts of the globe, for their submissions.

The calendars are on their way to the finalists.

Shipstern Bluff plays up

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Writer Dustin Hollick and photographer Stuart Gibson drop in on the fanatical surfers who take on the massive power of the big ones at Shipstern Bluff — a surfing mecca in southern Tasmania that delivers some of Australia’s biggest waves. There’s lots more , including some amazing video footage here.

Hollywood gets the call

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Don Stephens photograph

Movie studio Warner Bros, which earned million of dollars from its Tasmanian devil cartoon character “Taz,” has now been asked to help save his real-life cousins that are being decimated by facial cancer.

Tasmanian devils on Australia’s southern island state of Tasmania, the only place where these carnivorous marsupials are found in the wild, are being wiped out, with grossly disfigured animals dying within months of contracting the disease.

Environmentalists have approached the Hollywood studio to help raise funds to battle the disease, which has probably killed between a third and a half of the Tasmanian devil population in the past five to 10 years. Only about 70,000 to 80,000 remain.

“We are in discussions with the folks in Tasmania to see what we might be able to do to help,” Warner Bros spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti told Reuters.

Tasmanian wildlife biologist Nick Mooney fears there is little that can be done to stop the spread of the cancer.

“It is likely that in another five years that 80 percent or more of the state population or more will have been affected and there is probably nothing we can do about that,” he said.

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