Up close and personal
Ardent nature lover and conservationist, the aptly named Bob Green, has added greatly to our knowledge of Tasmania’s wild life, and in the process taken wonderful photographs of some shy and rare species in the wild. Meet Bob Green here.
Flights of passion
The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor), so named because of the aerial speed it reaches, is a semi-nomadic species largely found foraging in flowering eucalypts of Victoria and New South Wales.
As the weather warms up and thoughts turn to things other than food, Tasmania is the place where this brightly coloured member of the parrot family likes to be. The breeding season coincides with the flowering of Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), because the nectar of this eucalypt is the parrots’ main food at this time.
Time to play in the Derwent
Southern right whales put on many boisterous mating displays this year on the lower Derwent River, especially in Fredrick Henry Bay, and seasoned observers reckon it was the best display in decades.
They’re now [August 2005] on their way north, but indications are that they will be back again in 2006 with increased numbers.
Historically, the Derwent Estuary was one of the favourite haunts of the southern right whale, Eubalaena australis. In the mid-1800s, the Reverend Knopwood recorded that residents of Taroona complained of being kept awake by the whales’ loud snorting noises.
At times, it was considered dangerous to cross the estuary in small boats due to the large numbers of whales — sometimes as many as 60 at a time.
Butterflies of Tasmania
Less than 40 species of butterflies are native to Tasmania — and skippers, swallowtails, browns and blues are the romantic names for the four major groups to which they belong. Dr Phil Bell reveals more here
A devil in disguise
For all their blustering, open-jawed aggression, Tasmanian Devils are basically wimps according to those who handle them day by day. Patsy Hollis investigates their undeserved profile and their sad decimation by a vigorous facial cancer that evades solution. More here
Raptor refuge a net success
Craig Webb is passionate about helping wildlife in need. As a certified wildlife carer, he pursues a particular love of raptors — those magnificent birds of prey that now include one of Tasmania’s most endangered natural inhabitants, the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle. Read more here
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