Tasmania's journal of discovery

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.

A devil of a time

TIM DUB:

A scream of chilling ferocity shatters our comfort. I leap to my feet, goosebumps and neck hair rising — a jelly of inadequate reflexes.

The high-pitched prolonged howl has a souless abandonment that is not of this world …

Continued …

Giant squid reveal their secrets

image

OLIVER ROBB, SHELLEY POWERS & LIZ TURNER explore the myths, facts and fantasies surrounding Architeuthis dux, a creature of the deep that can truly raise a stink. There’s a lot more to it here, here and here … and, of course, there’s the saga of Squidly.

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.

Continued …

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.

Continued …

Memories of the Furneaux Group

A sea kayaking trip to Flinders Island in the Furneaux group was Jeff Jennings’ first serious sea kayaking trip in 1983. Since then, he says: “I have lost count of how many times I have returned to this gaggle of islands as a member of the Maatsuyker Canoe Club”. Share the adventure here

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

Destination: Flinders Island

Kim Rumbold, winner of the 2004 Premier’s Dombrovskis Wilderness Award for her evocative photography, recently visited the ‘grand old granite island’ of Flinders for the portfolio we feature here

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