Australia: Victoria – Giant Gippsland Earthworm


The link below is to an article on Australia’s Giant Gippsland Earthworm – it’s huge!

For more visit:
http://twentytwowords.com/2013/02/11/massive-australian-earthworm-can-grow-up-to-9-feet-long-7-pictures/

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Budgies: Huge Flocks in the Aussie Outback


The link below is to an article reporting on the huge flocks of budgerigars currently being found throughout the Australian Outback. However, this is not all good news, as it signals the end of the good times.

For more visit:
http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/vast-budgie-flocks-in-alice-springs.htm

Africa: Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area


The link below is to an article on the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), established in 2011 by Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is a huge conservation area the size of Italy.

For more visit:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/travelnews/2012/03/pictures/120327-africa-parks-conservation/

AUSTRALIA: ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER UNFOLDING ON QUEENSLAND COAST


An environmental disaster is unfolding on the Queensland coast, with the oil spill from the Hong Kong-flagged ship Pacific Adventurer. The Pacific Adventurer was badly damaged during the Cyclone Hamish weather event last week.

The Pacific Adventurer somehow managed to get caught up in the cyclone despite very early warnings concerning the cyclone. Some 31 containers containing ammonium nitrate were washed into the sea during the cyclone and as this occurred the ship itself was badly damaged, leaking some 230 tonnes of oil into the ocean. The initial report from the ship was that some 30 tonnes of oil had been lost.

The environmental disaster is huge, with the oil now affecting over 60km of coastline, including the eastern coast of Moreton Island. Sea life is being severely impacted by the disaster.

The cleanup is being done at a rate of about 1 to 2 km a day, which means it will take quite some time to complete.

Also of concern are the 31 containers of ammonium nitrate that are still missing and which could further contaminate the region. Navy mine hunters are being called in to search for the containers which remain a shipping hazard.

AUSTRALIA: ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS – Massive Extinction Threat


Australia is facing an environmental crisis with a possible massive extinction threat due largely to human activities. The latest Red List by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists 788 plant and animal species as threatened in Australia, including 57 mammals, 44 birds, 38 reptiles and 48 amphibians.

The Tasmanian Devil is one of the most at risk Australian mammals, with a huge fall in numbers because of a deadly facial tumour disease.

The biggest threats to Australian species are introduced species including foxes, feral cats and cane toads.

The Red List has some 16 928 species on a global scale now facing extinction, with 3 246 of those species listed as critically endangered.

BELOW: A report dealing with the Red List