Western Australia

Should we cull crocodiles?

Crocodiles are ancient reptiles with their ancestors around before the age of the dinosaurs. What makes them so durable is they are perfectly adapted to their environment. The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is most likely encountered in tidal rivers and estuaries, billabongs, and floodplains. However, they can also be found in the open …

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Ships of the desert

“I don’t like them [camels]…but from my point of view I reckon they were the best animals that ever looked through a collar”. Camaleer ‘Stockwhip Jim’ Clarke Australia’s outback covers more than six million square kilometres or almost twice the size of India. As the coastal areas were first settled in Australia, questions remained about …

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A tale of two grasses

How buffel grass changed the dead heart of Australia When you enter the Northern Territory from South Australia the landscape changes immediately from mulga scrub to more open savannah woodland dominated by the introduced buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris).  Buffel grass is a deep-rooted perennial native to Africa, the Middle East and India. This makes it …

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Swallowed up by the sea – solving Australia’s most enduring maritime tragedy

On 19 November 1941, on the Indian Ocean off the Western Australian coast, the Royal Australian Navy’s greatest warship, the HMAS Sydney II, was sunk by a disguised German raider. It was and still is the worst naval disaster in Australia’s history. All 645 officers and men on board HMAS Sydney II were lost at sea, representing 35 …

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The Grey Nomad Salute

As we have travelled around Australia, one of the things I have picked up on is waving between caravaners as they pass each other. Anyone who has travelled on more remote roads would have waved at fellow travellers regardless of how they travelled. It is an unwritten road rule, isn’t it? No one is above …

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Lines in the sand

I recall reading an article by demographer Bernard Salt a few years ago about Australia being a continent divided by borders, lines, fences and boundaries. As I travel el around Australia I am reminded of his reference to ‘lines and boundaries’. Being a demographer, Salt referred to imaginary concepts based on social or physical elements, …

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A Charred landscape

“The dead ash forests reach starkly towards the sky like sentinels bearing witness to the holocaust just past, and those who love the bush are heavy hearted because this may be only the beginning of what is yet to come.” David Treasure, 2007[1] Since 1939, the high-country forests in Victoria were relatively free of devastating …

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