The Newsletter of Land for Wildlife and Garden for Wildlife in Central Australia - November 2014
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pic - Spring is upon us. Successive broods of Black Swan cygnets have been hatching at the Alice Springs sewage ponds in the last month or two. Chris Watson

G'day LFWers, GFWers, and friends everywhere.

It's been a massive few weeks here in The Centre and members far and wide have been busy recording wildlife around their blocks and sending in pictures and stories.

The Red Centre Bird Festival drew a lot of interest from bird lovers with some fantastic records of rare and unusual species through the week; White-browed Treecreeper and Chiming Wedgebill were notable highlights. Congratulations to Richard and Moses Waring who won the annual Red Centre Twitchathon. The undoubted highlight of the festival was Queensland naturalist John Young's gripping presentation on his re-discovery of the Night Parrot. The Desert Park cinema was packed with a veritable who's who of Alice Springs bird folk. This is a bird that has haunted the dreams (nightmares?) of many an arid zone birdo, so to hear that John and his research partners are pushing ahead with further discoveries about this cryptic species is exhilarating. John made the announcement that they have now confirmed 2 further populations of the bird some distance from his original site. This opens up a range of new research possibilities. We can't wait to hear more.  Thanks to Alice Springs Desert Park and the folks at BirdLife Central Australia for putting on such a terrific event again this year.

The other big one was the Ecological Society of Australia's annual conference. It's no exaggeration to say that the greatest ecological minds in the nation descended on our town for this event  (except for those great ecological minds that call our town home of course!) It was thrilling and daunting to be among them. The Alice Springs Convention Centre rang for an entire week with the latest advances in our understanding of Australia's complicated and fascinating natural systems and included an unexpected amount of bush poetry too. It was one of those all too rare times when one gets the sense that there is no problem beyond our grasp with such a dedicated and talented group working together to extend the limits of our knowledge. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who came away with an overwhelming sense of optimism from the week. Despite some uncomfortable truths about our disastrous record of mammal extinctions and various invasive species, the atmosphere was encouragingly positive; you could've bottled it! Thanks to everyone at ESA for bringing such an exciting program of speakers to The Centre, and thanks to all who participated, presented and played along. 

Enough with the retrospectives though - on with the newsletter. A few interesting new (and not-so-new) books have come to light lately. We also take a look at some local and national societies and clubs that you might find rewarding to join. We have our usual wrap-up of interesting search results from the online world, a bit about Red Centre bats, and of course, a few member contributions. 


A funding win for Wildlife: Alice Springs Wildcare receives Animal Welfare Fund Grant.

Congratulations to the mob over at Wildcare Alice Springs on receiving a $47,500 grant from the Animal Welfare Fund. Many readers will be familiar with the work of Wildcare if you've ever needed help with injured wildlife around Alice Springs. 

The group will be using the grant to develop educational and training DVDs and books for their clients and carers across the region. Everyone here at Land for Wildlife wishes them the best with their endeavours and would like to remind anyone who finds injured or out-of-place wildlife to contact Wildcare first on 0419 221 128.  

Want to know more about... anything? Join the club!

Do you think that the ABS is something to do with stopping your car? Is ALEC just that bloke who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars film? Well think again. We often receive emails from friends and members requesting information about clubs or community groups around town for those with an interest in wildlife and ecology, and you might be surprised how many options there are. 

There is a huge range of groups you can join to learn more, get involved, and support research. From the largely social and amateur local clubs to larger national or international groups set up more for those with a professional interest, most require only an annual membership fee and can open up a world of learning opportunities and connections both social and professional. More importantly, from the largest to the smallest, these groups need our support. Subscription rates are an important measure of relevance for even humble newsletters such as the one you're reading now, right up to the very loftiest of the peer-reviewed journals. Many of these groups also rely heavily on membership fees and donations to provide the financial basis for distributing research scholarships, gifts to the community, and support to a variety of projects. 

A quick online search will bring up all you need to know about most of these, but we have assembled a summary of some groups that might be of interest to our readers. Consider joining one or more of these groups; you never know where it might lead and your support is crucial to their continued operation.

Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club (ASFNC Inc.)

Email: through website
Membership fee: $20 (Individual)
Publications: Monthly newsletter (PDF)
Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of each month from Feb - Nov. (No meetings in December and January). Held at the Charles Darwin University Higher Education Building at 7pm.

ASFNC, known simply as the Field Nats to many of us, are a well-established local group for nature enthusiasts of all ages, all levels of training, and all interests. They have regular field trips and the monthly meeting always features an interesting presentation from a visiting or local naturalist.

Australian Plant Society, Alice Springs Inc. (APS)

Website: Search for "Australian Plant Society Alice Springs" on Facebook for their page.
Membership fee: annual
Publications: Monthly newsletter (PDF)
Meetings: First Wednesday of each month except December and January at Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Tuncks Rd, 7.30PM.

The APS operate out of the Olive Pink Botanic Garden but they also monitor and maintain a number of remote sites which foster stands of rare plants like Acacia latzii. Like the Field Nats, and often in cooperation with them, this group hosts regular field trips to look at interesting plant specimens in different areas around Alice Springs, and always have interesting guest speakers at their monthly meetings.

Ecological Society of Australia (ESA)

Membership fee: standard from $92 and concession from $46
Publications: The society publishes two peer-reviewed journals: Austral Ecology, and Ecological Management and Restoration.
Meetings: The society has numerous events around the country through the year and an annual conference which will be in Adelaide in 2015.

From their own website, "The ESA is the peak group for ecological science in Australia". It was set up primarily to serve the needs of professionals working in or researching ecological science and also to, "foster the conservation and ecological management of native biota, their diversity, ecological function, and interaction with the environment." They support numerous research projects, publish regular bulletins and newsletters in addition to their two journals, and their website has regular news items and discussion topics on their "hot topics" page. A great mob to be involved with. 

Australasian Bat Society (ABS)

Membership fee: $44 standard or $22 concession
Publications: the ABS sends out a newsletter twice a year 
Meetings: The society webpage has a busy list of upcoming events and they have a conference every two years. The 2016 conference has not yet been announced.

If you came to the LFW bat workshop a couple of weeks back you will have learnt that bats make up around a quarter of Australia's (and the world's) mammal diversity. This society has been set up to provide them with a voice, and their website is an absolute treasure trove of information for bat enthusiasts and researchers. Just visit their website and you'll learn all you need to know about this group.

BirdLife Central Australia (BLCA)

Website: none (yet)
Membership fee: $75 standard or $55 concession
Publications: Australian Birdlife (quarterly magazine), Emu - Austral Ornithology (peer-reviewed journal), Australian Field Ornithology (peer-reviewed journal), and numerous other newsletters and special reports.
Meetings:  4th Wednesday of every month at 7pm. Education room at Alice Springs Desert Park.

This group is probably one of Alice Springs' newest groups and actually catches members from as far south as Roxby Downs in SA and all the way north to Elliot. It is our regional branch of the national BirdLife Australia (formerly Birds Australia, formerly the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union). The group has monthly meetings with guest speakers and conducts regular bird surveys at areas around Alice Springs as well as extended expeditions to survey remote areas or rare birds.

Land for Wildlife & Garden for Wildlife (LFW & GFW)

Membership fee: LFW is free, GFW has a one-off $10 joining fee.
Publications: A monthly newsletter Irrante
Meetings: periodic workshops through the year

If you're reading this you may already be a member of one of these groups but if you're not, then what are you waiting for? Land for Wildlife is a national program which began in Victoria over 30 years ago and has been operating here in Alice Springs for the last twelve. It is free, non-legally binding and offers landholders recognition for managing their land to best suit the requirements of local wildlife. It also provides the opportunity to get advice from professional ecologists on how best to manage their land for the existing usage requirements while maximising its utility for wildlife. Garden for Wildlife does much the same thing on a smaller scale for residents of smaller properties within Alice Springs.

Landcare Alice Springs

Membership fee: $10 annually
Publications: occasional email bulletins
Meetings: check the website for details of the next of their regular field days

Landcare is a national body which has been operating with great success for many years in Alice Springs. Their regular "buffel-busting" outings are the town's main defence against being totally swamped by this noxious plant. They have also been instrumental in the control of invasive cactus species and Athel Pine around the town. Many hands make light work, and there is always plenty of work to be done - get involved!  

Arid Lands Environmental Centre (ALEC)

Membership fee: $30 standard $10 concession
Publications: Thorny News fortnightly and The Devil's Advocate occasional magazine.
Meetings: Check ALEC's busy website for updates on their busy calendar of events throughout the year

ALEC have been the mainstay of environmental advocacy in The Centre since the late 1970s. The happy and tireless team of Jimmy Cocking, Nicole Pietsch, and Carmel Vandermolen will be well-known to anyone who has ever attended any Biodiversity Matters events (or almost any other social or community event in town). They are always looking for new members, volunteers, collaborators, and contributors to their many publications.

Friends of Alice Springs Desert Park

Membership fee: free for holders of a Territorian Pass ($25 a year)
Publications: occasional bulletins
Meetings: contact the group

The Friends of Alice Springs Desert Park (usually just known as The Friends) are people who volunteer their time in support of ASDP. They assist with managing functions, fund-raising, animal observations and many other aspects of the desert park's running. It has been stated many times before, and reiterated by several high-profile visitors in recent weeks, how lucky we are to have a facility such as the desert park in our town. It is a truly world class zoological and botanical garden, and provides an outstanding setting for a huge variety of local community groups and events. 

Australian Rangeland Society (ARS)

Membership fee: from $60 standard and $45 for students
Publications: The Rangeland Journal (peer-reviewed, annual), the Range Management Newsletter three times a year, and various conference proceedings and papers.
Meetings: the biennial ARS Conference will occur in Alice Springs in April 2015.

The society's about us page says it best:

"The Australian Rangeland Society is an independent and non-aligned association of people interested in the management and sustainable use of resources in natural or semi-natural landscapes, such as grasslands, shrublands and woodlands. Members of the Society are generally interested in one or more of the businesses conducted in the rangelands, as well as the wellbeing of remotely living people and communities. Typically, rangeland businesses harvest plant or animal production, mine mineral and energy deposits, provide recreation or manage biodiversity."

above: Chocolate Wattled Bat Chalinolobus morio, one of the common bat species around Alice Springs. Chris Watson 

BATS: the hidden mammal diversity in your backyard

A LFW/GFW workshop summary.
by Chris Watson

A couple of weekends back, a dedicated group gathered at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station for the latest of ALEC's Biodiversity Matters workshop series. This time around it was Land for Wildlife's turn and the workshop centred around one of our least-observed and most misunderstood groups of wildlife... BATS.

above: a harp trap ready for action. Chris Watson

The group started by setting up a couple of harp traps down in the river bed on dusk. We were hoping that while we retired to the telegraph station lawn for a talk on bat ecology, the traps might catch a few bats as they emerged to forage along the river corridor. Harp traps certainly look somewhat harp-like once they are set up but it's a fiddly job so it was good to have a few hands available to assist with their assembly. As the pictures show, the traps have a bank of parallel vertical fishing line filaments strung at low tension across a frame. The bats try to slip through these filaments by switching their wings to a vertical aspect. In the process they lose height and speed and land softly on the strings before sliding down into a canvas satchel at the base of the trap. Here, they find themselves in a safe, dark place, and they go into 'roost-mode' - effectively sleeping until we come back regularly to check the trap and release the bats after identification and measurement.

above: a Gould's Wattled Bat ensnared by the harp trap gives an idea of how tiny these mammals are. Chris Watson

Bats are the second most speciose mammals on Earth with roughly 1300 extant species from the roughly 5400 species of mammals in total. Interestingly, almost anywhere in the world except for the polar regions, bats make up around a quarter to a fifth of the mammal diversity. This general rule certainly holds true in Australia with 77 species of bats from our total mammal list of about 379 species.

above: Gould's Wattled Bat caught by the filaments in a harp trap. Chris Watson

Bats are also amazingly diverse as a group. They range in size from the colossal Golden-crowned Flying Fox Acerodon jubatus, of the Philippines which can weigh as much as 1.2kg and have a wingspan of 1.8m (as big as some small eagles!), down to the miniscule Kitti's Hog-nosed or Bumblebee Bat Craseonycteris thonglongyai, from Thailand. This tiny bat weighs only 2g and an adult could fit comfortably on your thumbnail.

above: the largest bat on Earth, the Golden-crowned Fruit Bat Acerodon jubatus. Greg Yann, Wikicommons.

The technicalities are changing as taxonomists tease apart the strands of bat evolution, but broadly speaking we can put bats into two groups: megabats (blossom bats, fruit bats - nectar and fruit feeders which don't echolocate), and microbats (mostly smaller, insectivorous, carnivorous, and all echolocate). The nearest megabats to Alice Springs are probably the camps of Little Red Flying Fox Pteropus scapulatus, that occur at places further north like Mataranka and Pine Creek. These are sometimes found as far south as Tennant Creek but these are storm-blown individuals and are considered vagrant this far south.

About 14 species of bats occur in Central Australia, all from the group known as the 'microbats'. These are all small (some smaller than the size of a mouse), insectivorous bats which echolocate, and roost in caves, rock crevices, tree hollows, or under the bark of trees. The list of bats that you might find around Alice Springs looks something like this:

Ghost Bat Macroderma gigas - considered extinct in the region. Now only found further north from about Katherine in the NT and to the west in parts of the Pilbara.
Dusky Leaf-nosed Bat Hipposideros ater - one known record from the Central Australian region, but there may still be some extant populations nearby.
Gould's Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii
Chocolate Wattled Bat C. morio
Lesser Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi
Inland Broad-nosed Bat Scotorepens balstoni
Little Broad-nosed Bat S. greyii
Inland Forest Bat Vespadelus baverstocki
Inland Cave Bat V. finlaysoni
White-striped Freetail Bat Austronomus australis
Inland Freetail Bat (undescribed species)
Bristle-faced Freetail Bat (undescribed species)
Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat Saccolaimus flaviventris
Hill's Sheathtail Bat Taphozous hilli

Most of these species, except the annotated exceptions, are common enough around Alice Springs, but they are often difficult to detect. Although they call very loudly while echolocating for navigation and prey-detection (some species up to 130 decibels - deafening) they are mostly calling at frequencies above the upper limit of human hearing (about 22kHz). Only two species on this list are known to routinely call within the detection of human ears and they are the White-striped Freetail and Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat.

above: a close-up look at Gould's Wattled Bat. Chris Watson.

These species will roost in a diverse range of habitats but all are highly susceptible to disturbance and habitat loss. There are some known 'bat caves' around town, but the less the locations of these are circulated the better. The climates of caves can be changed significantly by human incursion. Simply by entering these caves your body heat can alter the moisture levels or temperature enough to make them at least temporarily uninhabitable by roosting colonies. In the worst-cases bats may abandon a roost altogether if they are disturbed regularly. Clearance of mature woodland habitat is another threatening process making suitable roosting habitat harder for these animals to find.

above: the distinctive features of the Lesser Long-eared Bat. Chris Watson

As with all native wildlife in Australia, all of our bat species are protected by law. If you find a bat, injured or otherwise, it is always best to leave it alone and call the folks at Wildcare on 0419 221 128. They can locate a suitably qualified expert to move the bat or take it into care. Although the dangers associated with bat-borne diseases in Australia have been hyped-up beyond all reason, some bats can still carry Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV). This is as good a reason as any to leave them for a suitably attired (and vaccinated) professional to deal with.

Sadly, our traps were not successful at catching any of our local bats for attendees to get a closer look at but I hope that the photographs included here will suffice for now. We packed up our traps and headed for home after a couple of hours of darkness but it was great to have spent some time talking with people who were so interested and enthusiastic about some of our least-observed fauna. Thank you all for coming.

Thanks also to Simon Ward from Flora & Fauna Division at DLRM for the use of the traps, the staff and rangers at the Telegraph Station Reserve for allowing our use of the facilities there, and to all of the crew at ALEC for organising this terrific event. I hope everyone had as much fun as I had presenting it to you.

All the information for this evening came from years of learning in the field from great ecologists much more experienced than myself, but also from the following books and online resources.

Australian Bats (2nd ed.)
Sue Churchill

The most up-to-date and authoritative field guide to all Australian bat species.

Bats: Working the night shift
Greg Richards and Les Hall with Steve Parish

This is a larger, more comprehensive treatment of bat ecology. Certainly not a field guide.

The Australasian Bat Society
Already mentioned above but a tremendous website with plenty of information for further learning about all bats.

Bats: Wonders of the night
A wonderful short film on Youtube which provides a good overview of bats and plenty of reasons to be excited about them.
From the bookshelf...

The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia
by Don Watson

"The Bush" is one of those very common, but very imprecise geographic terms. Ask anyone from Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane, and they'd probably say that here in Alice Springs, we live in the bush. But as those of us who live here know, we live in town. It's all relative I suppose.

Regardless of your own definition of "The Bush", you no doubt have some romantic sentiments attached to the idea. Perhaps born of an early education in the works of Henry Lawson and John Shaw Neilson, or foggy memories of family camping trips, these feelings can be persistent. In this book Don Watson teases out the origins and relevance of this national fascination and reveals a few home truths in the process. Considering how much of our national identity is based on the values supposedly acquired in this mythological realm (The Bush), this is a very timely book.

Don Watson is interviewed about this book on Late Night Live here.  

Mistletoes of Southern Australia
by David Watson
Illustrations by Robyn Hulley

I'm not deliberately trying to stack the book reviews this month with editions penned by authors that share my surname... honestly. These first two books just happened to come to my attention fortuitously in recent weeks. This one fell into my hands courtesy of my namesake at the recent Ecological Society of Australia conference in Alice Springs.

David Watson was at ESA presenting his talk on bird survey methodologies, and just happened to pop out for a spot of watching the local bird life with me after the conclusion of the conference. It quickly became apparent that mistletoes were his real passion and area of expertise when the first three mistletoes that we came across, all confidently identified by me, erroneously, turned out to have names that I had never even heard before. It seems our local mistletoes are much more diverse than I had previously thought. I asked naively if there was some sort of field guide or reference book that might help me improve my knowledge of local mistletoes? "Yes", Dave replied matter-of-factly, "the one I wrote".

His field guide-style book, despite the title, treats most of the species that occur in Central Australia and will be a handy read for any local botanisers keen on sharpening up their knowledge of this fascinating group of plants.

Blood & Guts: Dispatches from the whale wars
by Sam Vincent

Like many of my generation, I was first brought into contact with the anti-whaling movement back in the day when the global populations of many cetacean species were getting perilously small. The numbers seemed shocking; the situation dire. A family friend was heavily involved in Project Jonah, one of the first anti-whaling campaigns, and I was taken to see a beached whale (a Southern Right if memory serves) that turned up near Melbourne when I couldn't have been much more than 8 years old. A word which is much overused today (and rarely appropriately) is awesome. But my first experience of a whale was precisely that. The huge bulk of the animal gripped me and I quickly became a walking encyclopaedia of cetacean biology.

Such is the impact of rare wildlife encounters on many of us. In recent years we have seen the intensification of anti-whaling sentiment just as whaling itself has dwindled to become, at best, something of a cottage industry. Global stocks of a variety of whale species have rebounded well with some projected to return to pre-whaling numbers within the next five years. So what are our concerns with whaling? Why is it that Australia more than any other nation has become the self-appointed leader of the anti-whaling lobby? Why do the Japanese persist with the hunt? Is it really the tradition they seek to preserve or is there something else at stake? And what of Australia's apparent sense of entitlement to Antarctica and its waters? Vincent addresses all of these questions and more with some startling revelations.

Another dwindling field that has been lamented by some in recent years is long-form investigative journalism. In this book Sam Vincent shows us that the genre is alive and kicking with a very comprehensive treatment of a highly emotive topic. The discussion of whaling has become clouded by xenophobia and misinformation on both sides, but Vincent charts a steady course through the facts with consideration of each party's claims. His conclusions are revealing, if somewhat uncomfortable.

Listen to Sam Vincent discussing this book on Conversations with Richard Fidler here.

What have you been reading?
We'd love to feature more reviews from members and friends in this section. Have you read some good wildlife books lately? Maybe you have a favourite smartphone app relating to your natural history interests?

Put it all down in an email, and we'd love to include your input in future newsletters. 


above: a young Eastern Barn Owl photographed by Marg Friedel in Gillen last month

A Barn Owl in the Back Yard

This month hosted the inaugural Aussie Backyard Bird Count run by BirdLife Australia. It aimed to develop a nation wide snap-shot of the birds that people find around their homes on a daily basis.

Regular contributor Marg Friedel certainly had an interesting visitor to her own back yard in Gillen this month with a young Eastern Barn Owl stopping over briefly to roost. There have been a number of pairs of these birds found recently with broods of young chicks further out from town but this is the first sighting we've received of a bird in town this year. As is often the case, the roosting bird didn't get much of a chance for a snooze; it was quickly discovered by the local honeyeaters and seen off in a cacophony of alarm calls and snapping beaks.
All the environmental and wildlife news that's fit to re-print

Shoalhaven Brush-tailed Wallabies facing extinction
Link to article at ABC NEWS

Cane Toads evolving into 'straight hoppers' accelerating advance to 60km a year
Link to article at ABC NEWS

Collaborative approach to managing kangaroos could pay off for all involved
Link to article at ABC RURAL

New trial traps for feral cats in Central Australia
Link to article at ABC RURAL

Feral cats driving extinction wave 
Link to story on RN Breakfast

Feral cats rewrite the Australian story
Link to story on RN

The ethics of the dead cat shot
Link to story on RN

Strange Fruit: The dingo trees of western Queensland
Link to article at The Northern Myth

Sniffer dogs track feral cats in the Kimberley as part of wildlife project 
Link to story on ABC Online

Specially trained dogs sniff out rare and elusive animals in central Queensland
Link to article on ABC online

Scientists call for Tasmanian devils to be reintroduced as mainland predators to combat feral cats 
Link to story on ABC Online

Cats are leading a new wave of extinction - John Woinarski
Link to article at ABC Environment

It is not just Australia that is finding cats to be a bigger problem than they thought
Link to article at Audubon Magazine

Rare beaked whale found on beach near Newcastle
Link to story on ABC News

Study shows salt mine pools in Western Australia's north-west an important haven for migratory shorebirds
Link to article on ABC Rural

Canberra cat containment could be extended city-wide
Link to story on ABC News

Top dogs: Australian predators can provide 24-7 cat control
Link to story on ABC Environment

New land snail species found on Carnarvon Station Reserve
Link to article at Bush Heritage Australia

Why Australia's outback is globally important
Article by John Woinarski on The Conversation

Think of the outback as one huge landscape, says top ecologist John Woinarski
Link to article in SMH

Stay up to date with Night Parrot research
Link to MAPIT Ecology

There's no such thing as reptiles any more - and here's why. Quick! Someone tell Rex!
Link to story on The Conversation

The Western Ground Parrot: only 140 left. A race against time.
Link to video on Vimeo

The Modern Outback: nature, people and the future of remote Australia
Link to The PEW Charitable Trusts

Calling for community support to beat feral cats
Link to story on ABC Environment

Greg Hunt a 'hero' for addressing feral cats: Walmsley
Link to story on ABC Environment

Feral cats will never be eradicated - Jim Radford
Link to story on ABC Environment

Scientists track movements of desert waterbirds from space
Link to story on

Giant prehistoric kangaroos walked, not hopped 
Link to story on Australian Geographic

Cane Toads claim another victim: Ghost Bat autopsy finds cane toad bones, explains population's freefall in NT
Link to article at ABC NEWS

Terror skinks, social skinks, crocodile skinks, monkey-tailed skinks... possibly more than you ever wanted to know about....skinks.
Link to story on Tetrapod Zoology

Crucifix frog has nothing to frown about
Link to story on Australian Geographic

Slender-billed Curlew: Where has Europe's rarest bird gone?
Link to story on BBC News

Australian Banded Stilt's nomadic path tracked for first time
Link to story in The Age

To eradicate feral cats, we need to know how many are out there
Link to story in The Conversation

Feral Cats: how we can solve this problem
Link to story on ABC Environment

Army wanted for war on feral felines
Link to story in the Courier-Mail

Cats will dine until their delicacy is rare: University of Sydney research
Link to story in the Sydney Morning Herald

Feral cats force the spotlight onto Australia's environmental future
Link to story on ABC Environment

Rubbish auditing: What your household waste says about you
Link to story in the Sydney Morning Herald

WA residents allowed to kill snakes if they feel threatened
NB - do not kill snakes; you're more likely to get bitten
Call the snake phone on 0407 983 276
Link to story in WA Today

West MacDonnell National Park, Emily Jessie Gaps, Ewaninga rock area changed to Aboriginal names
Link to story on ABC News

Pussyfoot: The Cats of Erskineville - enlightening art project from local artist Imogen Semmler 
Link to project at The Occasional Collective

Lyssavirus fears as three bitten by infected bats - one in the heart of Sydney
NSW Govt approves shoot-to-kill bat policy despite this approach being proven to spread disease faster
Link to story on

Gold Coast researcher defends bats as vital to healthy ecosystem
Link to story on ABC News

Is there a killer in your kennel? Billions of wild animals fall victim to pet cats and dogs
Link to story on The Conversation

Minister says no truth in shoot to kill bat policy
Link to story on ABC News
Thanks for reading folks.

The final month of 2014 beckons. We hope it is filled with plenty of year's end wildlife encounters. But the year isn't over just yet and there is still plenty of wildlife-watching time left before we shut down for the festive season. Please keep sending in your book suggestions and photographs and we'll include them in your newsletter next month.

See you in December.


Jesse, Chris, Tim & Bill.
November 2014
Copyright © 2014 Low Ecological Services, All rights reserved.

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