The greatest wildlife-watching show
There are 80 species of whale worldwide, of which 40 can be found in Australian waters. Whales are a marine, air-breathing mammal. Their general movement and migratory patterns may follow seasonal weather, water conditions and the movement of their main food, krill, which live in the cooler waters off Antarctica.
According to some estimates there are 10 to 20 million people who will engage with whale watching each year. The revenue generated by this industry is thought to be nearly $1 billion. As a tourist attraction, the industry is expanding across the globe in places like the United States, Dominican Republic, Canada, South America, South Africa, South Pacific islands, Panama, Mexico and, of course, Australia.
The Humpback Whale is clearly the most well known of all the whales. It is an iconic whale-watching species. This whale grows up to 16 m long and migrates from its Antarctic feeding grounds between June and August, returning from August through till September. In some cases the Humpback may migrate up to 5000 kms, mating and calving along the eastern coastline as well as from Shark Bay to the Kimberley in the west. These whales are generally highly mobile with their iconic breaching and tail flapping, and a popular nursery site for them is Hervey Bay in Queensland, making this a fantastic location to whale watch. (continue reading…)
The Cane Toad Muster Song
Kimberley Toad Busters
(see article – Cane Toads and Kimberley Toadbusters from Vol1 No6)
It was a great moment when Dana Lyons, famous American environmental singer, known for his internationally famous song “Cows with Guns” contacted Kimberley Toad Busters and offered to help in their campaign.
Dane Lyons heard of the incredible community efforts while I was still in the states and decided that what the Kimberley community was doing in their efforts to mitigate the cane toad impact on native biodiversity was truly amazing” He went on to add “I was very interested in understanding how and what the Kimberley Toad Busters were actually achieving as it sounded like what they were doing was more of a military exercise to the cane toad issue than the sort of environmental approach one usually see’s when dealing with environmental threats”.
Dana spent three weeks touring the Kimberley, visiting remote communities and towns, and discussing various environmental and social issues that seemed to be of great concern to the community in general and how some of these issues were affecting the Kimberley environment. Dana commented that “everywhere I went, no matter who I talked to, the energy and commitment to the need to do more to look after the Kimberley environment was the same. Burning and cane toads were some of the issues that most people seemed concerned about. What was very clear also, was peoples angry reaction to how government could have allowed the cane toad to get this far, and why they were not doing more to assist community to deal with the problem”.
Dana had no problems finding lyrics for his new song ‘Cane Toad Muster’ He went on to say that “one of the inspirations behind the lyrics was a comment by Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley President John Moulden, that the Kimberley was at war with the cane toads, and that if every man, woman and child was out there killing toads, then the toads would be wiped out”.
Dana’s final statement was “I had a lot of fun composing this song and I hope that I have captured the essence of the soul of Kimberley people and the results of the efforts the Kimberley Toad Busters have been trying to achieve, and that it helps them in their amazing efforts to fight the cane toad invasion across the Kimberley ”.
Contact Lee Scott-Virtue KTB President & Founder 08 91682576 or Dana Lyons 0497569469
Licthfield is roughly 100 km south-west of Darwin. The Park is generally accessible all year (sealed roads) via Batchelor. In the dry season it is also possible to get to the Park via Cox Peninsula Road, that is incidentally a great wildlife sight seeing road. Roughly 1500 km2 of sandstone habitats with several amazing waterfalls that simply are world class.
In a overnight trip to Adelaide River on the Stuart Hwy in Northern territory. We stayed at the Adelaide River Inn, in swags. The buffalo, which was a tame local in Adelaide River, made famous in the Crocodile Dundee movie, was affectionately known as Charlie and he is now deceased (2000) and is now on display at the Adelaide River Inn. The region has a colourful history originally a strong military presence was established here especially during world war 2. There is a old RAAF landing strip at Fenton and an army installation now run down. While its mostly been well covered with removal of old bottles, military items etc. Its still relatively intact with numerous buildings, for those that cannot help themselves large amounts of sheets of iron that have to be investigated! The region is super warm and tin lifting is best in the early morning. (continue reading…)
Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve is an accessible all year round wetland systems connectivity through the Adelaide River system. The Adelaide River catchment is one of several connected catchments which make up the Top End wetlands. This is the remnant of a failed attempt to grow rice. Instead the region became an internationally rtecognised bird sanctuary.
On our recent visit through the area we were unfortunately only driving through at night. From a reptile point of view its common to see a variety of reptiles and frogs at night. Often small crocodiles will be on the road during the wet season. However as amusing as crocs are we were keen to see our old friends the water pythons and keelbacks. As well as the species of frogs. (continue reading…)
Mornington Peninsula national park, 77 km south of Melbourne, Victoria. It has the unique marine life diversity that such a region would as it has the Western Port bay frontage from the Cape Schanck side while the northern side has its access to Port Phillip Bay. The park is home to large range of Victorian wildlife from Eastern Grey Kangaroos, koalas, seals and antechinus. Birds are plentiful with the ocean faring species like mutton birds common. Penguins swim ashore in some locales and raptors like the sea eagles can be seen here. But in this blog we want to look at the rock pools and sea life. Its true that ocean life is more sensationalised with whales, dolphins and sharks. However a recent trip with Steve Cook was to in the space of a few hours open my eyes to a wonderful treasure chest of marine life