Friday, 20 April 2012

blinky on the brink!

The past few days have seen me deliberating and oftentimes agonizing over how best to get this little blog of mine up and running. (Btw, whoever said the whole blogging thing is a walk in the park, is seriously sad and deluded!)  haha  Somewhat fortuitously for me at least, last weekend The Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane featured a very thought-provoking article in its "QWeekend" magazine on the inside battle to save Queensland's koalas from possible extinction. Despite the mixed emotions it provoked in me, its timing couldn't have been better! It presented me with the perfect topic with which to kick-start my blog, and seriously I cannot think of a better way to showcase and highlight a subject very much close to my heart - the demise of our koala populations in SE Queensland!

Vet: Amber Gillett with "Heath"
Photography: David Kelly

The article I refer to is "Our Fading Emblem" by Matthew Fynes-Clinton, and it really touched my heart. The intensive mapping of south-east Queensland's "Koala Coast" for urbanization shows the marsupial's numbers have dropped by 64 per cent in little more than a decade. The pressure to clear land to meet Australia's chronic housing shortage means that as their natural habitat breaks up, displaced koalas are forced to move from one fragment to the next without cover and under constant threat from motor vehicles, dog attack or disease. The relentless march of industry and infrastructure, coupled with debilitating disease, could see Queensland's koalas die out within decades.
The following article appeared in Wildlife magazine, Melbourne, May 1941. I find it very thought-provoking.
"Advancing settlement inevitably disturbs the balance of nature to the imminent danger of the less adaptable creatures, and sufficient has been seen of the effect of settlement upon the notoriously unadaptable koala to make wise men pause and think seriously of what is to come in the next decade ..."
Incredibly it is more than 70 years since those words were penned ... and I'm having a hard time accepting how staggeringly well they have been ignored! Construction of the long anticipated $1.15 billion Moreton Bay Rail Link looks likely to be given the green light to proceed. It will encompass 12.6km of dual track and six new train stations. There is talk of the corridor being fenced off to stop wildlife from stumbling onto the track, and underpasses and other fauna crossing points being incorporated.
I'm not convinced that this is the best (or only) solution for the ultimate survival and preservation of the koala in this region. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do the math and figure out that this iconic and endearing marsupial is fast heading into oblivion and the history book. Queensland's faunal emblem could well become extinct unless we stand together on this and do what it takes to stop the devastation of these wonderful, comical little furry fellas! What do you think?
Check out these websites to see how ordinary people are making an extraordinary difference where it counts? Follow their activities here and here
And here's a sobering thought to leave you with!

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