Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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Who is more clever, a teeny-tiny glider or a fancy bird scientist?

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How can we keep the evil yet adorable sugar glider from eating all the swift parrots? Here’s where Operation PKO and you come in!

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First Dog, Guardian

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Ivo Edwards

    October 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry to be skeptical, but I have had a bad few weeks and am not in the mood for supporting swift parrot protection via crowd sourcing donations without some evidence that the $400 electric doors designed to exclude sugar gliders will actually work.

    I actually designed my own sugar glider proof swift parrot nesting box last year and offered to supply one to Dr Dejan Stojanovic for free trials. He effectively told me to bugger off (said it would cost too much to post to him!) My design was based on the principle that there was a significant difference in weight between sugar gliders and swift parrots and that a simple counter weighted door could allow the parrots access, but not the sugar gliders.

    The problem I envisage with his own design is that the arrangement is very expensive and of suspect reliability. Photocells and batteries coupled with appropriate circuitry and some type of linear actuator are rather expensive and hard to make totally waterproof. Hence there are likely to be occasions when the doors won’t close at dusk or won’t open next morning. Then there is the problem of no power when batteries fail or solar panels don’t work owing to persistent cloudy weather. The biggest problem that I envisage though is that the sugar gliders will quickly learn to plan their attacks in daylight hours. They are not obligate creatures of only the night, any more than feral cats, possums or wallabies are.

    Can someone please provide a peer reviewed acknowledged scientific research paper reference to demonstrate that this expensive project is proved to be a practical saviour for swift parrots from sugar glider predation?

  2. john hayward

    October 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I can’t imagine that the Tas Govt wouldn’t have done its best to frustrate efforts to save a threatened species that has long embarrassed and annoyed both its beloved logging industry and the LibLab govt itself.

    The money the Govt spent to circumvent the protection of Wielangta would dwarf that $40K they are demanding from the public’s environment supporters for the high-tech excluders, not to mention the amount needed to trial Ivo’s potentially more economical invention.

    It looks like the Orange-Bellied Parrot won’t be alone on its flight to oblivion. Tas could even score a congratulatory call from Trumpsky.

    John Hayward

  3. Leonard Colquhoun

    October 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    “Nature red in tooth and claw” – never mind, it’s, like, you know, ‘natural’.

  4. Ian Rist

    October 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Won’t work.
    Ivo has best explained why.
    Sorry but I have always had problems with OB Parrot recovery plans.
    Building feeding stations 2 feet off the ground, feeding stations for feral cats.
    Scaling up to nesting boxes and removing chicks while the parent birds look on !!!!
    Releasing captive bred birds into the wild, more hawk food.
    No different to an escaped budgie, look how long they last out there with the hawks and cats.
    Trust me I know how hard it is to release captive bred birds , I had years of it.
    The release process must be very slow and controlled.
    I remember witnessing a couple of ABC 7.30 reports over the years on O.B Parrots, shock horror I couldn’t believe my eyes.

  5. Ian Rist

    October 18, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    In all my years in the Tasmanian bush I have never witnessed one single incident of Sugar Gliders eating birds of any description.
    Sure Gliders will seek refuge in hollows also used by birds. but eating them?
    What a load of crap…who invented this latest meal ticket?

    I remember going into the Surrey Hills with my dad when I was very young and we would sometimes find battered and bruised Gliders that were victims of forestry operations.
    We would take them home to try and fix their injuries and shock.
    My dad the bushman would feed them watered down milk and honey soaked into bread.
    It is the only sustenance we could get them to eat.

    So could someone please supply us all with some genuine photographic evidence of Sugar Gliders consuming OB Parrots ?

  6. MjF

    October 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Don’t know about OB Parrots but they apparently like SPs.

    http://theconversation.com/sugar-gliders-are-eating-swift-parrots-but-whats-to-blame-19555

    To see a glider actually eat a parrot, chicks and/or eggs, you would need to be up the tree and looking into the nest hollow at the time of entry, or have some pretty sophisticated videoing gear that could see into the hollow from a distance .

    Has anybody done that? I don’t know. Check with the Threatened Species Unit as they would have the data.

    Interesting that on offshore islands where there are no gliders, 100% of the SP chicks surveyed survived.

  7. Ian Rist

    October 19, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I try to operate with factual hard evidence, not assumptions.

    Tasmania has a sad History of very bad animal exploitation and turning that into money.

  8. Ian Rist

    October 19, 2017 at 2:40 pm

  9. Russell

    October 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Re #1
    I know what you mean Ivo. As someone affected by Jack Jumper bites and asked to join a vaccine trial in Hobart, I told them that just rubbing Calendula Ointment onto the bite area (as well as most other allergenic insect bites – eg: bee or wasp) instantly stops the allergic reaction and also leads to lesser reactions in the future.

    Of course, the academics didn’t want to know about it as they wouldn’t get any further Public funding if they actually had a cure.

    Re #6
    “Interesting that on offshore islands where there are no gliders, 100% of the SP chicks surveyed survived.”

    No loggers either, eh?

  10. MjF

    October 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    $6
    true enough for, say Maria and schouten.
    Now think Brunii island.
    Think active loggers in OG structure and nesting hollows
    Think 100% chick survival.
    How strange.

    7 or 8,
    Good for you. You’re probably better off to do your own research.

  11. Russell

    October 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Re #10
    Think how they were going to log a known endagered bird habitat, but they were stopped.
    Think how many birds would be alive today, or even exist.
    Think 100% extinction.

  12. Russell

    October 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Re #10
    Think endangered Giant Freshwater Lobster.
    Think Huon Pines almost being completely logged out.
    Think King Billy Pines almost being completely logged out.
    Think Euc. viminalis and others almost being completely logged out.
    Think Leatherwood forest destruction.
    Think Myrtle, Celery Top Pine and Sassafras over-logging.
    Think endangered Wedge Tail Eagle.
    Think endangered Tasmanian Devil.
    Think endangered Wombat.
    Think endangered Spotted Quoll.
    Think extinct Thylacine.
    Think extinct Tasmanian Emu.
    Think ground water depletion wherever there are plantations.
    Think weed infestation wherever forestry treads.
    Think all-too-common plantation wildfires.
    Think waterway and land chemical poisoning.
    Think massive air-pollution events adding to Climate Change and harming Tasmanian residents’ health.
    Think corruption.
    Think zero profit.
    Think the Tasmanian forest industry.

  13. MjF

    October 20, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    $11/12
    Tip – instead of making separate posts you’d. be better off thinking a bit more about the subject and typing it out once.

    “Fools rush in”…..as they say.

    Everything on tally is being managed nicely thks, just relax and thoughts noted.

    Can’t help with tiger or emu sadly. Suggest you take those matters up with the colonials.

  14. john hayward

    October 21, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    #13, MjF. Yes, The Tas environment is being curated by a department and industry every bit as honest and competent as POTUS himself.

    John Hayward

  15. Russell

    October 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Re #13
    Tip – instead of making inaccurate posts you’d be better off sticking to the truth or not typing anything at all.

  16. mjf

    October 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    #14
    You’re a hard marker questioning his competence.

    Closer to home, give the new minister a shot.

    #15
    “Sticking to the truth”…….chortle, chortle

    Well the truth can be stranger than fiction.

    Tasmania’s Common Wombat has mange (a common disease across the country with the other two species as well). They are not endangered. The northern hairy nosed wombat is critically endangered, the southern hairy nosed wombat is being considered for listing but currently isn’t listed. Neither of those two species occur in Tasmania. Thanks for the truth.

    The Devil is listed due to DFTD. Do you believe this is forestry related ? Kindly provide the evidence. Thanks in advance for the truth.

    The thylacine and emu were killed out by trigger happy, protective and hungry shepherds and early settlers. Or was it the wood-chippers ?

    The rest of your hit list for fauna has certainly suffered loss of habitat due to logging, but also sharing the blame is urban development and land-clearing.

    In the context of the GFC, its main issue was over fishing, not habitat loss, and it continues to suffer from poaching because of improved access (forestry roads usually). Also not helping are flood events like last year where hundreds of dead crayfish were found littered across the landscape after the floods subsided.

    Not to mention the long term destruction of their habitat upstream due to the elevated flows flushing all the in-stream structures downstream.

    There is currently an approved Recovery Plan is place for the species which the industry is compliant with.

    If you want more done you’ll have to lobby the scientific community (1st) and the government (2nd).

    I’m personally open to sensible suggestions.

    Huon pine is not “being completely logged out”. There are less mature trees but millions of immature trees growing on. The only harvesting done is salvaging old head-logs left on the ground by old loggers which would otherwise remain as waste, also by retrieving a small volume annually from stockpiles salvaged when Lake Gordon was filling. Thanks for the truth.

    Ditto for KB pine re regeneration

    Wet (you forgot that bit) E viminalis and others (?) are not “almost completely being logged out”. E viminalis wet forest is being maintained at 75% of its estimated distribution as determined at the time of European settlement. This is mandated under the PNFE Policy. So 75% retention of what was here in 1788 is not “almost completely logged out” in anyone’s wildest imagination. Except perhaps yours.

    Again, thanks for the truth.

    What are the “others” please, and I’ll refute your claims there as well unless you’re losing interest now.

    What area of wet E vim destroyed by the brothers fire sticking all over the shop prior to invasion day is anyone’s guess.

    Sing out if I can assist with any other MONS.

  17. Russell

    October 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    How come they are suddenly struck with a mysteriously species threatening mange that kills?

    Maybe the same reason Devils are dying from the effects of 1080 poisoning? The evidence has been given several times before.

    The ‘colonials’ who wiped out the thylacine and emu were the same colonials who were stripping the land of its trees.

    “In the context of the GFC, its main issue was over fishing, not habitat loss”, rubbish. In the context of the GFC, its main issue IS habitat loss. You know, logging right upto streams, etc.

    “There is currently an approved Recovery Plan is place for the species which the industry is compliant with.”

    Oh good one, and FT/SST are trying for FSC. World’s best practice and all that.

    “The only harvesting done is salvaging old head-logs left on the ground by old loggers which would otherwise remain as waste, also by retrieving a small volume annually from stockpiles salvaged when Lake Gordon was filling.”

    Why? Because they were over-logged. Ditto for KB pine and others.

    “What area of wet E vim destroyed by the brothers fire sticking all over the shop prior to invasion day is anyone’s guess.”

    Obviously none, because they were plentiful when the colonial criminals arrived.

    Thanks for coming.

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