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Our National Capital Under Fire.

My thoughts for people I know (having lived in Canberra ACT (Australias National Capital), who live in the Southern and Eastern sides of Canberra. To fellow bloggers who live in the ACT, surrounding areas of Canberra and NSW who are impacted by the fires and all that happens as you wait anxiously I do understand exactly what you are going through. The Chief Minister of the ACT declared a State of Emergency a short time again. As weather today and over the weekend as hot weather and strong winds are fanning the flames and threatening Canberra and the surrounding areas.
Several small communities are also under threat.
It is a very concerning time as temperatures are high wind is picking up and the countryside is undefendable, except by air, until it hits land that is more likely to be settled. Saturday (eastern standard daylight saving time Australia) is meant to be worse than today and once the fires come over the mountains which is being set as a very high chance.

More wildlife will be lost one good story is that The Tindbinbilla wildlife reserve has been able to move the endangered Coroboree frogs, Brush Tailed Rock Wallabies (about 24) and Bettongs to safe places.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6605152/dramatic-bid-to-rescue-rarest-animals/

A 10-month-old southern Brush-tailed rock wallaby at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The southern corroboree frog. It may look big, but is only 2-3cm long. Image credit: Michael McFadden

Tindbinbilla Nature Reserve has a research area that has been working on breeding these endangered Frogs, which after the fires in the Kosciuszko National Park.

The area where these frogs were being cared for in the Kosciusko National Park has been burnt in the recent bush fires the article at the following site gives you information about the Australian Armys work

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/30/defence-force-flies-experts-to-kosciuszko-in-corroboree-frog-rescue-mission

An eastern bettong at Mulligans Flat. Photo: Adam McGrath
I included this as it is a cute video of a bettong.

The following information is directly from the following web site.
https://esa.act.gov.au/predictive-mapping-friday-31-january-sunday-2-february-2020-act-only

These visuals may be confronting but are not intended to create fear or panic. Their purpose is to motivate our community to respond to warnings, alerts and calls to action.

The left image shows the potential spread of the Orroral Valley Fire from Friday 31 January – Sunday 2 February 2020 for the ACT only.

This image is based on worst-case predictions from multiple fire behaviour scenarios for the ACT and encompasses three days of worst-case modelled bush fire activity based on temperature range, wind variations, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, terrain, and fuel availability.

The right image has been developed by the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS).

These images may appear to differ. The reason is:
• the ACT model shows a larger potential burn area and locations at risk of ember attack if current areas of spotting are not contained.
• the NSW image depicts a 24-hour model while the ACT image depicts a 72-hour model.
• the ACT image also reflects the impact of more extreme localised weather conditions experienced across the Territory in recent weeks.
• you will notice that the core burn area for both models is consistent.

These models are predictions only and are not a reflection of current fire activity. They are an indication of how the Orroral Valley fire may behave in the coming days.

Thank you Canberra. In closing, be alert not alarmed.

NOTE: Data shown are potential spread only. Actual fire behaviour may vary. Please monitor local emergency services for up to date fire information: www.esa.act.gov.au and www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

It is a very concerning time as temperatures are high wind is picking up and the countryside is undefendable, except by air, until it hits land that is more likely to be settled. Saturday (eastern standard daylight saving time Australia) is meant to be worse than today and once the fires come over the mountains which is being set as a very high chance.

The Huon Valley was in a situation similar Dec2018-May2019. My thoughts also with those in Tasmania Fingal area, where fires continue, along with fires in South Australia, Victoria NSW and Tasmania. With hot and windy weather forecast for the Eastern side of Australia this weekend many fires have the potential to flare up.

Queensland on the other hand seems to be finally having a wet season.


blessings to you all Tazzie

Its not just echidnas, what if

Bennets wallaby near my house (c)Echidna Home 2019

This little guy just looked so happy chewing away. It was almost as if it posed for me. It is a Pademelon (Paddy melon) They only grow to about 60cm and weigh about 5kg (enough of the lessons).

I am so privileged to have them visit my place. I used to get annoyed when they would pull the fruit tree branches down and nibble the leaves breaking them, but the trees grew taller, and they couldn’t reach any more.

Kookaburra in my garden (c) Echidna Home 2019

I know it seems a bit surreal to me too. I really live with these guys about too.

I also have Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Quolls, and Tasmanian Devils around. Much harder to obtain photos of these guys I keep trying.

This Echidna was moving along the roadside near my home. (c)Echidna Home 2019
shuffling about under the watttles, looking for food. (c)Echidna Home 2019

My favourite remains the Echidna.

The echidna on the right was across the road from my driveway. They can actually move surprisingly fast.








A shuffling snuffling echidna on the hunt for food crossing through my wattle grove.

Close up of the quills. (c)Echinda Home 2019

Easy access to the next paddock. Through the fence. I am sure it is because it has smelt me or heard me as I try to capture its photo. sigh. I never want to frighten it. I was using a telephoto lens, I reckon it heard me moving about. It decided that heading through the fence was its only option.

Through the fence (c)Echidna Home 2019
If you look you can just make out this guys foot, it looks strange as it faces backwards. (c)Echidna Home 2019
Hiding (c)Echidna Home 2019

As I have written before Echidnas are just amazing and unique mammals. I love th above photo as it shows how well their camouflage is. It looks like sunshine is hitting the grass but its the quills, and you can see its eye.

As I write this the horrific Mainland Bush Fires on the mainland of Australia and Kangaroo Island have cost so many Australian animals, insects bugs, it breaks my heart. I look at the wonderful wildlife that abounds my home and I cant imagine them all gone. The overwhelming knowledge that some may be gone forever. There are so many wonderful people who are out there working to find and help, the wild life carers, the firepeople and vets, farmers, those who are ensuring food and water are left and hoping to capture injured animals to help. The generosity of people all around the world, those that are making pouches and wraps..donated items food and are out gathering leaves and shoots for animals that have none in their locations. The baby wombats who have come out of burrows starving as mum has most likely been killed and not been back to the burrow. It is so so tragic. Of course my heart reaches out to all the people and communities impacted.

Tazzie

Echidnas and me

For any new people reading my blog, welcome. You may have worked out that I kind of love echidnas. I have posted two previous posts about these awesome animals. I am so privileged to have at least one that visits my home.

Whilst I was reading and compiling the information on the previous posts, I began to notice some interesting things about echidnas, and me. The me who has been diagnosed with complex PTSD.

listal.com

We are both happy being solitary. We can both be prickly and dig ourselves in for self preservation. We both enjoy digging in the soil, a lie in the sunshine and will spread out out to cool ourselves on the ground, we both like to swim.

They burrow in when unexpected visitors(dogs, dingos, eagles, humans, ) disturb them, and will only come out again after a resonable period cautiously to make sure the visitor has gone. Then go back to what they were doing. Me I hide behind the curtains and don’t answer the door! I wait to be sure the visitor has gone and return to what I was doing.

Australian Echidna Image @Oceanwideimages.com
Echidnas mating

They keep to themselves with the exception of mating…well no not like me I am not looking at a relationship at all. Being on my own is good. I have never had several males interested in me at any one time. I can totally understand why the female echidna prefers to be on her own. If only human babies could be looked after for a period of time and then be left somewhere and mum only has to pop back in once a day! (I know there is child care and boarding schools) I am not a mother. I do NOT dislike babies or children. This is a display of my humor!

We both prefer to hibernate during winter, but will move if we really have too.

Puggles are very cute and look cuddly but you cant cuddle them.

Puggle, (baby echidna)

In case you are concerned as we all should be not only for the loss of human life, homes and businesses, in the Australian fires so far this year, we should also think about the native animals and the rescue organsitations doing all they can to help those found injured and burnt. There is so much burnt land that the territory is not going to be able to support those that escaped and those that survive their burns and injury will be able to go back to.

This is a young Echidna who had buried itself in the ground, you can see how its spines are all one length where the fire moved over it, it has burns on its legs perhaps trying to escape it is being cared for at Wires.

Echidnas are perhaps a bit more able to survive, than say Wallabies and Kangaroos and especially Koalas. Echidnas will attempt to escape fires by going into torpor, echidnas reduce their metabolic rate and lower their body temperature. This, according to research published in April 2016, gives them an uncanny knack for surviving bushfires. … Echidnas often nest underground in burrows or inside fallen logs, which can protect them from the heat and smoke of the of the flames. In research conducted in 2013 researchers took advantage of a controlled burn being conducted by the authorities in woodland south-east of Perth in Western Australia. They identified 10 short-beaked echidnas living in and around the area that was due to be burned. They had tracked 10 echidna that were found with in the controlled burn area, fitted them with tiny GPS tracking devices and monitored them prior and for 31 days after the controlled burn. (source) http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160513-when-confronted-with-a-raging-wildfire-echidnas-go-to-sleep

However, while this chilled-out approach to wildfires may well give echidnas an edge, it does not work every time.

This #echidna caught our eye straight away, what an odd sight – what could have happened to its spines? But apparently the bushland around where it was seen had recently been controlled burned! EchidnaCSI @echidna_csi




During their study, Researcher’s team found three echidnas that had perished in the blaze. One was an animal they were tracking, which seems to have dropped into torpor inside a fallen log that caught fire.

Previous research has shown that echidnas can wake from torpor and move off at speed when threatened by smoke. In fact, another echidna resting in the same log woke up and fled – but its companion was not so lucky.

It is not just Bush Fires of controlled burns that impact Echidnas. Human day to day activity does. Echidnas being hit by cars and earth moving equipment digging up or flattening burrows, forestry, increasing populations moving into the bush as towns increase and tree changers move.

Catastrophic fires, the worst drought in history and record high temperatures are taking a tragic toll on native wildlife.

IF YOU DO COME ACROSS AN INJURED OR DEAD ECHIDNA (OR ANY NATIVE ANIMAL) CHECK ITS POUCH! If you can move the animal off the road, and if you cant remove the baby and its alive, contact your wild life rescue service.

Keep the animal warm: Keep the animal dark: Keep the animal quiet: Keep handling to a minimum: Do not provide food or drink.

Tazzie

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