Category Archive: Ecotone Article

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Seagrass beds at record low – could the port expansion push them over the edge?

By Xanthe Rivett and Josh Coates, Marine Programs Officer The importance of seagrasses as critical elements of coastal ecosystems is well recognised. Seagrass/algae beds have been rated the third most valuable ecosystem globally (on a per hectare basis) for ecosystem services. They are highly responsive to water quality and are considered as excellent ‘canary in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/seagrass-beds-at-record-low-could-the-port-expansion-push-them-over-the-edge/

Seabirds and plastic pollution

By Mindi Tonak, Sustainability and Climate Change Campaigner Marine debris is a major threat to biodiversity worldwide as the impacts are rapidly intensifying.  More than 270 of the world’s marine animal species are affected by marine debris, but the full extent is unknown.  Plastic pollution has spiralled out of control.  It is estimated that 90% …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/seabirds-and-plastic-pollution/

Pied-Imperial Pigeons

By Ian Northcott, BirdLife Northern Queensland It is the time of year when the Pied-Imperial Pigeons return from their wintering grounds in the lowlands of New Guinea to breed in Australia.  Previously known as the Torres Strait Pigeon, these are a large white or pale cream bird, with black on the flight and tail feathers …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/pied-imperial-pigeons/

At risk but out of sight and out of mind

By David Cook, Wonga Beach They live in what should be one of our richest and most productive ecosystems, but their numbers are heavily depleted and their plight is too often ignored. It suddenly dawned on me just recently, they are in trouble mainly because they are not visible to us when they are in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/at-risk-but-out-of-sight-and-out-of-mind/

Mabi Forest

By Evizel Seymour, Community Facilitator, Terrain NRM Mabi Forest, also known as Complex Notophyll Vine Forest (or Type 5b), once covered the Atherton Tablelands area, north and west of Malanda, occurring only on fertile basalt (red) soils in areas where rainfall is between 1300 and 1600mm [see diagram 1].  Mabi forest now only exists in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/mabi-forest/

Flowers Galore!

By Dr Martin Cohen (Wild about Australia) As the weather slowly gets warmer, one of the brightest and most spectacular natural events is occurring in our region. Several of our most spectacular flowering plants are doing just that – flowering, providing us with rich sights and smells and an important source of food for our …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/flowers-galore/

Rainforest Opals

By Brendan Ebner and James Donaldson, CSIRO Flashes of iridescent green, pink and blue pulse through the crystal clear water of a rainforest stream as a male opal cling-goby signals to a passing female. Growing to a maximum size of only4cm, these little fish are just one example of some of the gems that are …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/rainforest-opals/

Community biodiversity monitoring

By Fiona George, Regional Landcare Facilitator – Wet Tropics Queensland Museum entomologists were in the Far North again recently to help more students and community groups understand what goes on in their back yard. The Backyard Explorer program guides participants through a relevant, locally-focused field activity to learn about ecology. It is a great tool …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/community-biodiversity-monitoring/

Bunyas, Kauris and those pesky flowering plants.

By Andrew Picone The Wet Tropics abound with primitive flowering plants, a defining characteristic of the region’s world heritage values. These flowering plants began their evolutionary journey in the late Jurassic, approximately 150 million years ago, and are likely to have had their origins in Australian Gondwana when our climate was warmer and wetter. Recent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/bunyas-kauris-and-those-pesky-flowering-plants/

Flying-foxes and settlements in FNQ: evidence from the early Cairns newspapers

By David Westcott, Stream Leader & Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO The recent debate about the management of flying-foxes in Cairns set me to wondering about the history of their interaction with Europeans in the Far North.  Cairns’ old newspapers, the Cairns Morning Post, The Morning Post, and the Cairns Post from the period 1884 to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://cafnec.org.au/2013/09/17/flying-foxes-and-settlements-in-fnq-evidence-from-the-early-cairns-newspapers/

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