I am a wildlife ecologist based in Melbourne. My primary area of interest is working with the public to gain the best conservation outcomes for urban wildlife. I am particularly interested in how we interact with wildlife in our gardens. As Australia becomes more urbanised, gardens are becoming an important sanctuary for our wildlife.
This year I learned a new term: ecological grief. It’s a real emotion. Like many of you, I intimately knew parts of the bushland that was burned. I worked there, catching bush rats and counting koalas. What has happened feels personal, I feel angry at our loss and it is devastating impact. We still have no idea how badly our biodiversity has been affected and how it is going to recover. Yes, while Australia vegetation is flammable and therefore its wildlife adaptable to fire, this applies to cool fires, carefully managed by indigenous people. In contrast these fires were hot, out of control and so very destructive.
I am currently writing my second book. Similar to my first book, Your Backyard Birds, this book will also be structured around your stories. After the last view months, I want to talk about fire and its effect and I need your help. Many birds and animals have been displaced by fires as they loss their habitat, but where will they go? It is possible they may move into urban areas such as backyards and our local parks/ovals as they seek refuge. This is where you come in.
Can I please ask you to keep an eye out for any new and/or increase in birds/ animals that you see in your gardens, parks and neighbourhoods? If you spot anything of interest, please email me about it. If you have any stories you would like to share, please send them to me. These stories can be about the effects of the fires on you and what you saw as a result. This includes people like myself who weren’t directly affected but emotionally effected. How do you feel? You can contact me by filling out the contact box below.
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