How fire could unlock suburbia’s ‘hidden treasure’ of wildflowers

Conservation field officer Andrew Foudoulis attributes regular, controlled burns with the return of rare native plants and reduction in the use of herbicides. Michael Slot was on his hands and knees in a suburban park in Melbourne’s north-eastern outskirts when he came across a plant he didn’t recognise. It was small, white and – as far as wildflowers go – relatively nondescript. Most people would not have heard of it and almost certainly never have seen it.screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-9-33-42-pm

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Dozens of animals and plants join Australia’s threatened species list

The Wollemi pine saw its status on the threatened species list downgraded from "endangered" to "critically endangered" due to the introduction of phytophthora disease into its secluded habitat. What do tingle pygmy trapdoor spiders from Western Australia, silver-headed antechinus from central Queensland and Duramana fingers orchids from NSW have in common?

If you’re waiting for a funny punchline, sorry – the answer is that they’re among the 41 new species of Australian plants and animals that are now officially at risk of extinction.

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Scientists, historians adder up clues to find truth about lost snake

One the world's deadliest snakes, the death adder is a master of subterfuge - it coils itself camouflages and lies in wait for prey which it entices with the wriggle of its distinctive, grub-like tail.For years snake enthusiasts have debated whether the fearsome death adder lived in Victoria before Europeans arrived and, if so, whether they are now extinct.

This week a team of researchers claimed to have definitively settled one half of that debate – and, in so doing, both opened a window into a lost era of the state’s natural history and raised fundamental questions about human-caused extinction.

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Big dry driving red-headed strangers south for a wetter life in our backyards

1509394543564It’s got a vivid red head and it’s more commonly spotted on the Queensland coast – but you may soon see this beautiful little bird in your Melbourne backyard.

That’s because the scarlet honeyeater appears to be heading to Victoria to seek refuge from drought in its usual habitat.

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An animal by any other name: Could changing this species’ name help save it from extinction?


The greater stick nest rat has teetered on the brink of extinction – and no one but a few dedicated souls seems ready to save the furry little rodent.

Is it because of its name? Specifically, one word in its name? Rat?

That’s the question raised by the manager of an extraordinary zoological collection of both extinct and surviving species.Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 5.26.20 pm

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Australia says Chinese spy ship near war games

maxresdefault (Reuters) – A Chinese spy ship has been detected off the Australian coast near joint war games underway between the United States, New Zealand and Australian militaries, the Australian Defense Force (ADF) said on Saturday.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy Type 815 Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence vessel was operating off the northeast coast during the Talisman Sabre war games, the ADF said in a statement.Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 4.30.29 PM

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Australian man dies in faulty air bag crash


(Reuters) – An Australian man who died in a Sydney car crash may be the 18th death linked to faulty Takata air bags, after police said he was killed when hit in the neck by shrapnel from an air bag.

Police did not say the air bag in the Honda CRV was from manufacturer Takata, wScreen Shot 2017-08-03 at 4.30.29 PMhose faulty air bags have been linked to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide.

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