Sanctuaries And Carers..................injured & orphans from road kills: medication for an endangered, yellow-eyed penguin, NZ... Peter holds a weighty juvenile wombat at Trowunna Sanctuary, Tasmania... where a Tasmanian devil pup(also endangered) is being hand reared... a carer’s commitment is constant: Bennett’s wallaby orphans are driven for a day at the office (one is a Bruny Island albino)... helping a carer with a joey’s first feed of the day, W A.
On The Trail..................Writing natural history diaries and sketching... Stirling Ranges: an expert guides us to black cockatoos and orchids... Broulee, NSW: Creek and shore... Cape Le Grande NP, WA, binoculars focused... Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island: Cape Barren geese grazing on the site of ancient mega-marsupial finds.
Delving into my diaries, haikus and photographs to write this book, I anticipated some unique creatures of Australia’s shores might disappear in the far future. I never imagined an imminent present in which vast areas, including all of these photographed places On The Trail, would suffer serious bushfires in a few short months. Bushfires 2019/2020 were so intense, extensive and systematic that there were not the escape routes for wildlife, nor the usual mosaic of refuges for food/shelter and protection against introduced predators. Without living havens for animal shelter and ‘seed banks’ of biodiversity, regeneration will probably be limited and less diverse than it has been after more ‘usual’ bushfires. Sydney University estimate over one billion animals have been destroyed so far. Considering unseen insects and life in the soil, entire ecosystems may, potentially, have been lost and some critically endangered species have been taken to the point of extinction, one is illustrated in the book. Prolonged droughts and exceptionally high temperatures linked with climate change fuelled the fires.