Giant eucalypts play an irreplaceable part in many of Australia’s ecosystems. These towering elders develop hollows, which make them nature’s high-rises, housing everything from endangered squirrel-gliders to lace monitors.
Over 300 species of vertebrates in Australia depend on hollows in large old trees. In this article from THE CONVERSATION (LINK), David Lindenmayer explains how these trees form, the role they play – and how very hard they are to replace.
Food for thought, even for your own backyard....
Greedy developers have managed to clean out all the gum trees within sight of our place, Dave. They may be called widow makers but they serve a purpose in our environment and the last one was turned into mulch so that 2 houses could be built on one block. The Brisbane City Council doesn't care.
Going by that illustration, we won't be able to replace them easily. Not many people would think to go out to nurseries and buy a gum tree to plant. Give me a home among the gum trees!!!
The Brisbane City Council at Cannon Hill sent contractors into a conservation area to cut all these trees with hollows down claiming safety but if someone is getting a big pay day that may be the true reason.
What an interesting and thought-provoking illustration; thank you for sharing Dave.
Unfortunately, we are building our society around the car and its needs ...bigger roads ....quick, fast, totally forgetting the real pace of the nature of this earth.
Whereas we do have to recognize the needs of a growing population the expediency of a quick solution should not override the long-term aspects of needing to accommodate all of the biodiversity of the planet. All too often it is seen that we do not have enough understanding or respect for the subtle and at times not so subtle detrimental effects we have in the name of "progress"
Building for cars is a big part of the problem. The urban sprawl with dormitory suburbs where everything from getting to work to buying some milk requires a car journey is dreadful. Developers prefer greenfield sites but councils should restrict knocking down of bushland.
There was a news story over Christmas about all these people sitting in traffic jams getting to the beach and complaining that the roads need widening. They could all just leave their cars in the garage and stay cool in the garden rather than cooking themselves on the beach.
The 'treacle effect' that links the Northern Rivers of NSW to Noosa with suburban sprawl, is a major challenge not only to wild life but also to sustainability in regard to the urban heat island effect as well as the increasing risk of bushfires impacting on humans living in the suburban periphery.
Consider the 2003 Canberra fires
The current scandal around Sydney's 'cracked' Opal Tower, doesn't seem like a good option...just as the fact that Redlands -- traditionally, Brisbane's food bowl -- has been now consumed by real estate.
On top of that, rising sea waters and chances of flash floods will inundate residences and infrastructure -- just as each build obstructs natural water flow processes and encourages flooding.
This debate is not being held here in SEQ like it is in Victoria and over Sydney's 'West', as the developers still rule, especially over local government.
The BCC has made some adjustments -- ironically, because Brisbane was depopulating at the expense of periphery growth, rate income loss, and high costs of new infrastructure builds.
Thus the 'hub' panacea was developed with rezoning of targeted suburbs (eg: Chermside, Nundah,Fortitude Valley, etc) to allow greater concentrations of residences. So too were changes in zoning to allow the easier division of suburban blocks.
The problem further out is that folk want to preserve their penchant for 'greeness' which then serves to push the suburban margins out further -- in effect, rural death by multitudinous hobby farms...which later get sub divided.
The consolidation of environment areas and corridors now serve as a real estate marketing tool...but what is not being addressed is that the greatest single threat to koalas, for instance, is suburbia and not the farmers.
There is a warped dialogue being engineered at the behest of the development dollar.
The reality is that you cannot obstruct sprawl unless you put in place a affordable, responsive, engaging and planned public transport system. Here in SEQ that definitely does not exist.
The scandals around Q-Rail tell us heaps.
And while the cost of buying a house is an increasing fantasy for most people, that market price is sure to put further pressure on the urban fringe --as it always has.
Indeed, it is the reality of price that drives the sprawl.
So true Gayle, it would be good to try living a week without using our car. Years ago the women of the house were often non-drivers and stayed at home. We also had deliveries, milko, fruito, and baker used to deliver to our door. Some of us even had groceries delivered and had an account. One vehicle did many deliveries.
After a rare day out at the shops, we can't wait to get home and have a cuppa and a sit on the verandah. After all, the government is encouraging us to stay home as long as we can, before going into a nursing home. We love looking at our greenery, and wildlife and I pity our great-grandchildren who have to go to the bush camp and to see big trees and wildlife.
Every block of land sold in out street in the last couple of years, has had every tree and plant removed and the natural ground levels changed, disrupting soil and creating water hazards in heavy rain.
Thank goodness for gardens and trees and homegrown food.