Save the dingo
No-one knows how many pure blooded dingoes there are in Australia, but if habitat destruction and hybridisation haven’t made the remaining few of this vulnerable species extinct, the National Wild Dog Elimination Plan, instigated at the behest of landowners and hunters, surely will.
Death by shooting, trapping, poisoning in order to kill any dingo, wild dog, or domestic dog the farmer believes to be threatening his livestock is the aim of this expensive, coordinated program of killing. In Victoria there is even a bounty system to encourage more amateur shooters to take part in an activity described as fun for the whole family.
The advice and evidence of ecologists, naturalists, conservationists, Aborigines and organisations of support such as The Dingo Conservation Society and the Animal Justice Party, will be ignored until it’s too late. Even after the results of the kill are estimated we will not know for sure how many pure-blooded dingoes there are among the dead.
Sad enough if it’s your pet dog that has been eliminated and died an agonising death, but more important for Australia the fact that canus dingo has joined the shameful list of extinctions.
There is still some controversy over whether the much maligned dingo should be recognised a “native” even though it’s a splendid mammal which has survived in Australia for an estimated 4000 years, has special cultural significance to Indigenous people, and has adapted to the environment in ways that makes it behaviourally and physically unique.
For the purpose of the kill it has been declared unprotected in most states. If you care you must urge politicians to give greater respect to our natural environment and the unique wildlife that enriches us all.
Susan Cruttenden, Dalmeny
State of the climate
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the CSIRO recently release its 2018 climate report. Here are some of the key points. To see the full report Google “2018 state of the climate”.
Australia’s climate has warmed by just over 1°C since 1910, leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.
April to October rainfall has decreased in the southwest of Australia. Across the same region May–July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.
There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s.
There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia.
Global sea level has risen by over 20 cm since 1880, and the rate has been accelerating in recent decades.
The BOM and CSIRO report that it is mainly the burning of coal, oil and natural gas that have driven the carbon dioxide equivalent of all greenhouse gases to reach 500 ppm (parts per million) for the first time in at least 800,000 years (as determined by measurements of air extracted from Antarctic ice).
The IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) issued a report in October which included a warning that if the world does nothing more than what has so far been promised, global warming of 3°C by 2100 is likely. So, if the world does nothing more than what has so far been promised, children born this year will, by the age of 81, have had to deal with the consequences of the planet warming by around three times the increase so far!
Those who dispute the findings of the BOM, CSIRO and IPCC are of course free to tell them so and point out where they are wrong.
For those of us who accept the findings, one of the best things to do is to contact our local member and demand the government take a local and global leadership role to do what it can to avert potential global catastrophe.