Birding-Aus Digest, Vol 76, Issue 8

The Botanic Gardens Scientists and Seed Bank are doings a truly wonderful job.
Obviously more on-ground research in burned areas, particularly those which were previously unburned in living history, needs to be done for many years in order to monitor all kinds of regeneration of plants and animals.

I am pessimistic. There seems to be an underlying assumption that weather will return to what it used to be, effectively denying that a progressively warmer world is on the way, and that drought adapted species will replace much of the existing highish rainfall flora and fauna, even without fires. Fires will accelerate the process, which has been happening for millennia if our understanding of Geological history is correct. Much of Australia was once covered by forest .
The fact is that our climate has been changing over decades rather than hundred s or thousands of years will irrevocably change much of our landscape and native plants and animals.
Our fires and floods and those all over the globe may convert some non-believers, but will it not be in time, even if rationale and sanity prevailed tomorrow.
Adaptation will be the name of the game, associated with terrible losses of all forms of life, increasing suffering and human anguish.

Although too late really, reversing the uncontrolled increase in human numbers, and/or the embrace of, now available, clean Nuclear Power to water and feed them all without more warming, are in my opinion the only realistic solutions. Both unlikely , so enjoy what we have while we can.

Very Sincerely

Michael

PS re Woodpeckers, look up
Wallaces Line which geographically separates Northern and Southern Hemisphere species .

Sent from my iPhone

> On 15 Feb 2020, at 4:00 am, birding-aus-request@birding-aus.org wrote:
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> Today’s Topics:
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> 1. Re: Land of the smokey bears (Stephen Ambrose)
>
>
> ———————————————————————-
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 11:32:42 +1100
> From: “Stephen Ambrose” < stephen@ambecol.com.au>
> To: <
birding-aus@birding-aus.org>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Land of the smokey bears
> Message-ID: <
000201d5e2ce$459e99e0$d0dbcda0$@ambecol.com.au>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”
>
> Hi All,
>
>
>
> Just to add to this discussion, Brett Summerell (Director of Research and
> Chief Botanist at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens) estimates that between 3
> billion and 7 billion trees have burnt so far this season in Australian
> bushfires. I don’t know how much this translates into loss of tree hollows
> or, indeed, the creation or hastening of the creation of new ones.
>
>
theplanthunter.com.au/botanica/seven-billion-burnt-trees/?fbclid=IwA
> R2-bNrTYGHWgUXmmt_yAag8qdCO9OX66s3j2DlG3FEx6cq_66_t8sAeVIg
>
>
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Stephen
>
>
>
> Stephen Ambrose
>
> Ryde, NSW
>
>
>
> From: Birding-Aus < birding-aus-bounces@birding-aus.org> On Behalf Of Philip
> Veerman
> Sent: 9 February 2020 4:35 PM
> To:
birding-aus@birding-aus.org
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Land of the smokey bears
>
>
>
> I can understand the observation Chris makes. If a tree with hollows burns,
> the hollow may allow the fire to cause increased damage (compared to a solid
> tree) and may make the tree more likely to collapse. Or it may just be that
> trees with hollows are older and thus more likely to fall over, than younger
> trees and that is the difference.
>
>
>
> Even so, I am not convinced that fires might not speed up the hollow forming
> process in previously healthy trees. I am not advocating fires for that
> purpose!
>
>
>
> An easier and far more obvious reason Australia doesn’t have woodpeckers is
> that they are a northern hemisphere group that have never arrived here. For
> the same reason, other parts of the world don’t have many of our bird
> groups. We also don’t have vultures, laughing-thrushes, toucans, shrikes,
> etc….
>
>
>
> Philip
>
>
>
> From: Birding-Aus [ result of ANY burning.” Yes that may well be true but can it also be the
> case that fires might increase the amount of available hollows in trees by
> damaging trees and allowing hollows to form in trees before the process of
> hollow formation would normally happen due to aging. Just asking….
>
> Philip
>
> *From:*Birding-Aus [
felt odd to me, though recently I have read some material suggesting that in
> the USA this view is changing. In any case, the Australian landscape is very
> different, even if you just think about the extreme importance of hollows in
> old trees for wildlife, which is far more significant in Australia than
> elsewhere. And Australia doesn’t have Woodpeckers! I also note that in the
> USA, many habitats we see have been hugely modified by Native American
> burning, so that there is perceived value in returning it to that state, not
> to any prehuman state. It is a complicated mess, but at least in Australia,
> if you just think of the loss of hollow trees, which happens as a result of
> ANY burning, (not to mention hazard tree removal!), it is easy to conclude
> that fire needs to be thought through very carefully and not controlled by
> knee-jerk reactions to particular events.
>
> Cheers, Chris.
>
> On 2/8/2020 6:36 PM, Geoffrey Dabb wrote:
>
> I found the below link about the now slightly contentious ,
> perhaps outdated, Smokey Bear, an emblem of the agency in the
> United States that manages National Parks – real national parks,
> that is, not like our State-managed parks that are labelled
> ‘National’ in imitation of those Americans. Some entertain the
> idea that some quite large wildfires should be allowed to burn
> unchecked to avoid really serious fires. I don’t believe the
> ‘thinking’ in Australia has gone quite that far, but we are going
> to hear quite a lot about beneficial controlled fires, a subject
> complicated by the absence of a national agency with any
> responsibility in this area.
>
>
>
www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/smokey-bear-75th-birthday-legacy_n_5
> dc5cf48e4b0fcfb7f662fda?ri18n=true
>
> Chris Corben.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


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