Science and nature

Judas camels betray their mates

Scientists say “Judas camels” fitted with tracking devices greatly enhance the chances of finding and culling wild camels.

Photo courtesy Kylee Birchall-Hunt

Photo courtesy Kylee Birchall-Hunt

Associate Professor Peter Spencer says feral camels are difficult to locate as they occupy 37 per cent of the continent with a density of only .3 animals per square kilometre.

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Thursday, February 26th, 2015 Environment Comments Off

Unique serrated spear points first made 1,000 years ago

Serrated spear heads called “Kimberley points” first appeared just 1,000 years ago, scientists say.

They were made somewhere in the central south Kimberley, perhaps by a select few craftsmen.

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Sunday, January 4th, 2015 Aboriginal Comments Off

No cyclones 13,000 years ago

New research shows cyclones only began about 13,000 years ago in northern Australia.

Before that, conditions were colder and much drier.

The evidence comes from a core of the ocean floor, showing red and brown mud from flooded rivers appearing as cyclonic weather kicked in.

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Saturday, December 6th, 2014 Environment Comments Off

Roebuck Plains: Cameras detect rare wallabies, feared extinct

Yawuru rangers have found rare spectacled hare wallabies at Roebuck Plains.

The World Wildlife Fund trained the rangers to operate remote wildlife cameras, which they set and left running for two  months.

Science Network WA [read this story]

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Friday, November 21st, 2014 Broome, Environment Comments Off

Cape Domett turtles hatch more males

Scientists says more male flat back turtles are hatching from nests at Cape Domett.

Turtle tracks

Turtle tracks

Sex in turtles is determined by sand temperature, and Cape Domett turtles hatch in winter, where increased rainfall is making the sands cooler.

Meanwhile, hotter summers are making beaches in places like Broome hotter, and more females are hatching.

It is hoped the boost in male numbers at Cape Domett will help make up the sex imbalance when they are old enough to mate in several decades’ time.

Science Network WA [read this story]

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 Environment Comments Off

Are tree frogs spreading lungworm?

Scientists say common green tree frogs may be spreading lungworm.

Photo by Rod Hartvigsen

Photo by Rod Hartvigsen

They have an immune system that can handle the parasite, but may be carrying it from one species to another.

Lungworm is fatal to cane toads (which can’t climb) to magnificent common green tree frogs (which spend little time on the ground).

Prof Rick Shine says magnificent green tree frogs living in remote areas, which cane toads don’t like, will probably survive.

Science Network WA [read this story]

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Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 Environment Comments Off

Helicopter shooting ‘most humane’ for camels

A veterinarian has found helicopter shooting to be the most humane and effective way to cull wild camels.

The government wound up an aerial culling project in desert areas last year.

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Sunday, October 12th, 2014 Environment, Government Comments Off

Ashmore Reef: Researchers find no sea snakes

Sea snakes, once numerous at Ashmore Reef, appear to have disappeared entirely now.

A recent WA Museum survey found none at all.

However they found three species at the shoals closer to the mainland, which had never been surveyed for snakes before.

Science Network WA [read this story]

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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 Environment Comments Off
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