Emu

Emu 1, originally uploaded by Snelvis.

Australia – Broken Hill Road Trip – Driving from Broken Hill to White Cliffs, originally uploaded by Keegan and Sonja.

The Emu is Australia’s tallest native bird, reaching 1.6-1.9m when standing erect. It weighs 30-45kg, which is lighter than its closest living relative, the Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius.

 

Emu, originally uploaded by marj k.

 

 

Emus II, originally uploaded by jennofarc.

 

Emus are easy to identify. Adult Emus are covered with shaggy grey-brown feathers except for the neck and head, which are largely naked and bluish-black. The wings are greatly reduced, but the legs are long and powerful. Each foot has three forward-facing toes and no hind toe.

 

Emu chick (Dromaius novaehollandiae), originally uploaded by alumroot.

 

The Emu is found only in Australia. It lives throughout most of the continent, ranging from coastal regions to high in the Snowy Mountains. The main habitats are sclerophyll forest and savanna woodland. These birds are rarely found in rainforest or very arid areas. Emus were once found in Tasmania, but were exterminated soon after Europeans arrived. Two dwarf species of emus that lived on Kangaroo Island and King Island also became extinct.

emu family, originally uploaded by David Haberlah.

SMH: Irwin donations top two million

October 14, 2006 – 6:43PM

Funds for the Irwin family’s Wildlife Warriors charity are expected to skyrocket past the current two million mark as sales of the Steve Irwin’s memorial DVD begin this week.

Wildlife Warriors executive manager Michael Hornby said donations to the fund in the past month had reached $2 million – enough to fund its animal hospital and international programs for six to nine months.

Many of the donations were spurred on by Mr Irwin’s shock death on September 4, when the Crocodile Hunter was killed by a stingray barb in a diving accident on the Great Barrier Reef.

The one-hour public memorial service for the conservationist, which aired world-wide from Australia Zoo last month, has been made into a DVD which was released across Australia today.

The DVD will also sell in the US and Britain and all proceeds will go to the Wildlife Warriors.

Mr Hornby said hundreds of thousands of copies were expected to be sold which would fund the future of the charity, of which Irwin’s eight-year-old daughter Bindi is now the face.AAP

Irwin donations top two million – National – smh.com.au

Inspiration from the world of stencil art

s t e n c i l r y . — it’s more important than cat chow.


AQIS: Mailing your mosaics to Australia

On the offchance that your mosaic contains shells or you are not sure if your packaging is questionable…

Mailing items to Australia

Quarantine and Export Services Home

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) checks goods arriving at international mail centres, airports and seaports.
Quarantine officers, x-ray machines and detector dogs screen all of the 150 million items of international mail sent to Australia each year, intercepting around 80,000 high-risk items.

Tips for sending international mail to Australia:

  • Do not send prohibited food, plant material or animal products.
  • To find out about product requirements and import conditions visit www.aqis.gov.au/icon
  • Fill out the declaration label clearly and correctly. Make sure you itemise
    everything inside the package, including any packaging materials
    you’ve used.
  • Do not pack items in egg cartons, wooden boxes, or cardboard boxes that have been used to hold fruit, vegetables or meat/smallgoods: this packaging is a quarantine risk and is prohibited.
  • Do not pack with straw or dried plant material: this packaging is prohibited. Use newspaper or foam to wrap fragile goods.
  • Thoroughly clean all footwear, sporting and camping equipment to remove any soil or seeds.
  • Tell friends and family overseas about Australia’s quarantine laws and ask them not to send prohibited food, plant material and animal products.
  • You could be fined up to $60,000 for breaching Australia’s quarantine laws.
  • What will AQIS remove from international mail?
    This
    is not a complete list of prohibited items. Some of these items can be
    treated and released (fees will apply). Any items containing insects or
    larvae will be removed and must be treated.

    meatproducts.jpg Meat and Meat Products

    Prohibited dairy produce. Dairy, Eggs and Egg Products

    • all uncanned meat — including fresh, dried, frozen, cooked, smoked, salted or preserved meat
    • packaged meals (including noodles) containing meat
    • mooncakes containing meat
    • remedies and medicines containing animal material
    • pet food including canned and dried food and supplements
    • cheese, milk, butter and other dairy products*
    • packaged
      meals and other foods containing more than 10 per cent dairy or egg
      (whole, dried and powdered, such as cake mix, salad dressing,
      mayonnaise)
    • mooncakes containing egg

    seeds.jpg Seeds and Nuts

    mask.jpg Plant Material

    • seeds
      including vegetable and flower seeds, unidentified seeds, birdseed and
      some commercially-packaged
      seeds*
    • gifts, ornaments and toys filled with seeds
    • pine cones
    • raw nuts
    • grains and legumes including lentils, popping corn and cereal grains
    • raw/green coffee beans
    • tea containing seeds, fruit skin (for example citrus and apple peel) and fruit pieces
    • remedies and medicines containing herbs, seeds, bark, fungi and dried plant material*
    • dried flower arrangements and potpourri
    • dried herbs or leaves
    • handicrafts
      – including wreaths and Christmas decorations – containing
      seeds, raw nuts, corn, pine cones, grapevines, bark, moss, straw or
      other plant material
    • wooden items with bark or signs of insects present

    Prohibited plant material. Plants and Soil

    liveanimals.jpg Live Animals, Animal Products

    • all plant material including bulbs, whole plants, cuttings, roots, flowers and stems
    • soil, including small souvenir or sentimental samples
    • footwear,
      sporting and camping equipment contaminated with soil, manure or plant
      material
    • gifts, ornaments and toys filled with sand or soil
    • all
      mammals, birds, birds’ eggs and nests, fish, snakes, turtles,
      lizards, scorpions, amphibians, crustaceans and
      insects
    • souvenirs, artefacts and goods made of animal products such as raw hide, feathers, teeth and bones

    Prohibited fruit and vegetables. Fruit and Vegetables

    Laboratory Material

  • medical and animal samples
  • diagnostic kits and micro-organisms*
    • fresh fruit and vegetables
    • dried fruit and vegetables containing seeds or fruit peel
    * Special conditions apply-check import conditions on ICON

    For further detailed assessment on individual items please refer to

    the AQIS Import Conditions Database (ICON)

Steve and Monty at the Zoo

What’s black and white…?


z., originally uploaded by frischmilch.

 

There are four extant species, as well as several subspecies. Zebra populations vary a great deal, and the relationships between and the taxonomic status of several of the subspecies are well known.

The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchelli) is the most common, and has or had about twelve subspecies distributed across much of southern and eastern Africa. It, or particular subspecies of it, have also been known as the Common Zebra, the Dauw, Burchell’s Zebra (actually the subspecies Equus quagga burchelli), and the Quagga (another, extinct, subspecies, Equus quagga quagga).

The Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra) of southwest Africa tends to have a sleek coat with a white belly and narrower stripes than the Plains Zebra. It has two subspecies and is classified as endangered.

Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi) is the largest type, with an erect mane, and a long, narrow head making it appear rather mule-like. It is an inhabitant of the semi-arid grasslands of Ethiopia, Somalia, and northern Kenya. The Grevy’s Zebra is one of the rarest species of zebra around today, and is classified as endangered.

Although zebra species may have overlapping ranges, they do not interbreed. This held true even when the Quagga and Burchell’s race of Plains Zebra shared the same area. According to Dorcas McClintock in “A Natural History Of Zebras,” Grevy’s zebra has 46 chromosomes; plains zebras have 44 chromosomes and mountain zebras have 32 chromosomes. In captivity, Plains Zebras have been crossed with mountain zebras. The hybrid foals lacked a dewlap and resembled the Plains Zebra apart from their larger ears and their hindquarters pattern. Attempts to breed a Grevy’s zebra stallion to Mountain Zebra mares resulted in a high rate of abortion.

 

Stripe convention, originally uploaded by Jean Marc Dieu.

 

Zebras are typically herd animals. They usually stand one to two meters tall, two to three meters long, and weigh 250-500 kilograms as adults (depending on the species). They are most notable for their black and white stripe pattern.

A zebra can travel at a top speed of fifty-five kilometres per hour, slower than a horse. However, it has much greater stamina. During the course of a day the plains zebra can walk around eighty kilometres.

 

Zebra’s eye [Portfolio Magazine], originally uploaded by markeveleigh.

 

They are black with white stripes[1]. These stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal. The zebra crossing is named after the zebra’s white on black stripes.

Originally, most zoologists assumed that the stripes acted as a camouflage mechanism, while others believed them to play a role in social interactions, with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals. A more recent theory, supported by experiment, posits that the disruptive coloration is an effective means of confusing the visual system of the blood-sucking tsetse fly.

 

zebra baby, originally uploaded by photo707.

 

Happy, originally uploaded by hvhe1.

Endangered: a living legacy of Steve Irwin

a living legacy of Steve Irwin

Leo Shanahan and Christine Sams
October 8, 2006
A RARE turtle named after the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin could be under threat of extinction if a dam planned for construction in its habitat goes ahead.

The Elseya irwini – Irwin’s turtle – is named as a species at risk in a Queensland Government environmental impact report on a proposal to build the Urannah dam in the state’s north.

The Burdekin Basin draft water resource plan, which addresses environmental implications of the proposed Urannah dam, states: “Elseya irwini is known to occur in this reach. This species is of high conservation significance and is restricted to the Broken-Bowen River system and the lower Burdekin River.

“The dam impoundment would compromise the reproduction and survival of the species in this area because of loss of riffle habitat and destruction of sandbars used for egg laying by inundation.”

Though yet to be approved, the dam was a given a major boost in August after the Queensland Government included it in the draft water plan. The Queensland Government has now backed away from the proposal, saying there are no “current plans to build the Urannah dam”.

The first person to catch the irwini was Steve Irwin’s father, Bob, on a fishing line during a family camping trip in 1990. The family were confused by the creature as nobody had seen it before. They suspected it might be new species.

Steve took pictures of the turtle and sent them to world renowned turtle enthusiast John Cann. “They took some photos of it and sent it to me, they didn’t know what they had,” Mr Cann said. “I saw the photos and jumped on the telephone because I knew it was a new species and asked Steve if I could do some work on it. He said, ‘go for your life’.

“That’s why I named it after him. I think if someone discovers something they should have a reward for it. It’s a good legacy for Steve.”

Meanwhile, Irwin’s voice will be used in a Hollywood film due for release in December. Before his death, Irwin voiced the role of a cartoon character, an elephant seal, which will appear in the film Happy Feet, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Elijah Wood.

SMH: Endangered: aliving legacy of Steve Irwin