Archive for January, 2012
Debra Jopson, Phillip Coorey
Patrick Dodson … struggles with hypocrisy.
AUSTRALIAN governments present a different face on the international stage from the one they show when dealing with indigenous people, the ”father of reconciliation” Patrick Dodson said in Sydney last night.
A company drilling for rare earths in north east Western Australia says the industry is rapidly developing.
Kimberley Rare Earths has a project in the Cummins Range, and plans to be a niche supplier of two light rare earths, cerium and lanthanum.
Chairman Ian MacPherson expects the operation to produce about 5,000 tonnes a year.
An environmental group has accused Woodside Petroleum of trying to bypass legally required approvals for its proposed $30 billion gas hub in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
But Woodside says it has fulfilled all its requirements and is working with the state government and the Shire of Broome on the liquified natural gas (LNG) project.
Environs Kimberley says Woodside did not have shire approval for a laydown area with a fuel tank, transportable accommodation, offices, toilets, fences, gates, a vehicle washdown area and drilling.
THE RARE AND BEAUTIFUL Gouldian finch is hardly ever seen on the Dampier Peninsula in the western Kimberley, but indigenous rangers have now found a population of the birds breeding there.
The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) was once common in the savannah woodlands across northern Australia, but numbers have dwindled in the past 50 years.
The 2500 or so remaining are mostly scattered in the eastern Kimberley around Wyndham, and in parts of the Northern Territory and northern Queensland. But the birds change their breeding and feeding spots from year to year, depending on conditions.
A Gouldian finch – courtesy Wikimedia
Indigenous rangers have confirmed Gouldian Finches are still present and breeding on the Dampier Peninsula.
The rangers observed the birds while carrying out weed control on monsoon vine thickets.
“It’s exciting to be working with rangers and to find a breeding population of Gouldian finches utilising refuges such as monsoon vine thickets and un-burnt woodland. It shows how important it is to continue to care for land and improve fire management on the Dampier Peninsula,” said Louise Beames, Environs Kimberley Projects Coordinator.
Science Network WA
ECOLOGISTS are working with Indigenous rangers to develop assessment protocols for the health of monsoon vine thickets.
Project coordinator and Environs Kimberley’s Louise Beames says the thickets, which are a type of dry rainforest that once covered much of Northern and Central Australia, are under threat.
“Monsoon vine thicket plants depend on frugivorous (fruit-eating) birds and bats moving from one patch to the other to eat fruits and spread the seeds,” she says.