Loss of habitat

I am in total despair as I watch so much habitat around the Sunshine Coast being cleared. What a sense of loss this brings, and not only for the wildlife. It is heartbreaking, especially when there is often little or no plant life left standing. To see tree hollows among the piles of bulldozed trees is even more distressing as it is a well-known fact that tree hollows are a very long time in the making, and there is already a housing crisis in the wildlife world.

There is always some explanations – “the decision was made by a previous government”, “our hands are tied”, “the developers are following procedure”. If that’s the best the authorities can do, then it is time they made some effective changes to legislation to prevent this devastation of our country.

It would be interesting to see a published list of the animals that were relocated from some of these sites. How many wildlife species were actually relocated, to where and what was the outcome? Is there a recording of the dead after the trees have been felled? Last year I had two little lorikeet chicks brought to me the day after major highway clearing. Their nests had not been noted the previous day, either in the tree or after they crashed on the ground. Fortunately for them, a site worker (who also happens to be a WILVOS carer) stumbled over them the following day and they were rehabilitated. There is no way this is an isolated incident. There is no happy ending for wildlife when habitat is cleared. Put a bulldozer down my street and see how many distraught people there are. Oh, but of course, animals don’t have feelings!

When we have so called ‘experts’ in the field saying that wildlife doesn’t experience a sense of loss or mourn their friends, then what hope is there? I think most people have seen animals, whether it be a bird, horse, kangaroo or dog, mourn over the death of one of their own. Many saw the footage of the male kangaroo trying to lift the dead female. I did wonder that if it was a female distressed over the death of another female kangaroo (and yes I have seen this happen) would the question of sexual orientation have been up for discussion? Just when there is a nice animal story out there, experts have to destroy the vision. Wouldn’t it have been better to just shut up and have people across the world picture our wildlife in a compassionate way, and portray Australians as actually caring!

Let’s hope 2016 sees an improvement in our laws and in our general perception of all animals.