Welcome to this Australia Day book giveaway blog hop. It’s the brainchild of Shelleyrae and Confessions from Romaholics. The aim is to connect aussie authors and readers. My post today is about the original Australians. I’m not talking about our indigenous people, who share a proud history with this continent dating back at least 50,000 years. No, I’m talking about the flora and fauna that evolved along with our land over millions of years.
In Australia we have an exceptionally high number of unique species, yet we also have the highest extinction rate in the world. 126 species of plants and animals have vanished in just 200 years. Another 182 species are classified as endangered, and 201 more are threatened. Many are locally extinct, only surviving precariously on offshore islands or in captivity.
Thankfully we have moved beyond the worst cruelties of the past. For example, in the early twentieth century, live Brush-tailed Bettongs were sold for ninepence a dozen to be chased and torn apart by greyhounds. Today’s flora and fauna face more modern threats. Habitat loss and feral animals, such as cats, foxes and cane toads, are contributing to a second wave of extinctions.
We all have a part to play in protecting our precious native plants and animals. Why not celebrate our national day by doing something to help these original Australians?
- Grow native plants. They provide wildlife with food and shelter.
- Keep your cat inside, at least at night. Most marsupials are nocturnal and birds are at their most vulnerable at night.
- De-sex your cats and dogs.
- Put in a birdbath.
- Avoid using pesticides in the house and garden. Most are toxic to reptiles and insect eaters.
- Look out for native animals when driving.
- Install nest boxes in trees for hollow-dwellers.
- If fishing, do not leave fish hooks, line, sinkers, plastic bags or any other litter behind.
- Join as a volunteer or member of a wildlife or conservation group.
- Donate to groups like Bush Heritage Australia and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
I’m giving away two signed books – one copy of Brumby’s Run and one copy of Wasp Season. Just comment on this post, naming an extinct or endangered Australian plant or animal. Entries close at midnight on January 28th. Winners announced Sunday Feb 3rd. Giveaway for Australian residents only.