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.
Click these links back to Book’d Out and Confessions from Romaholics to visit other participants in the Blog Hop and Book Giveaway. A peaceful and happy Australia Day to everybody!
I was just going to pick the Tassie Tiger as my extinbct animal, but then i did a quick google – i didn’t realise so many natie animals have been made exctinct!
There’s the Toolache Wallaby, Big-eared Hopping Mouse, Long-Tailed Hopping Mouse and Short-Tailed Hopping Mouse…someone clearly ran out of creative names after kangaroo and koala!
Yes, you make a good point. Some of our sweetest little marsupials went extinct before they even earned a proper name from Europeans! Thanks for your comment and good luck with the giveaway …
The native bilby is endangered but amazing work is being done to try to save them
That’s true. We’re lucky to have so many dedicated conservationists hard at work in this country. I must remember to do a post about Bilbys on National Bilby Day, the second Sunday in September. Thanks for playing Raelene …
Very interesting post Jennifer:) Our Aussie animals are so lucky to have you for an advocate.
Thanks Alissa 🙂
I would have loved to have been able to see a Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger (though they’d no doubt be quite fearsome in the wild, and I would hate to see one in captivity, especially after reading about the last known Tasmanian Tiger dying alone in captivity at the Hobart Zoo). I also think it would have been amazing to see a Mega Fauna (though admittedly terrifying) like the Obdurodon Dicksoni a platypus up to 60 cm in length or the horrifyingly huge Procoptodon Goliah a HUGE kangaroo with a flat face that stood 2-3 metres tall, and weighed up to 230 kilograms!
I know! How fantastic would it be to see these animals! The story of lonely Benjamin (a female), who died from exposure at the Hobart Zoo is heartbreaking. I have two novels about Thylacines and Tasmanian Devils just waiting for a publisher! Fingers crossed. Many thanks for your thoughts and good luck with the giveaway …
It’s wonderful to draw attention to the plight of our native flora and fauna. We all know that the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) is extinct. The bilby is endangered.
Thanks for your comment Margaret. Yes, our native Australians need all the help they can get!
Our Tasmanian devils are definitely endangered! I’m currently reading Wasp Season and loving it! I can’t believe the fabulous information in the book which is enthralling me! Thanks for this great giveaway!
Well thank you Brenda! So lovely to hear your feedback. Yes, our Devils are definitely in serious trouble …
The Mountain Pygmy Possum has been given a bit of a lifeline at Healsville Sanctuary and hope that breeding program is a success. The little guys are just too cute 🙂
They sure are. The most exquisite little creatures out! The current fires in East Gippsland will cause them some grief. Good luck with the giveaway …
Fabulous post, as usual, Jen. I am happy to have a reader win your wonderful books, so no need to put me in the draw. 🙂
Thanks Jenn! Am off to read your Australia Day giveaway post now …
Googling to help me choose an at-risk animal, I found this site http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/article-index.htm?tags=endangered+species I’d love to think the long-nosed echidna was still around.
Such a thoughtful post for Australia Day. Thanks, Jennifer.
Ahem. And aren’t there a lot of us Jens around? posting after Jenn 🙂
Yes, Jennifer was a popular name at a certain time! Thanks for your comment. Shall check out your link now 🙂
With the help of Google I have now learned something re our native animals. Thanks you for the lesson.The pig-footed bandicoot, was a small marsupial of the arid and semi-arid plains of Australia. Last recorded in the 1950s, and is now presumed to be extinct.
The pig-footed bandicoot eh? That’s a new one on me. Thanks Jeannette! Shall look it up immediately …
Thankyou so much for sharing how we can help and all play our part in saving these poor animals and plants. I always hear about hows the Tassie Devil and animals like them are engadaged and I know its too easy for most people to think ‘well-what-can-I-do-I’m-only-one-person’ or thats-so-sad and never do anything about it, so thankyou so much for sharing those tips. I’ll be sure to pass them on to others as well.
While looking for other animals that have become endaged I stumbled across many animals that I didn’t know existed or didn’t know where native to Aust, which in turn sparked a huge internet/google search on so many animals. For example I didn’t know that we had our own breed of penguin; The little Penguin! And he’s in trouble too. Australian geographic thankfully have a link where we can donate. My googling also highlighted the fact that the wombat, i particular the Hairy Nosed Wombat is battling this sad fight. To think that there are only really local to one small area in QLD and could be potentially wiped out is heartbreaking. So thankyou Jennifer for bringing these two poor species fight to my attention. I’m off to see how I can help them now.
And thank you for this wonderful giveaway and opportunity as well. I’ve been told only great thigns about your books and look forward to reading them one day 🙂
Wow! Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful comment. So glad my post is inspiring people to find out more about our endangered species. Yes, saving the hairy-nosed wombat is so important. Thanks for your efforts to help. Every person makes a difference …
The Alpine Skink is struggling (though happily Healesville Sanctuary is hoping their breeding program will help) and the Long Beaked Echidna is endangered too (so sad when a creature with the cute name of “puggle” for their babies is endangered!)
So true. Where would we be without the Healesville Sanctuary? Thanks for playing!
The leadbetter possum, after seeing what they are doing at the hillsville sacutary to help them they are just so cute – also called the Forrest Faires because they are tiny like little faires
Healesville once again! I hadn’t heard that name ‘Forest Fairies’ before. Too beautiful …
There are so many animal species that we have either lost already or we are in danger of losing. I was just near a colony of Little Penguins that have much restricted viewing now compared to what it used to be in order to try and protect them and their habitat.
Thanks Marg. Yes, the Little Penguins are in big trouble – so much danger both on land and at sea.
Sadly the biggest danger to our indigenous plants and animals is /us/. We build the roads, fences, cities, farms, mines etc etc etc that destroy their habitats and then our domesticated animals of all sorts come in and compound the damage. I wish we could have National Parks and sanctuaries connected by safe wildlife corridors but expediency is still the name of the game.:(
You’re right of course. It’s hard to combat all that relentless ‘progress’, but we have to try.
An extinct Australian Animal is the Southern Boobook Owl. Well I did have to pick an animal with ‘book’ in its name. 😉
You’re right … the subspecies of Southern Boobook Owl once found on Lord Howe island is extinct. Very clever pick!
Save the Tassie Devil. Save all or endangered species. Good work Jennifer. Love to win your book. A great read, Joe Jeney
Thanks very much Joe!
Tasmanian Devil, such beautiful creatures too. Thanks for the giveaway.
They certainly are! Thanks for playing Benjamin.
Tassie Devils are endangered and one of the most recognised animals from Australia. I wish some of the other less know are promoted around the world too
That’s true. Flagship species like the Devil do get all the attention. Thanks for organising this great hop!
As a big bird fan, I’m going to name the Paradise Parrot. It looked like a gorgeous bird. Thank you for the giveaway – I love your header picture.
Thanks Sam. Yes, the Paradise Parrot was known as the most beautiful parrot in the world. They nested in termite mounds and were easy to catch for the pet trade. But they had a very specific diet and died in droves in captivity. Thank you for remembering this gorgeous bird!
It’s horrifying to see that even the KOALA is in great danger. We need to protect their habitats NOW.
That’s true. When even an iconic species like the koala is in trouble, surely its time to sit up and take notice! Thanks for your comment Mary.
Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger).
Way too much hunting animals to extinction and depletion of their natural habitat.
I think that humans have a lot to learn from other animal sub-species about subsistence living and taking only what we need in order to survive.
Wise words Caroline! Good luck with the giveaway …
Carnaby’s black cockatoo
Yep … these beautiful birds once flew over Perth in flocks of thousands. Now their numbers have crashed. Thanks Di.
Pink Fingers Orchid – Caladenia carnea.
Ahh … our first endangered plant! Caladenia carnea var. subulata – also known as the Striped Pink Fingers. An exquisite little ground orchid already extinct in Victoria. Thanks for playing Ernie.
I have to go with the Tassie Devil – I work with medical researchers, and recently got to attend a lecture about current research into the Tassie Devil facial tumour disease. The research is just scary (though it’s also somewhat amazing to learn what they can know about the original Devil who had the disease just from the DNA of existing tumours – they know her sex, roughly when she lived, a bit about what she looked like, and even a bit about her personality!).
Yes, DFTD is an astonishing and terrifying disease – one of only two known contageous cancers. Thanks for playing Catherine.
The Tasmanian Devil is a stand-out for me too. I’m not putting them above the others as we have so much unique fauna and fauna that needs protecting. It’s just that these little guys are so well known. Gee, “Taz” was even a cartoon character with Loony Toons in America. I find them extremely likeable despite their savage nature. Well, maybe it’s because of their savage nature – so Australian ready to take on danger. But they cannot beat the dangers by themselves. Apart from the tumours they are very susceptible to other infections. Last week’s episode of Bondi Vet showed Chris O’Brien fighting to save two young ones who were close to death with a form of food poisoning. http://ten.com.au/bondi-vet-season-3-episode-2.htm (Food their mother had stored had gone off). It’s not the first time I’ve seen him treat the Devils either as I remember another female with infected nipples, first thought to be cancerous. So precious, so fragile.
The Devil has been a popular choice. I think it captures our imagination because of the extinction within living memory of its larger cousin, the Thylacine. It’s great to see so many people moved by its plight. Thanks Ron and good luck with the giveaway!
Awww Tassie Devil!
He would of been awesome to see.
Hopefully we can all work together to make sure no more of our beautiful animals
become no more. =) Hope everyone is having a great weekend x
Thankfully the Tassie Devil is still with us, in dangerously low numbers. The Tassie Tiger is extinct though. How I would love to have seen one! Good luck with the giveaway Rebecca …
Thanks so much for the giveaway! And the Tasmanian Tiger.
Thanks for playing Jess. Yes, Tasmanian tigers are unfortunately extinct.
Koalas. I’m looking forward to the day toads are added to the list. *shudder* We have lots at our new place and I despise them.
Yes, cane toads are killing off our native carnivores in great numbers. We must remember however that it was humans responsible for bringing them here in the first place.
Tasmanian Devil is an example of how low variability leads to ease of infection through the facial tumour epidemic that is spreading through south and northeastern Tasmania
You’re right about the low genetic diversity amongst Devils. It makes them so vulnerable.
I think wallabies are gorgeous, gentle creatures, and there have been way too many species which have become extinct in Australia – Central Hare-wallaby, Rufous Hare-wallaby, Eastern Hare-wallaby, Banded Hare-wallaby, Tammar Wallaby, Toolache Wallaby and Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby. I hope we take a lesson from this and preserve the habitats of all wallabies (and other native animals) and see what other measures we can take, so there are no more to add to this list.
I know, it’s a disgrace! Wallabies are beautiful, harmless animals that live in devoted and complex family groups. As you say, we’ve lost too many already. Thanks Tara.
I love our Tasmanian devils, they are endangered because of a tumour on their faces, which is killing them in the hundreds. They are such beautiful and mystical creatures and we need them to keep the ecology of Tasmania in balance. I sure hope they can find a cure for the tumour and we get to keep our devils for much longer.
I’m with you Shelley! Thanks for playing and good luck with the giveaway …
Tassie Tiger..only in old film now!
Yes, and that’s so very sad! Thanks Monica …
The Tassie Devil is my favorite animal and it breaks my heart to see them decline by an awful disease
I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for the comment.
The Dodo bird is long extinct unfortunately…remember learning about it at school
Yes …. what an amazing looking bird! Thanks Renee.