Consider flora and fauna on Australia Day
Australia Day is here again and many people will be flying flags and receiving awards or even citizenship.
I wonder how many people will bother to think of what it is that makes Australia, Australian; what makes it different.
Surely it is the flora and fauna and these are under great threat.
We still cut down trees if they are in the way or even just spoil our view, not realising that each tree is a whole ecosystem, contributing to the land.
We have been trained to be aware of the sweet, cuddly Ozzie icons such as the koala but even they are now in decline and it is highly likely that my great grandchildren will never see one except in a zoo.
What about the less cuddly Australian fauna?
Does it mean that just because they are less cuddly they have no right to exist?
They are all a part of our amazing bio-diversity.
When we do get close to wild life, it often pleases us to feed it.
It gives us pleasure and makes us feel that we are helping.
On the contrary, we are doing them a dis-service.
They all have different digestive systems; our foods are often highly processed and contain chemicals and even though the animals may appear to enjoy it, in much the same way that children will appear to gobble up lollies, they later often suffer digestive problems.
Native animals keep fit by looking for their food as well as controlling their numbers.
Nowadays lorikeet fledglings are sometimes unable to fly because their bone structure will not support them.
Other birds have some form of diabetes.
Some animals come to think that humans mean food and will attack if it is not forthcoming, after all they are wild animals.
Feeding wild animals might give us pleasure but it can make them think that all humans are kind and they are not.
Some people collect these animals to sell on the overseas market, or keep as pets or hang on their walls.
So this coming Australia Day perhaps we could consider what it is that makes Australia Australia and decide to give some respect and dignity to the diminishing flora and fauna of this land, even though that would mean not taking our dogs into National Parks and keeping our cats inside.
Email, 16 Jan 2017
Margaret Lund, Woy Woy