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If we love Australia's distinctive plant and animal species we should try to protect them

Like many other Australians keen to protect our natural environment, I was delighted to read a recent news article about a farmer from the coastal town of Beachport in South Australia, who was surprised and shocked to find he had cornered a small creature in a trap he'd set after discovering an animal had killed and partly eaten a number of his 'chooks'.

Naturally he supposed it was a feral cat or even a fox but, no, the culprit staring up at him was a small furry striped animal he'd never laid eyes on before, with a look that said, 'What have I done wrong? I've got a family to feed, you know!'

Thought to be extinct since the 1880's in that part of South Australia, and now considered an endangered species on the Australian mainland, the tiger quoll's appearance has wildlife experts excited and curious.

The discovery highlights the urgency to protect all species native to our shores and that governing bodies and the population in general need to take urgent action if we are to preserve our unique wildlife.

We've encroached further and further into animal habitats with the spread of growing urbanisation and the mining industry, all in the name of progress. It's time to have a good hard look at ourselves and see what we truly have become: a nation that cares little about the impact we're having on the land

Meg Mooney

‘The human problem’ is a nasty phrase. Yet it’s one that persists, and far beyond just the trenches of the climate discussion. Further, paradoxically, our concepts of climate and environment fail to include a vision of ourselves. We don’t just have an effect on the environment - we are part of it. The natural cycle we observe externally exists within us.

This is a truth.

And just as we’ve divided ourselves from the climate, we divide ourselves from each other. We can’t bear to hear both sides of an argument, or entertain an unwelcome line of thought. We pollute our bodies and our conscience with junk. Somehow, our most important decisions often boil down to the lesser of two evils. Really? Just the two? Nobody could find a third evil to throw in?

I’m tired of hearing political grandstanding. The grift is obvious. It’s obvious because there seems to always be somebody else to worry about rather than the deeper problems at hand. There are unresolved conflicts between us which we can only make good ourselves.

So now I ask, what do I know? And what would change if that were the first idea we all started with?

Matt Jackson

Copyright: text to the writers cited above; photos Wiki & cvwilliams.

Posts on this SSOA blog are published to showcase the work of emerging writers who meet weekly to workshop stories. The posts comprise just some of the responses written in just 10 minutes as a warm up to the meetings.

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