Marijuana and rabbits

Sally Odgers sodgers at hotnet.net.au
Fri Jul 21 13:08:48 EDT 2000


>I'm betting that it's because all those dear little fuzzy creatures
marauded
>Australia and devoured large chunks of fragile environment, myself.


And you'd be right :-( - mind you, the ubiquitous sheep haven't done it much
good either. Unfortunately some pioneers settled in places that just can't
support them and now their descendents are caught in the trap of owning land
they can neither sell nor live on. We have a great many drought relief
packages, but an overview of the past 210 years in Australia shows drought
conditions in around 160 of those years. Seems to me drought is the
*natural* condition of some parts of this land and rather than depend on
"drought relief" we should stop trying to farm the desert. Perhaps the
"packages" should go to buying back the land rather than trying to feed
sheep that will be starving again next year.

It's easy for me to talk, BTW, since northern Tasmania (where I live) is not
prone to drought...

>Sally, is or was it true that, as Edmund Crispin has it, Australia is sadly
>devoid of coprophages?


We do have some dung beetles and the bush cockroaches, but they don't really
like the dry areas. If you go into Tasmanian bush (which is temperate
forest) and kneel down, you'll find a lovely hotbed of activity on the
forest floor. Fungus, insects, worms, leafmould, kangaroo droppings - all
cooking happily into compost. It's too acid for most gardens, but it's
correct for bushland. Take away the components of water and shade and bake
the lot under an outback sun and the dung dries out like rocks.

Our little problem in Tassie is that crop farmers *will* plough paddocks on
the rivers' edges. Then when the rivers flood, which they do most years, the
ploughed up topsoil goes into the water. Fortunately, some landowners (like
my father) have the sense to leave riverside paddocks under permanent
pasture.

On a final note, I'll add that the paddocks between our house and the town
are flooded today (it poured all yesterday) while the southern farmers, 4
hours away, are having a drought. Yes, Tasmania does have droughts - they're
usually confined to the south, east and midlands and while not as impressive
as the ones the Outback produces they're difficult to handle because they're
not a regular occurrence.

Sallyo.

>Mary Ann
>
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