It hasn’t been much of a wet season so far here in far north Queensland. We’ve had just one burst of the monsoon, which spawned cyclone Oswald. Most of the rain generated by Oswald fell much further south, causing flooding and major damage in central and southern Queensland.
Here in FNQ, some places got rainfalls upwards of 300mm, but most of our region is much drier and hotter than it would normally be at this time of year. And this after a long and hot dry spell late in 2012. The forecasters tell us it’ll be at least two, maybe three weeks, before we see the next surge of the monsoon – until then, any rain will come in the form of intermittent showers blown in from the Coral Sea on the south-easterly trade wind.
The late onset of the wet means our wildlife is having a tough time. Food is less plentiful, temperatures are higher. It’s affecting breeding, behaviour, and patterns of migration.
AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear our wildlife correspondent MARTIN COHEN explain the impact on the creatures of far north Queensland.
More about Dr Martin Cohen at http://www.wildaboutaustralia.com/
And a bursary has been established in memory of Martin’s life and business partner, the late Julia Cooper, who died of a rare auto-immune disease in 2011. The bursary will be available to post-graduate students at James Cook University. Read more at http://rdontheroad.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/the-julia-cooper-memorial-wild-life-research-bursary/
or make a tax-deductible donation at http://alumni.jcu.edu.au/new-site-2012/donations/julia-cooper-memorial-wildlife-research-bursary-information
We are setting up a podcast of Martin’s regular segment on ABC Far North. Search on your podcast app or via the iTunes store in the coming days.