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Tag Archives: crocodiles

MY CAPE YORK LIFE – A PODCAST OF GREAT STORIES FROM CAPE YORK PENINSULA

mcylI love good stories. This podcast series is full of them. It’s called My Cape York Life, made by Cape York NRM, launched on February 10. You can find My Cape York Life in your podcast app or stream/download here

And here’s a 60 second sample

Cape York Peninsula is my favourite place.I love its wide-open spaces, its earthy colours, its bone-jarring dirt roads. I admire the tenacious spirit of the people who call it home, and I love their stories.

cy-2012-547It’s not easy living and travelling on the Cape. It’s rugged, and beautiful, all at once. Distance and remoteness challenge notions of community and connection. My Cape York Life takes you to the Cape’s tropical savannas, lush rainforests, abundant wetlands, its magnificent coastline and pristine rivers. You’ll meet the fascinating people who live and work here and take care of this surprisingly fragile place. My Cape York Life will take you to the Wenlock River, Mapoon, Lakeland, Port Stewart, Wujal Wujal and more.

The stories are entertaining, inspiring, and often hilarious. You’ll hear about epic wet season adventures, close encounters with crocodiles, the Cape’s first attempt at helicopter cattle mustering, and the joys and challenges of living in remote and isolated places.

Late last year, my friends at Cape York Natural Resource Management and South Cape York Catchments decided to give the region’s land managers a place to tell and share their own remarkable stories. And My Cape York Life was born. Lyndal Scobell travelled the Cape, recording the stories. I was invited to do the editing and audio production – and I’ve loved every minute of it.

If you live on the Cape, have a connection to the place, you’ve travelled there or dream of doing the great red dirt adventure one day, My Cape York Life is for you. Search My Cape York Life in your podcast app, and you can stream & download from http://landmanager.capeyorknrm.com.au/content/my-cape-york-life

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LOCAL WILDLIFE INSPIRES KIDS BOOKS BY MISSION BEACH AUTHOR EVA MARIE WELSH

BSu2LhECYAIlgVTWhen you live away from the big cities, it’s rare to see your part of the world on TV, in books, movies – anything. We’re a long way from where most of these things are made. So it’s always a thrill to see far north Queensland getting a mention, or being the setting for stories in any medium.

FNQ author Eva Marie Welsh writes and illustrates books for children that are inspired by the wonderful wildlife of our region. Over the past few years, she’s given us Cassie the Cassowary, Croaky the green frog and Bobby the tree kangaroo. And Eva has some new books out, featuring a family of crocodiles and some platypus.

Eva was born in Germany, and had a career in the hospitality industry. She moved to Australia and eventually found her way to Mission Beach. She says her early attempts at painting were pretty ordinary, which is hard to believe when you look at the beautiful illustrations that feature in her books.

LISTEN to my interview with Eva Marie Welsh here

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, far north Queensland, People, rd on the road, wildlife and animals

 

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ARE THERE MORE CROCODILES NOW IN FNQ – OR JUST MORE OF US PEOPLE?

CROCODILES ARE NOT ALWAYS CAMERA SHY

CROCODILES ARE NOT ALWAYS CAMERA SHY

There’s been a pretty lively debate around far north Queensland in recent times about crocodiles. Well, it’s been going for decades, but has been re-ignited in recent times by croc sightings in close proximity to our large population centres, and especially around popular tourist destinations.

The estuarine or saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile and the most aggressive of all crocodiles.It loves brackish water, coastal environments and the lower stretches of rivers, so FNQ is the perfect place for the big salty. In the not too distant past, they were hunted and shot, leading to fears a species that has been with us since the time of the dinosaurs was on the brink of extinction. The law changed, crocodiles were afforded some environmental protection, and their numbers increased again.

Just how much they’ve increased is a much debated question. There’s a view among older folk here that when they were kids, you could swim safely in creeks and rivers that are now known crocodile habitats. Perhaps there’s a touch of nostalgia creeping in, maybe that was really the case. But many people believe there are a lot more crocodiles around these days and they want something done about it. When the new Queensland Government took office last year, it promised to address the issue, setting up a local advisory group to help manage crocodile populations and deal with so-called “problem” crocs.

Professor Craig Franklin is a member of that committee. He’s with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, where he’s extensively studied crocodiles and other reptiles. http://www.biology.uq.edu.au/staff/craig-franklin

Craig says crocodile numbers have not increased significantly, and if we are seeing more of them it’s probably because there are more of us, living closer to crocodile habitats than we used to when our towns and populations were smaller. LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Craig talk about how we should handle living alongside crocodiles, and whether culling or re-locating them would be effective.

Are you getting my best side?

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, Cape York Peninsula, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, wildlife and animals

 

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WORKING TOWARDS LIVING ON OUR COUNTRY – SAM ZARO AND DOROTHY SHORT OF NESBIT RIVER COUNTRY FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

IMG_1443Many of Australia’s remote indigenous communities are in towns and centres that began as church missions or places to which governments re-located indigenous people from their traditional lands. People were encouraged, or forced,  to move into those towns, which were often a long way from the country to which they belonged.

In more recent times, indigenous people have been looking for ways to return to their country, renew their spiritual connections with land, and have more control in shaping their future.

The “homelands movement”  dates back to the 1970s – and there have been success stories of people returning to live some or all of the time on their traditional country. But it’s not an easy journey.  It can be hard to access services, and almost impossible to make a living.

Here in far north Queensland,  there are people working towards making living on country viable, affordable, even profitable.

Sam Zaro lives at Coen, a tiny town on Cape York Peninsula, but his family’s country is a few hours drive east of there – on the east coast at Nesbit River. Sam sees a time in the not too distant future when his people will live on country, paying their way with appropriate business ventures and an eco-lodge designed to represent his people’s totem.

If you can use your suburban block of land to secure finance, Sam says he should be able to do the same with his country, to make a sustainable life there for his people.

Sam says it’s beautiful country around Nesbit River – the right eco-tourism venture could attract visitors from all over the world. And the crocodiles in the area brought one famous visitor years ago – the late Steve Irwin.

LISTEN Click on the red arrow to hear Sam and his nana, Dorothy Short, who has just made her first visit to her traditional country since she was a child.

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Pictures by Lyndal Scobell Cape York NRM and Suzie Cray ABC Open

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Aboriginal, Cape York Peninsula, community, Coral Sea, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, indigenous

 

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CROCODILE SPOTTING ON THE DAINTREE RIVER FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

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Have you ever seen a crocodile up close? There are plenty of opportunities to do it here in far north Queensland either in captivity or in the wild. There are several crocodile spotting operations on the Daintree River, about an hour’s drive north of Cairns. You’ll find them close to the Daintree River ferry crossing, and that’s where our wildlife correspondent Martin Cohen took me to meet Dave White and go croc-spotting on board the Solar Whisper. http://www.solarwhisper.com/

Dave was a carpenter in Sydney who moved to FNQ about 20 years ago and began working on reef boats and river cruises. He discovered a talent for spotting creatures in the wild and started his Daintree crocodile cruise business. His boat, as the name implies, runs on solar power and so makes very little noise, allowing it to get very close to the crocs. He’s also got a video screen on board fed by a camera that can give you amazing close ups of the crocs and other creatures that live on the river.

Crocodiles have survived since the dinosaur age, relying on a potent blend of strength and stealth that makes them a real danger to humans who enter their habitat. Like all who work with crocodiles, Dave uses his extensive knowledge of the local crocs and an understanding of their behaviour to get you close and keep you safe. Dave has seen crocodiles fighting each other, and one of the combatants bit his boat! The tooth-marks are still visible in the hand-rail.

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Martin and Dave take you on a Daintree River cruise. We meet Scooter, a teenage male crocodile, hear the story of the epic battle between Scarface and Fat Albert, and some thoughts on mangroves and how to manage crocodile populations.

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2 martMore 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 https://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

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Cairns Queensland, EFFINCUE, environment, far north Queensland, PODCASTS, tourism, tropical weather & climate, wildlife and animals, Wildlife Martin Cohen

 

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