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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Invasive species

Rabbits adapting to eat snow gum leaves

This is a worrying development. Research by the legendary Ken Green shows that rabbits are now moving into snowy mountainous areas by adapting to survive on snow gum leaves when there is limited availability of grass. These are generally toxic to most animals.

The following article by Alice Klein comes from New Scientist.

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Summer Hawkweed Surveys

Many Mountain Journal readers will know that Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Parks Victoria organises a series of Hawkweed surveys on the Bogong High Plains each year. If you love the Victorian Alps, the surveys are a great way to do something practical to support the ecological integrity of the mountains.

The following information comes from Parks Victoria:

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Ethics, Culture and Wild Horses

Mountain Journal has often featured pieces on the issue of wild horses in the Australian High Country.

Public debate has hit a recent high point because both Victoria and NSW have updated their positions on horse management, with both states noting the significant negative environmental impacts of this introduced species.

The following article comes from The Conversation, and is by ecologist Don Driscoll who notes that while many in Australia hold a ‘cultural affiliation with horses’ there are other ways to celebrate this connection than ‘by having horses in fragile alpine ecosystems where they cause environmental damage’.

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Victoria to increase aerial baiting for wild dogs

The Weekly Times reports that the Victorian government will give a major boost to aerial baiting in the state budget due later this month. It is not clear which areas will be focused on, but the Alpine National Park can be expected to be a key location given dog numbers, and statements by the minister that there will be baits laid in ‘hard to reach’ areas. In another land management development, the government has also announced it will work with the Australian Deer Association to cull deer.

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