Landscape Traps Gain Attention

A year ago I wrote a piece on the possibility Victoria’s forests have been logged into a landscape trap, making massive bushfires like Black Saturday nearly inevitable.

I was appalled that, as far as I can see, my article in Australasian Science on the topic was the second widest circulation media coverage this research had got. Considering that this was one of the most significant science stories in Australia, and that our readership is really pretty small, the fact that everyone other than the Canberra Times had ignored the issue was outrageous. (BTW the Canberra Times articles were excellent – exploring the issue in the depth it deserves).

It’s good to see that The Age has finally caught up with this issue. This article puts the focus too much on the leadbeater’s possum for my liking, and not enough on the general ecological damage highlighted by Lindenmayer’s work, but it’s great to see the issue covered at length in a major newspaper. I believe that Senator Richard Di Natale organised for journalists to travel to the forests with Lindenmayer, and presumably this article is the result – another demonstration of the capacity for parliamentarians to get issues on the agenda, even when they are massively outvoted on the topic.

While my readership is tiny compared to The Age’s, I would urge anyone who has not read this piece to do it.

And just to acknowledge I like Leadbeater’s possums too, here is a photo.

Just hanging on

Just hanging on

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About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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