Eucalyptus regnans, known variously as mountain ash, swamp gum, or stringy gum, is a species of Eucalyptus native to Tasmania and the state of Victoria in southeastern Australia. It is the tallest flowering plant and one of the tallest trees in the world, second only to the coast redwood of North America. A straight-trunked tree with smooth grey bark, but with a stocking of rough brown bark from 5 to 20 metres above the ground, it grows to 85 metres, with the tallest living specimen, the Centurion in Tasmania, standing 100.5 metres tall. White flowers appear in autumn. Victorian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller described the species in 1871. Eucalyptus regnans grows in pure stands in tall wet forest, sometimes with rainforest understorey, in temperate areas receiving over 1,200 millimetres of rainfall a year, on deep loam soils. A large number of the trees have been logged, including those higher than trees of any species now living. One specimen over 132 metres high was recorded in Victoria. Although it is killed by bushfire, Eucalyptus regnans regenerates from seed and has a lifespan of several hundred years.
Mature Eucalyptus regnans-dominated forests have been found to store more carbon than any other forest known. Known in the timber industry as Tasmanian oak, E. regnans is logged for its wood, grown in plantations in New Zealand and Chile as well as Australia. Victorian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller described Eucalyptus regnans in 1871, using the Latin regnans "ruling" as its species epithet, he noted: "This species or variety, which might be called Eucalyptus regnans, represents the loftiest tree in British Territory." However, until 1882 he considered the tree to be a variety of Eucalyptus amygdalina and called it thus, not using the binomial name Eucalyptus regnans until the Systematic Census of Australian Plants in 1882, giving it a formal diagnosis in 1888 in Volume 1 of the Key to the System of Victorian Plants, where he describes it as "stupendously tall". Von Mueller did not designate a type specimen, nor did he use the name Eucalyptus regnans on his many collections of "White Mountain Ash" at the Melbourne Herbarium.
Victorian botanist Jim Willis selected a lectotype in 1967, one of the more complete collections of a specimen from the Dandenong Ranges, that von Mueller had noted was one "of the tall trees measured by Mr D. Boyle in March 1867."Genetic testing across its range of chloroplast DNA by Paul Nevill and colleagues yielded 41 haplotypes, divided broadly into Victorian and Tasmanian groups, but showing distinct profiles for some areas such as East Gippsland, north-eastern and south-eastern Tasmania, suggesting the species had persisted in these areas during the Last Glacial Maximum and recolonised others. There was some sharing of haplotype between populations of the Otway Ranges and north-western Tasmania, suggesting this was the most area for gene flow between the mainland and Tasmania in the past. Eucalyptus regnans is known as the mountain ash, due to the resemblance of its wood to that of the northern hemisphere ash. Swamp gum is a name given to it in Tasmania, as well as stringy gum in northern Tasmania.
Other common names include giant ash, stringy gum, swamp gum and Tasmanian oak. Von Mueller called it the "Giant gum-tree" and "Spurious blackbutt" in his 1888 Key to the System of Victorian Plants; the timber has been known as "Tasmanian oak", because early settlers likened the strength of its wood that of English oak. The brown barrel is a close relative, the two sharing the rare trait of paired inflorescences arising from axillary buds. Botanist Ian Brooker classified the two in the series Regnantes; the latter species differs in having brown fibrous bark all the way up its trunk, was long classified as a subspecies of E. regnans. The series lies in the section Eucalyptus of the subgenus Eucalyptus within the genus Eucalyptus. Hybridisation with messmate is not uncommon and has been recorded from several sites in Victoria and Tasmania. Hybrids with red stringybark occur in the Cathedral Range in Victoria; these trees resemble E. regnans in appearance. They have the oil composition of E. macrorhyncha.
An evergreen tree, Eucalyptus regnans is the tallest of the eucalypts, growing to 70–114.4 m, with a straight, grey trunk, smooth-barked except for the rough basal 5–20 metres. Mature trees have long strips of bark hanging from the trunk; the trunk reaches a diameter of 2.5 metres at breast height, develops a large buttress. Some individuals attain much greater diameter; as a consequence of being both the tallest and thickest Australian trees, E. regnans is the most massive. The crown is small in relation to the size of the rest of the tree. Arranged alternately along the stems, the adult leaves are falcate to lanceolate, 9–14 centimetres long and 1.5–2.5 centimetres broad, with a long acuminate apex and smooth margin, green to grey-green
Churchill National Park
The Churchill National Park is a national park located in the Greater Melbourne region of Victoria, Australia. The 271-hectare national park is situated 31 kilometres southeast of Melbourne adjacent to the suburb of Lysterfield South, which lies between Rowville and Endeavour Hills in the far north of the City of Casey; the national park is near the Monash Stud Road. When combined with the adjacent Lysterfield Park, the two parks comprise 1,668 hectares in the Dandenong Valley and the Dandenong Ranges that are a haven for native birds and reptiles, provide recreational opportunities. Established on 12 February 1941 as the Dandenong National Park, the park was renamed in 1944 in honour of Sir Winston Churchill. There are tracks throughout the Churchill National Park for walking and jogging. One recommended walking track for a peaceful walk is Channel Track, surrounded by thick woodland and it runs beside the old aqueduct; the eastern boundary track is good for cycling and jogging. Bird watching is spectacular within the park by the dam along the northern boundary track.
The picnic ground has a unisex toilet and a shelter. Picnic grounds are provided on the end of the access road. Churchill National Park is famous for its 173 different species of birds, such as the Australian wood duck and the Pacific black duck. Most mammals are only active at night, so if you arrive early or leave late, you might be lucky enough to see one, such as echidnas and kangaroos. Echidnas are active during the day, searching for ants and grubs in the ground; the park, now Churchill National Park was once the police corps headquarters for blacktrackers and provided grazing land for the police horses. Many years it was known as the Dandenong Police Paddocks. In the 1920s, metropolitan development brought some change to the parklands, still known as Police Paddocks. Local stone was dug up for road metal and building material, a water supply channel was cut to Dandenong, the State Electricity Commission obtained a power line easement. Fire and the clearing of the area took place. In 1939 the area was set aside as the Dandenong National Park, gazetted in February 1941, renamed Churchill National Park in 1944.
An old quarry is located in the north west corner of the park, remains of the associated tramway and crusher foundations are still visible. The tramway was known as the Scoresby Tramway; the tramway was used to transport crushed rock from the quarry, it was constructed by the Dandenong Shire Council in 1912. The wagons travelled by gravity for most of the distance, when the topography leveled out, horses were used to draw the waggons; the quarry operated for three years, the tramway was removed after the cessation of quarrying. Protected areas of Victoria
Bushfires in Australia
Bushfires frequenT t events during the warmer months of the year, due to Australia's hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas. On one hand, they can cause property loss of human life. Certain native flora in Australia have evolved to rely on bushfires as a means of reproduction, fire events are an interwoven and an essential part of the ecology of the continent. For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians have used fire to foster grasslands for hunting and to clear tracks through dense vegetation. Major firestorms that result in severe loss of life are named based on the day on which they occur, such as Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday; some of the most intense and deadly bushfires occur during droughts and heat waves, such as the 2009 Southern Australia heat wave, which precipitated the conditions during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people lost their lives. Other major conflagrations include the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the 2003 Eastern Victorian alpine bushfires and the 2006 December Bushfires.
In 2013 the non-profit Climate Council reported that Global warming is increasing the frequency and severity of bushfires. The word "bushfire" builds on the concept of "the bush". Bushfires in Australia are defined as uncontrolled, non-structural fires burning in a grass, bush, or forested area. Australia, being a geographically and meteorogically diverse continent, experiences many types of bushfires. There are two main categories, depending on local topography. Hilly/mountainous fires – burn in hilly, mountainous or alpine areas which are densely forested; the land is less accessible and not conducive to agriculture, thus many of these densely forested areas have been saved from deforestation and are protected by national and other parks. The steep terrain increases the intensity of a firestorm. Where settlements are located in hilly or mountainous areas, bushfires can pose a threat to both life and property. Flat/grassland fires – burn along flat plains or areas of small undulation, predominantly covered in grasses or scrubland.
These fires can move fanned by high winds in flat topography, they consume the small amounts of fuel/vegetation available. These fires pose less of a threat to settlements as they reach the same intensity seen in major firestorms as the land is flat, the fires are easier to map and predict, the terrain is more accessible for firefighting personnel. Many regions of predominantly flat terrain in Australia have been completely deforested for agriculture, reducing the fuel loads which would otherwise facilitate fires in these areas. Common causes of bushfires include lightning, arcing from overhead power lines, accidental ignition in the course of agricultural clearing and welding activities, campfires and dropped matches, sparks from machinery, controlled burn escapes; the natural fire regime in Australia was altered by the arrival of humans. Fires became more frequent, fire-loving species—notably eucalypts—greatly expanded their range, it is assumed that a good deal of this change came about as the result of deliberate action by early humans, setting fires to clear undergrowth or drive game.
Plants have evolved a variety of strategies to survive bushfires, or encourage fire as a way to eliminate competition from less fire-tolerant species. Some native animals are adept at surviving bushfires. In 2009, a standardised Fire Danger Rating was adopted by all Australian states. During the fire season the Bureau of Meteorology provides fire weather forecasts and by considering the predicted weather including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and dryness of vegetation, fire agencies determine the appropriate Fire Danger Rating. In 2010, following a national review of the bush fire danger ratings, new trigger points for each rating were introduced for grassland areas in most jurisdictions. See for example the following glossaryFire Danger Ratings are a feature of weather forecasts and alert the community to the actions they should take in preparation of the day. Ratings are broadcast via newspapers, radio, TV, the internet; the Australasian Fire Authorities Council is the peak body responsible for representing fire, emergency services and land management agencies in the Australasian region.
The Rural Fire Service is a volunteer-based firefighting agency and operates as part of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is a volunteer-based firefighting,agency and statutory body of the Government of New South Wales; the Country Fire Service is a volunteer based fire service in the state of South Australia. The CFS operates as a part of Emergency Services Commission. Bushfires tend to occur near Adelaide. In Victoria, the Country Fire Authority provides firefighting and other emergency services to country areas and regional townships within the state, as well as large portions of the outer suburban areas and growth corridors of Melbourne not covered by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Responsibility for fire suppression and management, including planned burning on public land such as State Forests and National Parks, which makes up about 7.1 million hectares or about one third of the State, sits with the Department of Environment, Water an
Country Fire Authority
Country Fire Authority, or CFA, is a fire service in Victoria, with other fire services being Department of Environment, Land and Planning and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. The CFA provides firefighting and emergency services to rural areas and regional towns in Victoria, to portions of the outer suburban areas of Melbourne not covered by the MFB. Australian emergency services, including CFA, can be summoned to assist by dialling the primary emergency service telephone number, 000. Mobile phones allow a default emergency number, 112, to be dialled. Considered in terms of loss of property and loss of life, the Black Friday bushfires on 13 January 1939 fires were one of the worst disasters to have occurred in Australia and the worst bushfire up to that time. In terms of the total area burnt, the 1939 Black Friday fires remain the states second largest, burning 2 million hectares, 69 sawmills were destroyed, 71 people died, several towns were obliterated; the subsequent Royal Commission conducted by Judge Leonard Stretton has been described as one of the most significant inquiries in the history of Victorian public administration.
Its recommendations led to sweeping changes including stringent regulation of burning and fire safety measures for sawmills, grazing licensees and the general public, the compulsory construction of dugouts at forest sawmills, increasing the forest roads network and firebreaks, construction of forest dams, fire towers and aerial patrols linked by the Forests Commission radio network to ground observers. Premier Albert Dunstan and Forests Minister Albert Lind decided there was no alternative but to ask Judge Stretton to chair a second Royal Commission examining the deadly Yallourn fires in 1944; the report amongst many things highlighted a lack of cohesive firefighting ability outside the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade area. Legislation to establish the Country Fire Authority was passed on December 19 1944. On the same day, the State Premier Albert Dunstan announced that Mr A. M. King of Ballarat was to be appointed Chairman for the first year along with 12 members of the Board; the Board of the new authority met for the first time shortly after on January 3 1945.
They divided Victoria into 24 Fire Control Regions as well as appointing Regional Officers but the organisation had rocky first beginnings. The CFA took responsibility for fire suppression on rural land leaving the Forests Commission to focus on the public land estate; the CFA took responsibility for supporting existing fire brigades many of, established in the 19th or early 20th century. The CFA operates under the Country Fire Authority Act of 1958, as amended, its regulations; the Act has been amended many times since its initial establishment, most in September 2015. Since July 2013, fire services in Victoria have been funded by a fire service property levy on council rates; the CFA budgeted income for 2013–14 was $473m, of which $448m was provided by state government contributions, $25m was internally generated. Additional government funding can be provided for specific staffing or training improvements, major works, or during long-duration incidents; the CFA receives some funding from the provision of goods and services to external bodies, including Fire Equipment Maintenance.
Individual brigades receive further funds from local councils, from their own fundraising activities and through donations from the community. Brigades may invest money to serve as an interest-earning vehicle, providing financial security against fiscal downturns; some fire brigades hold large amounts of community funds to cover costs not met by CFA. These costs might include, but are not limited to, additional firefighting equipment, improving or replacing facilities and brigade-owned vehicles. Groups and brigades have worked together with district support staff to provide financial or practical support to brigades and groups in need; the Country Fire Authority is established under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958. The Authority is controlled by a board, falls under the portfolio of Victorian Legislative Assembly Member, The Honourable Lisa Neville, the Minister for Emergency Services since November 29, 2018. At 1 October 2018, CFA personnel included 34,597 volunteer firefighters, 1358 career firefighters, 1466 administrative and supporting paid staff.
The Authority is controlled by a 9-member board, which includes a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. CFA's current CEO is Dr Paul Smith. CFA's current Chief Officer is Steve Warrington, promoted from his previous position as Deputy Chief Officer; the CFA field of operations in Victoria covers an area of more than 150,000 square kilometres and a population of 3.3 million people. It divides its operations into 5 regions, which are subdivided into 21 districts; each District comprises Groups of Fire Brigades. The CFA regions are: Loddon Mallee Region —districts 2, 14, 18 & 20 Grampians Region —districts 15, 16 & 17 Barwon South-West Region —districts 4, 5, 6 & 7 Hume Region —districts 12, 13, 22, 23 & 24 Gippsland Region —districts 8, 9, 10, 11 & 27. CFA resources include 1,220 brigades, of which 941 are rural volunteer brigades, 204 urban volunteer brigades, 36 integrated brigades, 23 forest industry brigades, 17 coast guard brigades; the CFA's integrated fire brigades are in Ballarat City, Bendigo, Caroline Springs, Craigieburn, Dandenong, Frankston, Geelong City, Hallam, Hoppers C
Australian king parrot
The Australian king parrot is endemic to eastern Australia ranging from Cooktown in Queensland to Port Campbell in Victoria. Found in humid and forested upland regions of the eastern portion of the continent, including eucalyptus wooded areas in and directly adjacent to subtropical and temperate rainforest, they feed on seeds gathered from trees or on the ground. The Australian king parrot was first described by the German naturalist Martin Lichtenstein in 1818; the species belongs to the genus Alisterus, whose three members are known as king parrots. The species are sometimes allied to the genus Aprosmictus. Two subspecies are recognised, which are differentiated by size: A. s. minor A. s. scapularis Adults of both sexes are about 43 cm in length, including the long, broad tail. The adult male has a red head and lower undersides, with a blue band on the back of the neck between the red above and green on the back, the wings are green and each has a pale green shoulder band, the tail is green, the rump is blue.
The male has a reddish-orange upper mandible with a black tip, a black lower mandible with an orange base, yellow irises. The plumage of the female is different from the male having a green head and breast, a grey beak, the pale shoulder band is small or absent. Juveniles of both sexes have brown irises and a yellowish beak, otherwise resemble the female; the two subspecies are A. s. minor, found at the northern limit of the species range and is similar in appearance to the nominate subspecies but smaller about 5 cm smaller in length. On those rare individuals which have areas without melanin, feathers are orange to yellow; such a bird can look startingly different from green variety. Australian king parrots range from central Queensland to southern Victoria, they are seen in small groups with various species of rosella. Further from their normal eastern upland habitat, they are found in Canberra during winter, the outer western suburbs and north shore of Sydney, the Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland.
In their native Australia, king parrots are bred in aviaries and kept as calm and quiet household pets if hand-raised. They tend to be selective in their choice of seeds they eat and tend not to ingest small seeds in pre-packaged retail bags, they are unknown outside Australia. As pets, they have limited "talking" ability and prefer not to be handled, but they do bond to people and can be devoted. Life expectancy in the wild is unknown. Australian Parrots, by Forshaw, Joseph M. Illustrated by Cooper, William T. 2002, Third Edition, Alexander Editions, ISBN 0-9581212-0-6 Photographic Field Guide Birds of Australia. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, 7th Edition, Simpson & Day. World Parrot Trust Parrot Encyclopedia – Species Profile Australian King Parrot Australian King Parrot - Atlas of Living Australia - species page
Brisbane Ranges National Park
The Brisbane Ranges National Park is a national park in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, The 7,718-hectare national park is situated 80 kilometres west of Melbourne near the town of Meredith and is managed by Parks Victoria. The park covers part of an area of hills of moderate elevation; the park features a number of walking tracks, of which the walk through Anakie Gorge is the most popular. Other attractions include the Ted Errey Nature Wadawurrung walk. Flat and suitable for those of moderate fitness, the walk features views of the Gorge itself and the presence of koalas and wallabies in their wild state; some of the resident wallabies are unafraid of tourists and may study the passing visitors. In January 2006, lightning sparked a bushfire in the Steiglitz historical area which soon spread throughout the Brisbane Ranges. Despite lengthy efforts to control the fire from Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria and the Country Fire Authority fire fighters, the blaze incinerated 6,700 hectares of parkland and destroyed two houses without loss of human life.
A subsequent bushfire one year also threatened much of the national park. Protected areas of Victoria Parks Victoria official Brisbane Ranges site Friends of Brisbane Ranges
Baw Baw National Park
The Baw Baw National Park is a national park located on the boundaries between the Central Highlands and Gippsland regions of Victoria, Australia. The 13,530-hectare national park is situated 120 kilometres east of Melbourne and 50 kilometres north of the Latrobe Valley; the park borders the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort. Geographically, the Baw-Baw Plateau is a plateau of several peaks that includes Mount Baw Baw, Mount St Gwinear, Mount St Phillack, Mount Erica and Mount Whitelaw. Much of the slopes of the plateau within the national park form the catchment area for the Thomson River and the Thomson Reservoir, the Tanjil and Tyers rivers; the traditional custodians of the land surrounding Baw Baw National Park are the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Through their cultural traditions, the Gunaikurnai people identify the Baw Baw National Park as their traditional country; the area was first explored by Europeans in 1860 by botanist Ferdinand von Mueller. The area was settled after the discovery of gold in the area.
Baw Baw National Park was declared in April 1979. On 7 November 2008 the park was added to the Australian National Heritage List as one of eleven areas constituting the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves; the Baw Baw National Park represents the southerly extent of the sub-alpine environment on mainland Australia. The typical vegetation in the park is low-lying grasses and snow gums, this is described as sub-alpine. Fauna abounds on the foothills to Baw Baw Plateau, including Leadbeater's possum, endangered and Victoria's state fauna emblem; the critically endangered Baw Baw frog, listed on the IUCN Red List, is native to the region. The deciduous Baw Baw berry may be found on the plateau; the national park draws its name from Mount Baw Baw. In the Australian Aboriginal Woiwurrung language the name for the mountain was thought to be variously bo-ye, meaning "ghost". In the Bunurong language, the mountain was thought to be named Bore Bore and in the Gunai language, Bo Bo, both meaning "echo".
The major uses of the park are bushwalking in summer. It is popular for cross country skiing, downhill skiing, summer bushwalking and canoeing, scenic drives and picnics; the Australian Alps Walking Track traverses its entire length, starting at Walhalla and continuing north towards the Alpine National Park. The Baw Baw section takes a bit less than three days to walk with plenty to see for those interested in botany or geology; the highest peak in the park is a granite plateau standing at 1,566 metres. There is popular ski touring along the Baw Baw Plateau between Mount Baw Baw, past Mount St Phillack to Mount St Gwinear. There is a volunteer ski patrol group who run on weekends and patrol around the St Gwinear portion of the national park, they access the park from the opposite side of the plateau to the ski resort at Mount Baw Baw. Other popular skiing is Nordic skiing at Mount Baw Baw, introduced in 1972 including championship races and a ski school. Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves List of reduplicated Australian place names Protected areas of Victoria "Baw Baw National Park".
Parks Victoria. Government of Victoria. "Map of Baw Baw National Park, VIC". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia