The black-eared miner is an endangered honeyeater endemic to mallee woodland in south-eastern Australia. It is related to the much more distributed yellow-throated miner M. flavigula and the taxonomic status of the black-eared miner is the subject of some controversy, with some researchers considering it a subspecies of M. flavigula. Black-eared miners are co-operative breeders, living in colonies during the breeding season, dispersing into the bush during non-breeding periods. Little is known of their movements during these periods. Sites identified by BirdLife International as being important for black-eared miner conservation are areas containing intact mallee woodland in north-western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, they comprise Murray-Sunset and Annuello, the Riverland Mallee, Wyperfeld, Big Desert and Ngarkat. Black-eared miners are listed as endangered on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; the species' conservation status in the following Australian states follows: New South Wales: Listed as "Critically Endangered" by Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 as of May 2015.
South Australia: Listed as "Endangered" by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 as of June 2011. Victoria: Listed as "Threatened" by the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act as of April 2015 and as "endangered" on the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna. Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has been prepared. Calperum Station Gluepot Reserve Taylorville Station BirdLife Species Factsheet
South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres, it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, fifth largest by population, it has a total of 1.7 million people, its population is the second most centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are small. South Australia shares borders with all of the other mainland states, with the Northern Territory; the state comprises less than 8 percent of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in greater Metropolitan Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along River Murray; the state's colonial origins are unique in Australia as a settled, planned British province, rather than as a convict settlement.
Colonial government commenced on 28 December 1836, when the members of the council were sworn in near the Old Gum Tree. As with the rest of the continent, the region had been long occupied by Aboriginal peoples, who were organised into numerous tribes and languages; the South Australian Company established a temporary settlement at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on 26 July 1836, five months before Adelaide was founded. The guiding principle behind settlement was that of systematic colonisation, a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, employed by the New Zealand Company; the goal was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history is marked by economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, it is known for numerous cultural festivals; the state's economy is dominated by the agricultural and mining industries. Evidence of human activity in South Australia dates back as far as 20,000 years, with flint mining activity and rock art in the Koonalda Cave on the Nullarbor Plain.
In addition wooden spears and tools were made in an area now covered in peat bog in the South East. Kangaroo Island was inhabited; the first recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast was in 1627 when the Dutch ship the Gulden Zeepaert, captained by François Thijssen and mapped a section of the coastline as far east as the Nuyts Archipelago. Thijssen named the whole of the country eastward of the Leeuwin "Nuyts Land", after a distinguished passenger on board; the coastline of South Australia was first mapped by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin in 1802, excepting the inlet named the Port Adelaide River, first discovered in 1831 by Captain Collet Barker and accurately charted in 1836–37 by Colonel William Light, leader of the South Australian Colonization Commissioners"First Expedition' and first Surveyor-General of South Australia. The land which now forms the state of South Australia was claimed for Britain in 1788 as part of the colony of New South Wales. Although the new colony included two-thirds of the continent, early settlements were all on the eastern coast and only a few intrepid explorers ventured this far west.
It took more than forty years before any serious proposal to establish settlements in the south-western portion of New South Wales were put forward. On 15 August 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834, which empowered His Majesty to erect and establish a province or provinces in southern Australia; the act stated that the land between 132° and 141° east longitude and from 26° south latitude to the southern ocean would be allotted to the colony, it would be convict-free. In contrast to the rest of Australia, terra nullius did not apply to the new province; the Letters Patent, which used the enabling provisions of the South Australia Act 1834 to fix the boundaries of the Province of South Australia, provided that "nothing in those our Letters Patent shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation and enjoyment in their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands therein now occupied or enjoyed by such Natives."
Although the patent guaranteed land rights under force of law for the indigenous inhabitants it was ignored by the South Australian Company authorities and squatters. Survey was required before settlement of the province, the Colonization Commissioners for South Australia appointed William Light as the leader of its'First Expedition', tasked with examining 1500 miles of the South Australian coastline and selecting the best site for the capital, with planning and surveying the site of the city into one-acre Town Sections and its surrounds into 134-acre Country Sections. Eager to commence the establishment of their whale and seal fisheries, the South Australian Company sought, obtained, the Commissioners' permission to send Company ships to South Australia, in advance of the surveys and ahead of the Commissioners' colonists; the Company's settlement of seven vessels and 636 people was temporarily made at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, until
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family, Meliphagidae, of small to medium-sized birds. The family includes the Australian chats, friarbirds, wattlebirds and melidectes, they are most common in Australia and New Guinea, but found in New Zealand, the Pacific islands as far east as Samoa and Tonga, the islands to the north and west of New Guinea known as Wallacea. Bali, on the other side of the Wallace Line, has a single species. In total there are 187 species in 50 genera half of them native to Australia, many of the remainder occupying New Guinea. With their closest relatives, the Maluridae and Acanthizidae, they comprise the superfamily Meliphagoidea and originated early in the evolutionary history of the oscine passerine radiation. Although honeyeaters look and behave much like other nectar-feeding passerines around the world, they are unrelated, the similarities are the consequence of convergent evolution; the extent of the evolutionary partnership between honeyeaters and Australasian flowering plants is unknown, but substantial.
A great many Australian plants are fertilised by honeyeaters the Proteaceae and Epacridaceae. It is known that the honeyeaters are important in New Zealand as well, assumed that the same applies in other areas. Honeyeaters can be either nectarivorous, frugivorous, or a combination of nectar- and insect-eating. Unlike the hummingbirds of America, honeyeaters do not have extensive adaptations for hovering flight, though smaller members of the family do hover hummingbird-style to collect nectar from time to time. In general, honeyeaters prefer to flit from perch to perch in the outer foliage, stretching up or sideways or hanging upside down at need. Many genera have a developed brush-tipped tongue and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids readily; the tongue is flicked and into a flower, the upper mandible compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed. In addition to nectar, all or nearly all honeyeaters take insects and other small creatures by hawking, sometimes by gleaning. A few of the larger species, notably the white-eared honeyeater, the strong-billed honeyeater of Tasmania, probe under bark for insects and other morsels.
Many species supplement their diets with a little fruit, a small number eat considerable amounts of fruit in tropical rainforests and, oddly, in semi-arid scrubland. The painted honeyeater is a mistletoe specialist. Most, exist on a diet of nectar supplemented by varying quantities of insects. In general, the honeyeaters with long, fine bills are more nectarivorous, the shorter-billed species less so, but specialised nectar eaters like the spinebills take extra insects to add protein to their diet when breeding; the movements of honeyeaters are poorly understood. Most are at least mobile but many movements seem to be local between favourite haunts as the conditions change. Fluctuations in local abundance are common, but the small number of migratory honeyeater species aside, the reasons are yet to be discovered. Many follow the flowering of favourite food plants. Arid zone species appear to travel further and less predictably than those of the more fertile areas, it seems probable that no single explanation will emerge: the general rule for honeyeater movements is that there is no general rule.
The genera Cleptornis and Apalopteron treated in the Meliphagidae, have been transferred to the Zosteropidae on genetic evidence. The genus Notiomystis classified in the Meliphagidae, has been removed to the newly erected Notiomystidae of which it is the only member; the "Macgregor's bird-of-paradise," considered a bird-of-paradise, was found to be a honeyeater. It is classified in the Meliphagidae; the wattled smoky honeyeater, described in 2007, had been discovered in December 2005 in the Foja Mountains of Papua, Indonesia. In 2008, a study that included molecular phylogenetic analysis of museum specimens in the genera Moho and Chaetoptila, both extinct genera endemic to the Hawaiian islands, argued that these five species were not members of the Meliphagidae and instead belong to their own distinct family, the Mohoidae. Ford, H. A.. "Family Meliphagidae honeyeaters and Australian chats". In Higgins, Peter J.. K. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 5: Tyrant-flycatchers to Chats.
Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Pp. 457–461. ISBN 0-19-553258-9. Honeyeater videos on the Internet Bird Collection Meliphagoidea - Highlighting relationships of Maluridae on Tree Of Life Web Project
Lerista is a diverse genus of skinks endemic to Australia known as sliders. The genus is notable for the variation in the amount of limb reduction; the variation ranges from short-bodied forms with large legs bearing five toes, to elongate forms lacking legs. The body length of the lizards is 33–103 millimetres, their locomotion is linked to their body shape. The shorter skinks with prominent limbs travel on the surface. A phylogenetic tree of Lerista, derived from DNA analysis, reveals that limb loss has happened multiple times within this group. Limb loss has occurred recently, in the past 3.6 million years or so. The following species are recognized as being valid. Bell, Thomas. "Characters of two New Genera of Reptiles". Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1833: 98-99.. Herpetology - Limb reduction in Australian lizards
The Murray River is Australia's longest river, at 2,508 kilometres in length. The Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia's highest mountains, meanders across Australia's inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia, it turns south at Morgan for its final 315 kilometres. The water of the Murray flows through several terminal lakes that fluctuate in salinity including Lake Alexandrina and The Coorong before emptying through the Murray Mouth into the southeastern portion of the Indian Ocean referenced on Australian maps as the Southern Ocean, near Goolwa. Despite discharging considerable volumes of water at times before the advent of largescale river regulation, the mouth has always been comparatively small and shallow; as of 2010, the Murray River system receives 58 percent of its natural flow. It is Australia's most important irrigated region, it is known as the food bowl of the nation.
The Murray River forms part of the 3,750 km long combined Murray–Darling river system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, southern Queensland. Overall the catchment area is one seventh of Australia's total land mass; the Murray carries only a small fraction of the water of comparably-sized rivers in other parts of the world, with a great annual variability of its flow. In its natural state it has been known to dry up during extreme droughts, although, rare, with only two or three instances of this occurring since official record keeping began; the Murray River makes up most of the border between the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales. Where it does, the border is the top of the bank of the Victorian side of the river; this was determined in a 1980 ruling by the High Court of Australia, which settled the question as to which state had jurisdiction in the unlawful death of a man, fishing by the river's edge on the Victorian side of the river. This boundary definition can be ambiguous, since the river changes its course over time, some of the river banks have been modified.
West of the line of longitude 141°E, the river continues as the border between Victoria and South Australia for 11 km, where this is the only stretch where a state border runs down the middle of the river. This was due to a miscalculation during the 1840s, when the border was surveyed. Past this point, the Murray River is within the state of South Australia; the following major settlements are located along the course of the river, with population figures from the 2011 Census: The Murray River support a variety of river life adapted to its vagaries. This includes a variety of native fish such as the famous Murray cod, trout cod, golden perch, Macquarie perch, silver perch, eel-tailed catfish, Australian smelt, western carp gudgeon, other aquatic species like the Murray short-necked turtle, Murray River crayfish, broad-clawed yabbies, the large clawed Macrobrachium shrimp, as well as aquatic species more distributed through southeastern Australia such as common longnecked turtles, common yabbies, the small claw-less paratya shrimp, water rats, platypus.
The Murray River supports fringing corridors and forests of the river red gum. The health of the Murray River has declined since European settlement due to river regulation, much of its aquatic life including native fish are now declining, rare or endangered. Recent extreme droughts have put significant stress on river red gum forests, with mounting concern over their long-term survival; the Murray has flooded on occasion, the most significant of, the flood of 1956, which inundated many towns on the lower Murray and which lasted for up to six months. Introduced fish species such as carp, weather loach, redfin perch, brown trout, rainbow trout have had serious negative effects on native fish, while carp have contributed to environmental degradation of the Murray River and tributaries by destroying aquatic plants and permanently raising turbidity. In some segments of the Murray River, carp have become the only species found. Between 2.5 and 0.5 million years ago the Murray River terminated in a vast freshwater lake called Lake Bungunnia.
Lake Bungunnia was formed by earth movements that blocked the Murray River near Swan Reach during this period. At its maximum extent Lake Bungunnia covered 33,000 km2, extending to near the Menindee Lakes in the north and to near Boundary Bend on the Murray in the south; the draining of Lake Bungunnia occurred 600,000 years ago. Deep clays deposited by the lake. Higher rainfall would have been required to keep such a lake full. A species of Neoceratodus lungfish existed in Lake Bungunnia; the noted Barmah Red Gum Forests owe their existence to the Cadell Fault. About 25,000 years ago, displacement occurred along the Cadell fault, raising the eastern edge of the fault, which runs north-south, 8 to 12 m above the floodplain; this created a complex series of events. A section of the original Murray River channel immediately
Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae known as eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark, smooth, fibrous or stringy, leaves with oil glands, sepals and petals that are fused to form a "cap" or operculum over the stamens; the fruit is a woody capsule referred to as a "gumnut". Australia is covered by 92,000,000 hectares of eucalypt forest, comprising three quarters of the area covered by native forest. There most are native to Australia. One species, Eucalyptus deglupta, ranges as far north as the Philippines. Of the 15 species found outside Australia, just nine are non-Australian. Species of eucalyptus are cultivated in the tropical and temperate world, including the Americas, Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. However, the range over which many eucalypts can be planted in the temperate zone is constrained by their limited cold tolerance. On warm days, eucalyptus forests are sometimes shrouded in a smog-like mist of vaporised volatile organic compounds.
Eucalypts vary in habit from shrubs to tall trees. Trees have a single main stem or trunk but many eucalypts are mallees that are multistemmed from ground level and taller than 10 metres. There is no clear distinction between a mallee and a shrub but in eucalypts, a shrub is a mature plant less than 1 metre tall and growing in an extreme environment. E. vernicosa in the Tasmanian highlands, E. yalatensis on the Nullarbor and E. surgens growing on coastal cliffs in Western Australia are examples of eucalypt shrubs. The terms "mallet" and "marlock" are only applied to Western Australian eucalypts. A mallet is a tree with a single thin trunk with a steeply branching habit but lacks both a lignotuber and epicormic buds. E. astringens is an example of a mallet. A marlock is a shrub or small tree with a single, short trunk, that lacks a lignotuber and has spreading, densely leafy branches that reach to the ground. E. platypus is an example of a marlock. Eucalyptus trees, including mallees and marlocks, are single-stemmed and include Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest known flowering plant on Earth.
The term "morrell" is somewhat obscure in origin and appears to apply to trees of the western Australian wheatbelt and goldfields which have a long, straight trunk rough-barked. It is now used for E. longicornis and E. melanoxylon. Tree sizes follow the convention of: Small: to 10 m in height Medium-sized: 10–30 m Tall: 30–60 m Very tall: over 60 m All eucalypts add a layer of bark every year and the outermost layer dies. In about half of the species, the dead bark is shed exposing a new layer of living bark; the dead bark may be shed in ribbons or in small flakes. These species are known as "smooth barks" and include E. sheathiana, E. diversicolor, E. cosmophylla and E. cladocalyx. The remaining species retain the dead bark which accumulates. In some of these species, the fibres in the bark are loosely intertwined or more adherent. In some species the rough bark is infused with gum resin. Many species are ‘half-barks’ or ‘blackbutts’ in which the dead bark is retained in the lower half of the trunks or stems — for example, E. brachycalyx, E. ochrophloia, E. occidentalis — or only in a thick, black accumulation at the base, as in E. clelandii.
In some species in this category, for example E. youngiana and E. viminalis, the rough basal bark is ribbony at the top, where it gives way to the smooth upper stems. The smooth upper bark of the half-barks and that of the smooth-barked trees and mallees can produce remarkable colour and interest, for example E. deglupta. E. Globulus bark cells are able to photosynthesize in the absence of foliage, conferring an "increased capacity to re-fix internal CO2 following partial defoliation"; this allows the tree to grow in less-than-ideal climates, in addition to providing a better chance of recovery from damage sustained to its leaves in an event such as a fire. Different recognised types of bark include: Stringybark — consists of long fibres and can be pulled off in long pieces, it is thick with a spongy texture. Ironbark — is hard and furrowed, it is impregnated with dried kino which gives a dark red or black colour. Tessellated — bark is broken up into many distinct flakes, they can flake off. Box — has short fibres.
Some show tessellation. Ribbon -- is still loosely attached in some places, they can be firmer strips, or twisted curls. Nearly all eucalyptus are evergreen, but some tropical species lose their leaves at the end of the dry season; as in other members of the myrtle family, eucalyptus leaves are covered with oil glands. The copious oils produced are an important feature of the genus. Although mature eucalyptus trees may be towering and leafed, their shade is characteristically patchy because the leaves hang downwards; the leaves on a mature eucalyptus plant are lanceolate, petiolate alternate and waxy or glossy green. In contrast, the leaves of seedlings are opposite and glaucous, but many exceptions to this pattern exist. Many species
Great Victoria Desert
The Great Victoria Desert, an interim Australian bioregion, is a sparsely populated desert area in Western Australia and South Australia. The Great Victoria is the largest desert in Australia and consists of many small sandhills, grassland plains, areas with a packed surface of pebbles and salt lakes, it is over 700 kilometres wide and covers an area of 348,750 square kilometres from the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia to the Gawler Ranges in South Australia. The Western Australia Mallee shrub ecoregion lies to the west, the Little Sandy Desert to the northwest, the Gibson Desert and the Central Ranges xeric shrublands to the north, the Tirari and Sturt Stony deserts to the east, while the Nullarbor Plain to the south separates it from the Southern Ocean. Average annual rainfall is irregular, ranging from 200 to 250 mm per year. Thunderstorms are common in the Great Victoria Desert, with an average of 15–20 thunderstorms per annum. Summer daytime temperatures range from 32 to 40 °C while in winter, this falls to 18 to 23 °C.
The majority of people living in the region are Indigenous Australians from different groups including the Kogara, the Mirning and the Pitjantjatjara. It is the part of Australia with the most healthy indigenous population. Aboriginal populations have been increasing in this region. Young Indigenous adults from the Great Victoria Desert region work in the Wilurarra Creative programs to maintain and develop their culture. Despite its isolated location the Great Victoria is bisected by rough tracks including the Connie Sue Highway and the Anne Beadell Highway. Human activity has included some mining and nuclear weapons testing. In 1875, British explorer Ernest Giles became the first European to cross the desert, he named the desert after Queen Victoria. In 1891, David Lindsey's expedition traveled across this area from north to south. Frank Hann was looking for gold in this area between 1903 and 1908. Len Beadell explored the area in the 1960s; the Great Victoria desert is a World Wildlife Fund ecoregion and an Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia region of the same name.
As this area has had limited use for agriculture, habitats remain undisturbed while parts of the desert are protected areas including Mamungari Conservation Park in South Australia, a large area of pristine arid zone wilderness which possesses cultural significance and is one of the fourteen World Biosphere Reserves in Australia. Habitat is preserved in the large Aboriginal local government area of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara in South Australia and in the Great Victoria Desert Nature Reserve of Western Australia; the nuclear weapons trials carried out by the United Kingdom at Maralinga and Emu Field in the 1950s and early 1960s have left areas contaminated with plutonium-239 and other radioactive material. Only the hardiest of plants can survive in much of this environment. Between the sand ridges there are areas of wooded steppe consisting of Eucalyptus gongylocarpa, Eucalyptus youngiana and mulga shrubs scattered over areas of resilient spinifex grasses Triodia basedowii. Wildlife adapted to these harsh conditions includes few large mammals.
However, the desert does sustain many types of lizard including the vulnerable great desert skink, the Central Ranges taipan, a number of small marsupials including the endangered sandhill dunnart and the crest-tailed mulgara. One way to survive here is to burrow into the sands, as a number of the desert's animals, including the southern marsupial mole, the water-holding frog do. Birds include the chestnut-breasted whiteface found on the eastern edge of the desert and the malleefowl of Mamungari Conservation Park. Predators of the desert include the dingo and two large monitor lizards, the perentie and the sand goanna. Deserts of Australia List of deserts by area Nullarbor Plain Tallaringa Conservation Park Shephard, The Great Victoria Desert: north of the Nullarbor, south of the centre, Reed Books, ISBN 978-0-7301-0485-8 Joseph, Leo. Department for Environment and Heritage.