WONDER A DAY 10: Dilemmas pets and the Environment

meeting tickle the gecko
meeting tickle the gecko: (c) June Perkins

To those who follow my blog regularly you will know pets figure strongly in my children’s lives, but it’s not just pets  – all animals they come into contact with  interest them.

This photograph is of a gecko with my daughter – my kids just love them, especially the mini ones with lovely patterns on them.  One day I spent a whole day in the library reading about all the different types and looking at pictures.

I’ve heard some people say how much they loathe geckos for the little trails they leave lying around, and even that they swat them just like flies.   I remember someone visiting us and even being scared of them, I kid you not.  This makes me sad.

Animals in the wrong habitat become pests.  Yet, in their own habitat they are needed, wonderful, and a neccessary part of the ecosystem.  Asian house geckos are not natives and yet they also love the Queensland environment.  I am not sure if they are considered pests.  Yet even the most endangered species when a threat to your local village is something to be avoided – ie think of human eating tigers.

However canetoads and mynah birds are considered pests ! Dilemma my kids own an Indian mynah bird.  In the natural Queensland environment it is a destroyer, we keep it in a cage, and the house, and stop it from wreaking havoc, rather like people who own cats (who even though I love them tend to destroy so much native wildlife.)

Our mynah bird thinks it is a kitten and  is quite a character, but I often think of people who have taken animals not native to a land and created environmental havoc out of their love for that creature that reminds them of home or was good tucker at home.  Hmm let’s see rabbits!

Still the mynah bird did not choose to be here, and the measures to control outbreaks of ‘pest creatures’can be complex and even cruel in some cases.  It is a massive topic this idea of balance, preserving wildlife, and seeing it as an issue so close to home can even be unsettling.

So much contention – the cuter something is the more we want to preserve it, or save it – the less obvious the more ugly a pest the easier to actively stamp out,   it is so easy to hate the cane toad!  Yet, in the right space, and place they should not be destroyed.

Are your pets native environment friendly?

If not how do you protect nature from them?

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved

Wonder a day 5: Country Life

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Walking Country Life (c) June Perkins

It was just one of those days you don’t forget.  We went for afternoon tea at the Galeanos and then it was off for a drive around the farm to look for the evidence of crocodile nests.

The kids enjoyed being perched on the back of the truck, looking over the top of the cane and getting to know the some new kids they hadn’t met before.  When we first arrived they were a bit shy although the two girls were happy to chat to everyone from the start.

By the end of our tour of the areas near where the Galeano’s live the kids chatter was lively and animated.  So much so that later the youngest of them all – a grandchild of Pam and Joe’s – said – ‘you’re not going yet.’  Which we weren’t because there was watermelon, trampolining, sunset pictures and watching a video of crocodile eggs being hatched in 2001.

I enjoyed chatting with Pam and being with two other keen photographers, Pam and her granddaughter.  We found crabs in the mangroves, light on cane, and patterns in nature to photograph.  The perfect timing to with a setting sun that was to die for, well photograph with happiness anyway.

As for David he was having a good yarn up guided tour with Joe, who was enjoying having a group to talk to all about one of his great loves – the crocodile and crocodile conservation.

My daughter declared crocodiles are so cute, after seeing the video of them as little ones.  She felt this was totally amazing and wouldn’t it be lovely to have  pet one.  Of course they are much better off in the wild crocodiles.  Humans often fear them but they are an important part of the food chain to keep it all in balance.

It was a great day, one those you just don’t forget, one of the wonders of country life.

What’s a day in your memory you will never forget?

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A lone tree on the farm (c) June Perkins