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Australian Wildlife On Your Doorstep
After a successful career as a freelance journalist, travel writer, and photographer for more than 25 years I turned my attentions to the creation of a book, and my first work, Australian Wildlife On Your Doorstep’ was released by New Holland Publishers in May 2019.
The book, with its engaging text and more than 300 stunning images, opens the door to the amazing world of nature and reveals the astounding diversity of wild creatures that can be discovered right on the doorstep of every Australian home.
Approximately 100 species are shown in their natural habitat, with the majority of the birds, mammals, reptiles, frogs, insects and spiders featured being part of the wildlife community within my extensive garden, with others discovered in national parks, coastal regions, city parklands and urban backyards within a 50km radius of the wildlife haven that I have created.
Written in a language that’s easy to comprehend and devoid of scientific jargon, it offers more than a bland description of each creature’s physical characteristics and lifestyle, for it provides information on where to find these unique species, many of which thrive in diverse habitats across the continent, and how to attract wildlife to a garden, in addition to fascinating and little known facts about these remarkable creatures, and the history of their discovery by early European settlers and explorers.
For example, did you know that a Rainbow Lorikeet shared James Cook’s epic voyage in 1770 and became the first Australia bird to spread its wings over British shores; that an echidna can devour 200 grams of termites in merely 10 minutes; that Green Tree Frogs are occasionally blue or yellow; and that dragonflies can fly at up to 80km/h and have the ability not only to hover in mid-air, but also to fly backwards.
Australia is home to a greater diversity of wildlife than any other developed country, but the actions of the human race have had a dramatic impact on every species, and with many having become extinct in the last 200 years, and others teetering on the edge of the abyss of extinction, the future of the nation’s unique wildlife is far from secure.
Feral cats, with a population of around 6.3 million, slaughter a million birds every day. More than 4,000 koalas, with their habitat being relentlessly destroyed, are killed by dogs and cars each year. And with the world’s oceans contaminated with vast amounts of plastic, it’s estimated that, by the year 2050, 95 per cent of all Australian seabirds will become the victims of pollution. But there’s good news on the horizon, for although some species struggle to survive, others have adapted well to the changing environment and have set up home in suburbia.
With hints of humour blended with serious concepts, this book, with its awe-inspiring images, provides a delightful insight into the lives and stories of some of the most spectacular creatures on the planet, creatures that are right on the doorstep of each and every one of us, if we take the time to explore our own backyard.
The book is available from book shops and online retailers.