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In the Winter 2022 edition of Wildlife Australia ...

Wildlife can be very good for people — even if just to admire. People can also learn from wildlife. It is rarely the other way around.

Take two stories in this edition, written by readers Kane Thornton and Peter Lindenmayer. Each writer discovered a bird species that had a profound and lasting impact on his life. For Kane, it helped him escape from the long oppression of COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne.

For Peter, his discovery of eastern curlews, as a teenager, encouraged a life of wading bird watching and travel — and likely led to his becoming an author. He has just released a children’s book on curlews, Malishka — a Curlew comes back to our coast.

Karin Cox’s story on Queensland Glider Network (QGN) highlights a ‘just-in-time’ project to improve dilapidated and exploited habitat vital to the survival of gliders. With the disappearance of old eucalyptus trees, whose hollows only emerge with age, so have the gliders that shelter and breed in them. QGN volunteers are building and positioning nest boxes for gliders and other species to utilise in the meantime.

Keeping humans out of natural areas you aim to conserve is one thing, but making sure these wildlife-rich areas actually are set aside, in a timely manner, is another.

Take the incorporation of Queensland’s Yurol Ringtail State Forest into the Tewantin National Park. It is happening ‘just-in-time’ after 60 years of lobbying by conservationists.

Wildlife Queensland policies and campaigns manager, Des Boyland made this observation: “Doubling the size of Tewantin National Park is an admirable start, but the future of the koala, Richmond birdwing butterfly, greater glider, yellow-bellied glider and spotted-tailed quoll — if indeed the latter still has a future on the Sunshine Coast — depends on many more such additions to Queensland’s Protected Area Estate.”

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