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Australian Geographic September/October 2019

Australian Geographic, Australia’s premier geographic journal, brings you the best of the country from those who know it best. Discover Australia’s rich cultural heritage, its beautiful landscapes, its unique and diverse plants and wildlife, and explore outback towns and the true-blue characters who call them home.

Australian Geographic Holdings Pty Ltd
R 96,04
R 264,32
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
not good enough

WHEN WE hear the term deforestation, it is often accompanied by footage of dense tracts of Amazonian rainforests being illegally bulldozed or aerial images of vast palm oil plantations on once thickly forested equatorial mountain slopes that springs to mind. In Australia, it might suit us to believe our highly prized native forests are somehow safe from acts of environmental vandalism, but we would be wrong. In this issue we present a special report from Science and Environment Editor Karen McGhee on Australia’s alarming rate of native vegetation destruction. It’s a record that sees Australia regarded internationally as one of the hotspots of deforestation along with the Amazon, Borneo and the Congo. Landscape-scale tree clearing is a legacy of our colonial agricultural past and a price we paid to build a…

3 min
notes from the field

Glenn Singleman was “like a kid in a candy store” when asked to join the Five Deeps Expedition team. “They planned to use ‘the most significant vehicle since Apollo 11’ to visit the deepest point in the five oceans,” he says. “An invitation to join an expedition always means new friendships, new ideas, new places and new experiences in the wilderness.” Having had a long association with Glenn at AG, we weren’t surprised by his rather exclusive invitation. As a medical doctor and multiple recipient of AG Society adventure awards, Glenn is highly experienced in the needs of extreme adventure. He was also part of the only other recent attempt to reach the bottom of the deepest ocean. “As an expedition doctor I can’t wait to get emails or phone calls…

6 min
your say

MAILBAG WELCOMES FEEDBACK Send letters, including an address and phone number, to editorial@ausgeo.com.au or to Australian Geographic, GPO Box 4088, Sydney NSW 2001. Letters will be edited for length and clarity. WRITE TO US! Send us a great letter about AG or a relevant topic for the chance to be our featured letter and win an AG T-shirt. Featured Letter BOAB MYSTERY My mate Bill Edwards and I drove a split-screen VW Kombi to Port Hedland in 1968. Here is a photo of Bill topping up the tank while parked in the centre of Highway One somewhere near Broome. No need to pull over, there were very few vehicles before the highway was tarred. My recollection is that boabs were fewer, and more solitary. I was surprised when I revisited the north-west a couple of years ago…

1 min

In July, we profiled the incredible southern marsupial mole, a peculiar animal of the Australian outback. Here’s what you had to say. TRISH LEE Wow! I never knew about these little creatures; I know they exist but have never heard much about them. Very interesting article. CAROLINE NEWLYN I didn’t even know this animal was one of ours; we have some beauts, but this takes the cake. MICHELE DIX Our cute little marsupial mole looks as if it is straight out of J.K. Rowlings’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. MAT SPILLARD Let’s hope we don’t make this little fella extinct. DONALD GILLIS If it is really weird and not from the Galapagos Islands it’s usually from Australia. WAYNE TAYLOR Strange even by Australian standards; they could be right under our feet.…

1 min

Coastlines are dynamic environments, constantly shaped and reshaped by the high energy of breaking waves, like this force of nature crashing down onto the shallow seabed at North Avoca Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast. Taken from above using a drone, this stunning image was a finalist in the landscape category of the 2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. It can be seen, along with all the other best images from this year’s competition, at an exhibition at the South Australian Museum, Adelaide, until 10 November and at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, until 20 October.…

2 min
fat birds

FOR MOST OF US, getting fatter has bad health effects. But it’s good for the bar-tailed godwit, which can double its weight in a week or so, and then burn it off again in the same amount of time. The bar-tailed godwit is a large wading bird that breeds on the Arctic coasts and tundra of Scandinavia, northern Asia and Alaska. Flocks fly south to cross the equator and spend the northern winter in warmer climates, such as in New Zealand. In their search for the eternal summer, forever avoiding winter, they fly north again, leaving New Zealand in March. There are about 1.1 million of the species worldwide, each 37–41cm long (bill to tail), with a wingspan of 70–80cm. The males (190–400g) are smaller than the females (260–630g). When birds migrate long distances,…