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Australian Geographic March - April 2020

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.

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

in this issue

3 min
making sense of our loss

AS WELCOME rain pelts down across many parts of southern and eastern Australia, many are left counting the cost of the 2019–20 record-busting bushfire season. And it may not be over yet. But good rains have eased the emergency in many of the worst-affected parts of the country, and in others there’s little left to catch fire again. Has it been Australia’s worst-ever bushfire season? How do we measure notions such as worst? Of course, it must start with loss of human life and this season we have lost 33 loved and valued individuals, among them nine brave firefighters contributing their time and expertise and ultimately their lives for the sake of others. Each one is a tragedy that radiates out – far beyond the name or face that we see…

1 min
ag subscriber benefits

IF YOU ARE a subscriber to AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC you are automatically a member and supporter of the Australian Geographic Society. A portion of each subscription goes towards supporting scientific and environmental research, conservation, community projects and Australian adventurers. Benefits include: ✓ Substantial savings off the magazine’s retail price ✓ 10% discount off all product purchases on our online store ✓ Invitations to exclusive AG Society events ✓ Discounts on travel and accommodation through AG partners ✓ 25% off selected cruises with Coral Expeditions ✓ A complimentary Paddy Pallin membership, entitling you to 10% off their full-priced items in-store and online…

2 min
notes from the field

Highly respected wildlife photographer Esther Beaton shot her first AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC feature in 1996, travelling to far north Queensland to document cane toads (AG 44). But her latest contribution (page 38) took her just a few kilometres from her NSW Central Coast home. “When I first heard of pearls being farmed in a local estuary, I assumed they were introduced and wasn’t very interested. But when I learned a native oyster that naturally grew here was involved, I was hooked,” Esther says. “Unlike other assignments with hardships like tough hikes or long hours, this job was ‘cushy’: no stomach-churning sea voyages, just motoring across glassy smooth estuary surface waters, seabirds wheeling overhead. To get my camera deep enough for the underwater shot I needed I had to lean a long…

1 min
featured letter

FINDING BILLY It was fascinating to see in Living memories (AG 153) the picture of a bread carter handing a loaf to a woman in 1935 during the Great Depression. We are reasonably sure it is my mother’s father, William Adnet Stonnill, who would have been about 32 at the time. He was of small stature, 5ft 4½in (about 1.64m) and was a sometimes successful jockey when young. We are in possession of a 1964 Buttercup Bakeries newsletter that features “Billy” when he was 70 and had clocked up 48 years of service! We also have a cutting from the Sunday Mirror of 8 March 1964 naming Buttercup Bakeries as employer of the year because Bill, having turned 70 and unable to get a car licence, was being kept on with his horse…

5 min
ag your say

FISH FAN As a subscriber I really enjoyed reading your feature Underwater and underrated (AG 154). Like Professor Brown, I too have grown up with pet fish such as goldfish over the years and not only have I enjoyed observing them closely but I have also found these beautiful, magnificent creatures to be absolutely intelligent! I’m glad I’m not alone and thank you, Professor Brown, for reinforcing this belief that fish are clever and intelligent. OLGA GEORGOPOULOS, MALVERN, VIC BE PREPARED The bushfires in our state and especially over in the east have weighed heavily on our minds over the last few weeks. Constant images in the media of terrible fires have prompted me to put further thought into fire protection at home. I wondered if an article of hope for the future could be…

1 min

In January, we highlighted the impact the recent extreme bushfires have had on Australia’s insect populations. Here’s what you had to say. PIP MORRISSEY So many of our native birds depend on insects as their main food source and breed when insects are plentiful…the flow-on effect of these fires is far-reaching. MICHAEL RHODES They may not be furry, cuddly or cute but are every bit as important in the great scheme of things. JAMES PACKMAN We regularly drive to Batemans Bay from Sydney… In summertime I need to put a bug screen on the front of the car. This summer? Not one noticeable bug splat. Nothing. ANGELA BENNETT Bugs are essential to our ecosystem – they play very important roles, pollinators, cultivators, composters – so we do need to worry about mass loss or extinction. JULIE SKINNER Insects we used…