Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Tammar tales

A long chain of islands and shoals form the Houtman Abrolhos. The Abrolhos, as they are commonly called, are well-known for stunning corals, birds, lobsters and for being the site, in 1629, of the Batavia shipwreck and subsequent massacres.

The lobster season is a short and profitable, and many of the families involved move out to the Abrolhos for the three months. Shack communities with associated jetties have been built on a few of the islands. One has a church, and there is a school on North Island.


North Island, Abrolhos

In recent years several Tammar Wallabies were taken by fisherman to their fishing village on North Island. The Tammar Wallaby is so cute, with little legs like the Quokka on Rottnest Island. It used to be much more common across the west and south of Australia but is now much rarer. They still exist naturally on two of the Abrolhos islands - some of the shipwrecked passengers of the Batavia survived because of the existence of water and the wallabies on West Wallabi Island.

Tammar Wallaby

The wallabies liked their new home on North Island– there was water, a lot of low vegetation (their preferred habitat) and extra food treats from the fishing families. Their numbers increased tremendously and the result has been devastating on the environment. Several fenced-off plots have been established to illustrate and study the effects of the over-grazing, and now the wallabies are being removed from the island completely.


Tammar-proof fence

On our recent visit to North Island we saw the wallabies, even though they are nocturnal, and the effect they are having on the vegetation. Thankfully the control measures are not too late. The vegetation will recover.


2 comments:

Hesp said...

Hi,

Would you be interested in releasing your excellent photographs under a suitable copyleft licence, so that that can be used on Wikipedia?

Have a look at the articles on North Island, Houtman Abrolhos and Tammar Wallaby for examples of articles that would be greatly improved by permission to use your photos.

Cheers, Hesp.

boobook48 said...

Hi Hesp
I'm happy for the photos to be used and I have several other fauna shots you might be intersted in. What's the process?