31 May 2007

Full moon surf

Whales visiting Manly - still

Whales are passing again on their long journey. Wednesday two Humpbacks were sighted. Today at around 5 pm two were sighted from North Head. As it was already dusk, it was too hard to distinguish if it was a Humpback or a Pilot Whale. Many of the motorised speeding boats did not seem to notice anything. At least there was no marina developer 'buzzing a humpback whale in a speedboat'.
These mammals have been doing their routes for 15-36 million years of their evolution and can become some 200 years old and have a language/dialect. Like a lot of other species they are being forced out of their habitat by us.This giant megafauna 'cloggs up' the shipping routes. Good news for human beings is, it is cheap meat with low production costs and 'advances science'. Additionally they can also be monetarised 'as a resource for tourism'. Paying audiences can have a good commercialised look from a noisy motorboat.

Just like in our motorised traffic it becomes near impossible to communicate to each other over motor noise. So with the whales, the noisy motors shred the syntax and block any of their cool remix mating songs. "A blue whale, which lives 100 years, that was born in 1940, today has had his acoustic bubble shrunken from 1,000 miles to 100 miles because of noise pollution".
Sonar military communication...”Causes hemorrhaging in their brains and lungs. They've found them bleeding from their ears, bleeding from their eyes...It kills them." Planned oil and gas mining in the ocean “Would expose whales to noise pollution, oil spills, chemical pollution, vessel collisions and entanglement with or ingestion of marine debris

About whalewatching, NSW
Leaving some personal space for them if you have to go near them
Learn more about marine mammals
Video: Destruction of 3000 whales p.a.
Update: 010607, 11:30 am Humpbacks of different sizes passing North Head/Manly.

30 May 2007

Bikes in Manly - towards sustainable mobility

Due to the insuffiencient number of bike racks in Manly, many cyclists have to resort to use the Corso palm trunks as posts. Unless the palm is not a dead stump, this will not be appropriate parking when going shopping. Some palms have introduced Mondo grass planted at their base which seems to keep most people off as it is such a hardy weed. Pity no indigenous alternative plant could be found.

But now there is a 24/7Guantanamo Bay for bikes'' in the Whistler St. CAR park.
There are also more bike paths in Manly now. Often people in motorised urban tanks hogg these paths. Outside the C.B.D., motorists show clear signs that they are not willing to share the road with non-motorised mobile people. The risk to health and life of not having physically-separated bicycle paths is a reality. Sustainable mobility must start with an urban concept.

29 May 2007

North Head - developments before & after...

The North Head of Sydney Heads appears like 'the edge of the world', 90 metres above the harbour and Pacific. “This unique habitat supports rare and endangered species such as the endangered Long-nosed Bandicoot, Brushtail and Ringtail possums, water rats, echidnas and reptiles. The headland also plays host to approximately 90 species of birds and over 140 native plants. “ (Harbourtrust)

Various human stakeholders are wishing to intensify and enlarge their ecological footprint. As previously reported, housing devlopment took place on bandicoot habitat. The necessary transportation for development and tourists in a hurry cause the death of many of the last bandicoots in this area.

The latest development plans for The Australian Institute of Police Management (image) on the heritage-listed North Head is now out of the hands of council and residents. The Institute of Police Management has been declared 'a state significant site'. The “.. institute's importance to national security made the need for quick redevelopment vital.” (Manly Daily)

So watch the dynamic map below developing...
The above still shot is of North Head now.

North Head, Sydney - sousveillance for bandi

Watch this place being developed here. Zoom right in & out with the navigation on the top left. Give feedback, leave a commentary if you spot something on this bandicoot sousveillance.

28 May 2007

World Environment Day, Dee Why Lagoon

The usual surroundings for an environmental event on the Sydney Northern Beaches. A hot sunny paddock and the humm of generators. Cars, dogs and prams and the smell of burnt meat. Many environmental services and goods and a lot of dead-tree info material. Many volunteers caring for (injured) wildlife.
The longest queue of people was for incinerated meat.

The frog display wanted to help frogs and teach how to look after them. The little things were in the sun in plastic-containers, knocked by zoo-trained kids.

The Flying Foxes, most injured, were looked after by volunteer-carers. Out of a habitat they would like to share the city and its fruit with us now. Where are the flowering watercourses now?

Distributing native/endemic flora to plant should make the entire area a habitat for native animals.
More than 60 ducks died recently from the condition of the coastal lagoon.
There is also a video of the event on the Manly Coop blog
Update: 290507 On this environment day, a lobby group for dogs on beaches !! defied Council's ban and did take a dog to the beach.The leader was fined. (Manly Daily)

Sydney , Dee Why environment day 270507

26 May 2007

Back again

The good news is there are a real lot of Figbirds (sound) in the remaining large fig in the Corso, even overpowering the cars at times. It is awesome walking at the beach, listening to the Pacific Ocean rolling on one side and the collaborative screeching of the Rainbow Lorikeets on the other.