19 September 2008

Little Penguins, Electrocuted Birds, Mauling Dogs, Bogong Moths, Spilled Oil and Artistic Inspiration

A visit to the the Manly Art Gallery, where the current exhibition is by Bruce Goold. The designer/printmaker displays woodcuts/linocuts of iconic Australian objects. Nautical themes and Aussie flora and fauna get mingled with sub-urban culture jamming. The fragipani, banana and (unfortunately) bamboo convey that coastal holiday feeling.

Some thoughts on the following themes seen there, which are relevant for the northern beaches:

'Telegraph crows' 1995 depicts Australian Crows getting electrocuted in power lines. Think about it every time you flick on that convenient switch, how many birds and other fauna get killed and crippled by this underdeveloped landscape feature bringing power to you.

The design with Bogong moths was very timely as they will start their annual migration next month. This gets too messy for tidy-town then.

Eora Rock engraving of Little Penguin, close to Lion Island
'Lion Island' depicts a Sydney nature reserve. On its beach is a Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) and a large poodle looking very canine. This ever-same theme of irresponsible people bringing their mostly degenerated canines into protected wildlife refuges that are of great biodiversity is unfortunately repeating. Maybe Lion Island will no longer have the 'largest penguin colony' in Sydney if the boat & dog community continue to defy the law.
The few remaining little penguins in Manly get regularly mauled by off-the-leash dogs. One of their 'habitats' at the Manly Cove is a busy human infrastructure with fireworks, bands and other mass events. The little bird needs to live in a partial marine and partial terrestial territory. This is the space where human impact in Manly is most noticeable.

Habitat for Manly's endangered Little Penguin population (pdf) , Manly Cove. More than a webcam needed here.

'Pasha Bulka' 2008 visualises the stranding of a huge cargo ship beached on a Newcastle surfing beach in 2007. 'Heavy fuel oil ' ran into the Pacific Ocean. Such scenarios are not unthinkable for the Manly region. For now, we get the sulphur particle emission from ships that are near Manly.

Outside the Art Gallery there were numerous very large motor bikes parked on the “pedestrian and bicycle path only”. Aerial garbage is a new thing here: Plastic kites in Manly Beach pines, a very long nylon fishing line dangling from a tall palm in front of the gallery, waiting for that next bird to entangle. Aqua-parking as far as the eye could see in Manly Cove, right along the penguin's feeding grouds. Wharf construction set the acoustic ambience.
See also Bogong migration incompatible with humans

- Endangered Population of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) at Manly, NP, pdf
- Caution: Electrocution! Suggested Practices for Bird Protection on Power Lines, BUND,
Update: 0709 The slaughter of 11 Little Penguins by a dog/s in their last mainland habitat on mainland NSW.

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