Biodiversity

Science Insights — Biodiversity

A note to my Yarns from the Farm Readers—I’ve started another series for our local newspaper on biodiversity. This is the first installment.”

Cheers, Nan

Previous Series —
A Climate Basics Series

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist
who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands, Tasmania since 2000


1. Biodiversity Introduction

“In the next few Science Insights we’ll explore the meaning and importance of biodiversity—literally “life variety”.  We’ll put it into context in Tasmania’s agricultural as well as world heritage environments, and examine ways to preserve and enhance it.”


A sheep grazing on a small bush.

2. Biodiversity and Nutrition

“…mamas teach their babies where to find what they need, and how to know when to eat which plants.”


Sheep grazing in a hilly, brownish pasture.

3. Biodiversity and Weeds

“In the world of Dr. Seuss, weeds would be plain-belly sneetches. Their close relatives, the star-belly sneetches, would be the rest of the plants—the ones we think we want around.”


Cover of A Sand County Almanac. Drawing of a waterfowl in a marsh.

4. Thinking Like a Mountain

“Aldo Leopold argued eloquently for the idea of human obligation to maintain the health of the land through what he called a conservation land ethic—the concept that land is to be loved and respected.”


Hilly scrub countryside of Tasmania, AU

5. Enhancing Biodiversity: Taming Gorse

If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.
—Thumper from ‘Bambi’

“Surprisingly, there are several nice things I can say about gorse, despite its notorious dominance in the woody weed stakes for Tasmania.”


A peaceful river scene with trees overhanging.

6. Enhancing Biodiversity: An Ounce of Prevention —
Taming the Virus

I got so excited about getting my vaccination, I decided to write this article for our local newspaper, rather than the one I was planning for this issue. Getting my jab makes it possible for me to do a long-planned hike in the Northern Territory, and under the new rules.”
Image is copyright from David Houlder, used by permission.


The image captures the line of bubbles the whale leaves as he creates an acoustic net to trap small fish and then scoop them up.

7. Enhancing Biodiversity 2: Grazing

“. . . grazing in farmland and bush is, like chocolate and carbon dioxide, a good thing in moderation.”


Enhancing Biodiversity: Bush Tucker

8. Enhancing Biodiversity: Bush Tucker

“Indigenous knowledge about the biodiversity of the landscape is critical to our ability to adapt to the coming challenges of climate change. “


A small fire in the Australian Bush.

9. Enhancing Biodiversity: Fire

“The millennia of experience that Indigenous Australians bring to this vitally important activity can guide us in enhancing native biodiversity. “