I was absolutely devastated today, to earn that the wilderness areas in Tasmania that I spent a lot of time in, in my youth, are now being decimated by the bushfires that have been burning there since early January, 2016.
This World Heritage area is home to unique alpine flora including pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old.
Experts are saying that the whole eco system is going into collapse, as the species of flora that grow there are not adapted to fire. They are from the earliest known periods of plant life known to man, dating back to the Gondwana/cretaceous period. They are the food and homes for fauna species such as wallabies, wombats, bandicoots, quolls etc, who cannot survive with out them.
It breaks my heart to think that this is happening on or watch. The fires started from lightning strikes, but are being categorised as “not natural”. Why?
Because global warming has created the situation where the peat heavy ground (usually very moist in Tasmania) has dried out to such an extent, that the very ground itself is burning.
I have been telling my son Arlo, stories about this wilderness since he could listen to them, and have been planning to take him there to see for himself. To see him run wild in that landscape is a dream I’ve been holding for us. I hope we will still get to see at least some of it.
Unfortunately it seems that we are witnessing the end of an era.
I don’t have any answers, nor am I going to stand on a soap box and rant about climate change. If you can’t see the effects with your own eyes, I can’t help you.
I just have a very heavy heart.
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