Not In My Backyard!

Possum from australian-wildlife.com/Possum-information.html

Oh we do so love cuddly, furry animals. Cute, pink noses and adorable little faces – you just want to grab them and cuddle them!

But when they’re jumping on your roof in the night and eating the oranges and figs off your very own trees – well that’s not cute at all! In fact that’s a statement of war!

Possums and fruit bats spring to mind.

The Royal Botanical Gardens have decided to wage war against fruit bats. Colonies of thousands of bats have been living in the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the Sydney CBD for years. Apparently they have destroyed trees and they have to go. So the method to be used in this war against the bats is noise. Every day in the gardens, a siren will be blasted. The noise is so annoying to bats that they will have no choice but to relocate.

But where to?

If anyone thinks that they’ll be welcomed in the suburbs then they have another thing coming. We don’t want possums so we definitely won’t want fruit bats.

Sydney is undergoing an “epidemic” of possum-dumping. Those cute little roof-hopping animals are being illegally trapped and dumped far away from home. I don’t suppose the trappers care too much about the future prospects for the possums, but once a native animal is taken to new territory its chances of survival are slim at best. Animals are territorial and will attack any interloper.

Put yourself in their paws. Imagine being taken far from home and dumped in the middle of nowhere without means of support.  You can certainly expect a hostile reaction from the natives.

Wires staff has been called to rescue 1030 ringtail and 843 brush tail possums this year in NSW. But once they rescue them, what next? Unless they know where they originally came from they can’t return them to their original habitat.

Soon we’ll be having the same problem with the fruit bats that have been driven from the Botanical Gardens.

But why are we finding fruit bats and possums to be so problematic? It’s all because their own native environments have been denuded to make way for ever more houses.

On Friday 9 April Sylvia Hale of the Greens Political Party spoke at a packed meeting at Crescent Head about the State Government’s plans to develop housing on high value conservation land on the Goolawah Estate at Crescent Head.

Locals are angry that development would destroy an endangered ecological community, which is home to many native animals including koalas, glossy black cockatoos and quolls. All  governments (Labor or Liberal) care not a fig for keeping vast tracts of land development free – they look at them with dollar signs in their eyes. There is a lot of money to be made in development fees!

Meanwhile, in the suburbs, as we have moved further and further from nature we all seem to view nature as an enemy to our comfort.  Living in our little castles we are increasingly annoyed by anything and everything natural.

We call the pest control service to nuke mice, birds, mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, wasps at the drop of a hat. It would be impossible to live through an ant invasion.  No one bothers with natural preventative measures. Toxic chemicals are sprayed all over the house and then everyone is surprised at the huge incidence of chemical sensitivity and allergic reactions amongst children and adults. Not to mention how the chemicals poison our pets and the soil in our gardens.

My view is that we have more to fear from the toxic chemicals than we do from a cockroach. I bet more people have died from chemicals than have died from cockroaches. Admittedly ugly to our sensitivities, I suspect that cockroaches find us vile too.

I constantly hear about how people have waged war against their neighbour’s trees. Someone once told me that one Saturday they went to the pictures and returned to find that a tree in their garden had vanished. Not a leaf or even a stump remained. Either it had been transported by aliens to their space ship, or the neighbour had taken possession during their absence. My mother also has been under pressure from a neighbour who took delight in pouring oil and poison into the roots of her trees. These are not isolated incidents. Councils would be hearing similar stories every day of the week.

Money Tree - now would that be chopped down?

Noise pollution laws protect us from the most horrible of noises – the sound of a crowing rooster. Not so long ago (well at least in my lifetime) everyone’s grandparents had hens in the backyard. I used to think how lovely it was to wake up to the sound of a rooster crowing. Now, anyone living in the suburbs with a rooster on their premises will be fined a considerable amount of money – last I heard it was $10,000.

So why do we hate nature so much? Why have people so warmly embraced the Mac Mansion Houses that take up every centlimetre of land, leaving absolutely no room for a tree or even a shrub? What has nature done to us that makes us so resentful?

Personally I blame King Charlemagne. In 772  he chopped down Irminsul, the sacred tree of the pagans in England. Ever since that day we have been leaving the land and moving to the city. We have all lost our bond with nature. We don’t understand the traditional way of life of Aborigines, Native American Indians and native jungle dwellers. They all stand in the way of our greedy desire for their land. All have been persecuted and now all have huge numbers suffering from white people’s conditions – alcoholism, diabetes and a sense of hopelessness.

By and large we hate trees – they block our views and their roots block drains. Annoying wildlife lives in them. Possums, birds, squirrels, wasps and more all live in trees and they defecate on the clothes on our lines. They launch their nightly attacks on our rooves and they make noises.

The war we are waging on nature seems harmless enough to us today. The day will come when we will cry that we have no trees and we have no native animals. But when that day comes it will be too late.

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One response to “Not In My Backyard!

  1. Pingback: So what is the point of trees anyway? « Roslyn Motter – Children's Author

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