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Animals in the Wild


THE ANIMALS IN THE WILD photographic competition was held again this year. It is an initiative of David Shoebridge, Greens member of the Legislative Council who continues to offer practical support to the many people who oppose the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s granting of an extended lease of crown land to the SSAA for HuntFest, a controversial event which encourages gun ownership and glorifies animal killing.

“We are meant to see all levels of government actively trying to make Australia a safer place and not promoting  guns and shooting and killing with public land and council resources,” said Mr Shoebridge.

The alternative to HuntFest and one which many visitors to the south coast attended over the long weekend was Animals in the Wild -a life affirming celebration of Nature.

The various sections in the photographic competition included ‘The image that most conveys a connection with an animal in the wild in Australia’ and ‘ The image that conveys the threats facing native animals in Australia, along with the reality of environmental and habitat damage, hunting, and a culture of animal killing.’

There were more than 300 entries in this Australia-wide competition, of which the following examples have been taken from the ones displayed at Gallery Bodalla, along with the photographer’s own comments on his or her subject.

Flying Fox main image above: © Elizabeth Howell

Due to the decreasing habitat of the grey-headed flying fox they are now classified as a vulnerable species. This summer hundreds of bats died in the heat waves. This bat is seen skimming the water to get a drink on an extremely hot day.

Bettong by Nathan Beerkens. Blue Wren by Sue-Ellen Smith.Burrowing Bettongs: © Nathan Beerkens

Burrowing Bettongs are incredibly inquisitive and naïve. They were once one of the most abundant mammals in Australia. In the late 1800’s, they were described as “little wretches that could be easily shot as they emerged from their warrens”. Thanks to human pressure, habitat alteration, and introduced predators, they now only survive in feral-free conservation reserves and islands. I think this photo beautifully shows their naivety, which has made them such an easy target and led to their national demise. This animal walked straight up to me with no hint of anxiousness or fear. (Photo taken at the Arid Recovery Reserve, Roxby Downs, South Australia.)

Blue Wren, detail: © Sue-Ellen Smith

Nothing is going to stop this little bird from singing out loud. You have to admire its spirit, and wish I could hear its song. Its blue markings are striking and as for its upward pointing feathers, it’s a pretty cool bird in the wild.

(My comment: Maybe the Blue Wren is sounding a warning for our Nature Coast, and the words of the song are Protect our Wildlife!)

Koala by David Gallan. Eagle by Sally WilsonKoala: © David Gallan

This koala is recorded in the newly formed Murrah Flora reserve after years of campaigning to protect the small population of koalas in the south eastern forests of NSW.

Eagle: © Sally Wilson

The thought of all that voltage beneath an eagle’s nest and yet the bird stands proud. We can only wonder for how long as our eyes compare the organic structure to the cold geometry of man’s mechanical interventions.

WORDS: Susan Cruttenden.  IMAGES: Supplied.


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