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Citizen science, where are the insects?


FOR MANY, CHRISTMAS means Mariah Carey songs on repeat, hot weather and flashes of green and yellow insects in our gardens. But in recent years Christmas beetle sightings appear to be dwindling. A new online study is hoping to recruit community scientists and budding entomologists to help track and count the beetles. Tanya Latty,

Some self-reflection


“WE TEND TO THINK animals are lower than us, but all the scientists in the world couldn’t design and operate a bumblebee’s wing. We can’t jump or run very fast, and we can’t carry vast weights like an ant can. We can’t see in the dark and we can’t fly

The Dogs that Made Australia


THE DOGS THAT Made Australia is a meticulously well researched book by NSW author and dog behaviourist Guy Hull. Published by Harper Collins, it traces the role of dogs in Australia’s nation building. Some of the dog-assisted endeavours described are misguided long-term failures such as the development of kangaroo dog breeds

On living with animals in the present age


The Grass Library THE EDITOR HAS been kind enough to suggest I review my own book. I’m reluctant, but I’m also reluctant to lean on a friend to do it for me. I suspect authors review their own books more often than we know, under pseudonyms, but also that they tend

The Golden Possum!


WE RECENTLY HAD a very special possum brought in to the clinic. She’s a rare golden variety of the Common Brushtail Possum. The golden colour occurs due to a mutation which causes a low level of the pigment melanin which gives them their normal colour. They are so rare in



Maria Taylor visits two local heros of animal medicine and welfare in south-east NSW in this excerpt from her forthcoming book. THERE ARE A lot of kangaroos in my neighourhood on the fringes of the national capital. The countryside is rural residential — a mix of hobby-block farming, people who feed