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Showing posts from July, 2011

CANBERRA'S KOALAS

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It is interesting to note that Canberra has no Koala Bears. Sad but true, but up until the end of the 19th century (Federation) they were apparently quite plentiful. And then they disappeared, like the Rock Wallaby (locally extinct since the 1950's) after it . Sought after for their skins both were condemned to becoming an historical curiosity. Put simply they were hunted to local extinction.

Having said that Canberra since 1939 has been home to a small population of Koalas imported originally from Victoria and in recent years South Australia. Located at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, today I believe this population, having received two new residents, now numbers 9.

These two news clippings lamented the loss of the marsupial bear locally 30-40 years prior, about 1900-1910. I think we can be pretty specific about the generations to blame...

The Canberra Times - Tuesday 25 July 1939
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The Courier-Mail - Tuesday 25 July 1939

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EASTERN PYGMY POSSUM SIGHTED IN NAMADGI

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A local news forum, The-Riotact and the ABC lets us know of this recent sighting of a rare Eastern Pygmy Possum at a camping ground in Namadgi National Park. The female animal found at the Orroral camp ground is apparently only the 6th to be sighted in Namadgi with the last sighting being in 1998 in the same area.

Listed as a vulnerable species here it is good to know the ACT wilderness can still support this rare local species and so close to the camping ground. Unfortunately other tales have told of the demise of the spotted Quoll and Rock wallaby with the later having been already dispatched locally to history.

Luckily Namagi is a National Park and as such these animals are already afforded every protection. Left unmolested by feral foxes, cats and dogs (and us) I would hope these lovely creatures continue to exist.

The Australian Women's Weekly - Wednesday 31 January 1973


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The highlighting of the vulnerability of another member of the Pygmy Possum f…

CANBERRA BLACKS IN EARLY SETTLEMENT DAYS

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1927 was an interesting year in regard these clippings that generally discuss the Aboriginal people of the Canberra area around the time of European settlement. This clipping is an addition to the following 1927 dated posts The Canberra Blacks - Canberra Blacks - Canberra Blacks the Lost Tribe - First White Woman Healing the Blacks

I am not trying to be derogatory when referencing the term 'Black' in these articles just historically accurate. These clippings are representative of 20th century attitudes that I think we need a reminder of sometimes. The Aboriginal people being discussed in this clipping however are of course the Ngambri and I find it interesting that at the start of the article Bluett notes:

"The old people call it (Canberra) Canbrey, with the accent on the 'Can'. When writing of their early days they spell it 'Canbrey' or 'Canbury.' Undoubtedly the name is Aboriginal for the local settlers knew the local blacks as the Kamberry tribe…

GIANT WOMBAT TOOTH - A CANBERRA FIND

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This post is a continuation of Prehistoric marsupial traces at Canberra, a series of clippings reporting an archaeological discovery of a Diprotodon in Canberra. This clipping supplies some additional information on the tooth unearthed on the site of the original Institute of Anatomy building on the edge of Black Mountain. (ANU). 

It is interesting that mention was made that a skeleton might be found in the locality which would make sense to me if evidence had previously been found that 'giant wombats' once roamed the hills of Canberra. Other evidence must surely lie hidden one would think...

The Brisbane Courier - Thursday 29 August 1929

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THE TERROR OF ARGYLE'S TREASURE

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What if there was a Canberra mystery to be solved with historical artefacts worth today up to $2,000,000 as the prize? Whether you believe in the legend of the bushranger's hoard existing today or not I still think it's a bit of fun...
This is a tale of early bushrangers, hidden treasure and a rural ACT mountain. The story has definitely been embellished and distorted by the 'chinese whispers' of time but something deep down, to me at least, suggests a ring of truth behind events seen through different eyes and perspectives.
Born in Belfast Ireland John Tennant aged 29 was transported to the penal colony of New South Wales for life arriving in 1824. He was assigned to Joshua Moore of Canberry station (Canberra's first settler) before absconding and becoming an early bushranger in County Murray and earned the description of 'The Terror of Argyle'?

I actually don't understand why Tennant was called the 'Terror of Argyle' when he was from County Murr…

WILDS OF CANBERRA - SHOCK FOR DUKE

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A bit of early Canberra bashing. Seems it has been going on a long time...

The Australian Women's Weekly (1932 - 1982), Saturday 4 February 1939


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SCOPE FOR HUNTERS

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It was made official in 1949 in Canberra that it was not appropriate to kill and eat kookaburras, magpies and domestic cats
It was however fine to kill, and I presume eat among other introduced species, natives like native cats, tiger cats, flying foxes, lorikeets and cormorants.
I can attest to the fact that well into the 70's and early 80's that the ACT was still a fairly blood thirsty area but we limited our attentions to foxes, pigs, goats, rabbits and such. Introduced pests.
A bit of Kookaburra, medium rare thanks...

The West Australian - Saturday 28 May 1949

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Barrier Miner - Wednesday 25 May 1949

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AN UNDESIGNED CENTENARY

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Every story needs a beginning and Canberra's starts late March or early April 1821 when Dr. Charles Throsby and the bushman Joseph Wild first crossed the Limestone Plains.

Settled soon after a rural community was to develop before finally evolving into Australia's capital Canberra in 1913.

By that reckoning the capital celebrates its centenary in 2013 but the land this created capital sits upon also celebrates its bi-centenary 8 years later in 2021. An interesting article dissecting the tale of European exploration of the Canberra area 100 years on...

Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer - Friday 21 April 1922

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