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PAGE 6 – BELLINGEN SHIRE NEWS WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022 Shout out for help for Kalang in Bellingen shop windows By LOUISE CRANNY On July 19th, Federal Environment and ADAM NORRIS Minister Tanya Plibersek delivered ver the last few weeks, you may have the 2021 State of the Environment Onoticed a rather cute visitor fl itting Report at the National Press Club and about town. expressed her deep concerns at the lack Th e extremely shy Rufous Scrub Bird, of environmental protection currently in Atrichornis rufescens, started appearing place in Australia. in the windows of Bellingen businesses Th e report detailed rapid and accompanied by the message, Save the widespread decline of our ecological Kalang Headwaters. systems, with many on the brink of Th ough you may not be all that familiar irrevocable collapse. Australia now has with Rufous – which is unsurprising, one of the highest rates of extinction of given their dwindling numbers and all fi rst world countries. penchant for hiding amongst leaf litter Habitat loss is the primary cause – they are in fact considered living fossils of extinction. Birds like Rufuous – by the Foundation for National Parks and many other rare and endangered and Wildlife, having evolved some 97 species – will be seriously threatened if million years ago. the proposed industrial logging of the When the Chicxulub asteroid ended Kalang Headwaters goes ahead in mid- the age of the dinosaurs 66 million years September, as indicated by Forestry ago and wiped out most of the worlds Corporation. birds, Rufous – along with its cousin, the Th e koala, the greater glider, the golden Lyrebird – managed to survive. bellied glider, the spotted quoll and many Th ey are the only remaining ancestors more may lose their homes and become of the worlds ancient song birds, and endangered. are so signifi cant that Australia has been Soil expert Michael Eddy has warned asked by the United Nations to help that the steep slopes of the Kalang save this unique and highly-threatened headwaters should never be logged. species. Combined with very unstable soils Th e Rufuous Scrub Birds are ground and heavy rainfall, massive erosion and dwellers, spending much of their time downstream siltation can easily result. foraging in deep, moist leaf litter, Th is will put the platypus, other aquatic searching for insects and grubs. creatures at serious risk. Th e water As they are so shy and cryptic, they security of the Kalang, Bellingen and are mostly identifi ed by their very loud Nambucca Rivers will also be threatened. distinctive call and ability to mimic other sounds. For a little bird, they show To fi nd out how you can help, and some impressive stamina, with the males learn more about the Headwaters territorial call lasting more than ten Conservation Proposal, please visit minutes. www.fr iendsofk alangheadwaters.com.au OUR ELUSIVE NEIGHBOUR: the Rufous Scrub Bird needs your support. PHOTO: Michael Morecombe.

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