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Help the lungfish!

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Ok, I figured this is the best place for an attempt to get some action. There are plans afoot in Aus. to build dams on the Mary and Burnett rivers.


The problem is that these two rivers are the *only* habitat of Neocerotadus forsteri, the Australian lungfish. This huge and scientifically invaluable species is *not* good at dealing with disruptions to its nesting, and these dams may wipe them out. This species is also unique even among lungfish: the african and south american species only have thin, tendril-like fins, while this species has large, fleshy lobe fins, like are seen in fossil lobe-fins.


A post on a science blog detailing the creature's plight

A second post in the same blog, giving email addresses of the relevant politicians


Please, please take the time to send a polite email to these people telling them that they are about to snuff out one of the most unique species on the planet.



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  • 8 months later...

I'm not too fussed on the dams, but we may have no choice.


Australia is in the grip of drought, IIRC, the longest on record. There are quite literally schoolchildren in Queensland who have never seen rain in their lives.


Most of the population of Queensland is in the South-East corner, some 1.6 million people.


I have seen estimates that if the drought does not break by June 2009, then the current dams will be dry. There are plans and projects afoot to pump water from other areas of the state but if these fall behind schedule (and they are due for completion in around April 2009) there will be no water for the city of Brisbane and ajoining regions.


I mean that we turn on the tap and no water comes out.


Where do we evacuate 1.6 million people to? No joke, the situation down here really is that serious. We are at level 5 water restrictions (you can water your garden twice a week with a bucket and it is illegal to have a hose connected to a tap.) with plans being drawn up for levels 6 and 7. There is the possibility of water rationing ahead and suggested fines of a minimum $5,000 for exceeding your ration.


If you use Google Earth go to lat=27°15'49.26"S, lon=152°54'14.76"E from an eye altitude of around 10 klms up. That is the main water supply for S.E. Queensland. You can see how low it is. ( Offhand I'd say the photo is a good 12 months old and we've had bugger all rain since then.) There is a smaller dam just to the East. Now go to lat=27°26'43.35"S, lon=152°55'13.89"E. Another dam, much smaller. Actually I live in the suburb just below this dam.


Having checked my parents house, there is no pool in the backyard and the people who now own it put one in around 15 months ago, so the photos you're looking at are quite old.


From there, try lat= 27°28'54.57"S, lon=152°45'57.05"E. And there you have it, the drying up water supply for more than 1 million people.


The Federal Gov. has taken control of the Murray-Darling river system and the estimates reported to parliment are that the system needs 1 metre of rainfall over the catchment area (Most of New South Wales and Victoria) just to bring it back to minimum waterflow standards. Minimum flows do not allow water for agriculture.


The simple fact is that 60 years ago we built the dams where it rained and with climate change it doesn't rain there anymore. We have to build dams where it does rain. The dams you've looked at require 500 mm of rain just to get them back to around 50% capacity. Oh, and our "rainy" season is November to February, so it's over.


People, nobody wants to wipe out the lungfish, but we really are between a rock and a hard place.

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