Frog Fest: A retrospective

This week marks two years since Frog Fest at The Living Pavilion – a family-friendly event on the Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne. As well as providing froggy fun for all ages, Frog Fest aimed to connect participants with nature in the city by re-imagining the frog biodiversity that would have occurred on…

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Urban Ecology Stories: The Spotted Handfish

Earlier this year I published a book called Ecology of Urban Environments.  It’s a text book for university students, but it contains lots of great stories about urban nature that I’d like to share with everyone!  So I’m starting a series of blog posts – Urban Ecology Stories. The spotted handfish – a fish that…

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Frogs and roads don’t mix (Part 3)

At last – the final installment of this intriguing trilogy!  The third reason that frogs and roads don’t mix is that the noise of road traffic (cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles) can make it difficult for frogs to be heard by other frogs.  Anyone who has listened to a group of frogs calling at…

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Frogs and roads don’t mix (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how difficult it was for frogs to cross busy roads without getting run over.  The second reason that frogs and roads don’t mix flows on from the first one – if frogs can’t cross roads safely, then they can’t move safely between different areas of habitat that…

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Frogs and roads don’t mix (Part 1)

Frogs are small animals that hop or walk along the ground.  Roads are long stretches of gravel, concrete or bitumen that allow vehicles like cars, trucks and motorbikes to go from one place to another.  These vehicles are often large and heavy, and travel very fast – much faster than frogs can hop or walk. …

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It’s not easy being green… in the city

The city of Melbourne, Australia is home to about 14 species of frogs, depending on where you draw the boundaries.  And the boundaries of Melbourne are spreading outwards at a cracking pace, with new suburbs being built on its western, northern and south-eastern edges.  Melbourne is already one of the most sprawling cities in the…

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Why do flying-foxes like to live in cities?

Flying-foxes are big bats – the biggest in the world!  They belong to a group of mammals known as the Megachiroptera (pronounced “megga-kai-roptera”) or megabats.  Unlike their smaller cousins (the Microchiroptera or microbats), they like to eat fruit, pollen and nectar rather than insects.  Megabats are only found in the southern hemisphere, and they mostly…

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