Albany is a stunning place and a photographers dream. Stretching from West Cape Howe National Park in the West through the City of Albany and beyond to the East the Albany Region is a wonderful place to explore and photograph. We will claim Denmark through to Bremer Bay as in our region.
The park, located near the centre of Albany, contains numerous sculptures including the statue of Mokare. (The Statue of Mokare, at the front of the gardens, is dedicated to the aboriginal man who helped early settlers maintain a peaceful coexistence with the local Noongar people. This was erected in 1997 as part of a reconciliation project by the Albany community. Mokare (c. 1800 – 26 June 1831) was a Noongar man, an Aboriginal man from the south-west corner of Australia who was pivotal in aiding European exploration of the area. Mokare had two known brothers: Mollian (d. 1829), who may have been known as Yallapoli, and Nakina, who with Mokare, was a frequent visitor to the Albany settlement, staying with the government resident, Dr Alexander Collie. He also was recorded as having a married sister.)
The area is situated adjacent to the Albany Public Library and the Albany Town Square. It often hosts local markets. The area was once the vegetable gardens behind the old state school, which is now the Albany District Education Centre. The gardens are named after a long-serving teacher at Albany State School, Alison Edith Hartman (1906-1978).She was the daughter of John Hartman, who built Albany War Memorial, and she was the Principal of Albany Primary School from 1935 to 1967.
The gardens contain two large Norfolk Island Pine trees and a Quereus Robur tree that date back to the 1890s along the southern edge. The pines are decorated every Christmas season. The statue of Mokare was erected in 1977 as a memorial to the Noongar man who helped he early settlers maintain a peaceful coexistence with the traditional owners. A series of community sculptures were set around a granite outcrop in the gardens in 1989. These include large, century-old timbers are from the original own Jetty that symbolise Jetty, ships loading cranes and other agricultural machinery to acknowledge the importance of shipping and agriculture in the early development of the town. An old tractor seat and other pieces of old agricultural machinery symbolise the agricultural history of our region. The sculptural installation is not meant to be decorative. It is meant to say something about our history, about the way we feel about our history. It is a “sensory ” piece. People are asked to feel it, walk around it and look at it, listen to it. Above all, to think about the years that have gone into making this area what it is now .
A Peace Pole at the rear of the gardens was erected in 2011 as part of the Harmony Day celebrations. It features the message “May Peace prevail on Earth” in six languages.
The hill on which the property is situated rises to a height of 237 feet (72 m) and is a spur of Mount Clarence. The soil is a mixture of clay and gravel with rich black loam on the lower side.
The farm was initially established in 1827 as a government farm when the first Europeans settled at King George SoundEdmund Lockyer, Alexander Collie and John Lawrence Morley selected the site as a government farm. Originally it occupied an area of 1,536 acres (622 ha) but only 6 acres (2 ha) remain today. The next three commandants of the settlement, Captain Wakefield, Lieutenant Sleeman and Captain Collet Barker, followed Lockyer’s plan of continuing to develop the farm.
Alexander Collie was appointed Government Resident of Albany in 1831 and moved into a wattle and daub cottage situated on the farm. He named the property Strawberry Hill after the small plot of strawberries he was cultivating. Collie retired in 1832 and his successor was D. H. Macleod but it was the farm superintendent John Lawrence Morley who handed the property onto Richard Spencer.
Spencer was appointed as Government Resident in 1833; he acquired the farm and resided there with his wife, Ann, and his ten children. Spencer arranged for the erection of a granite two-storey building at the rear end of the original wattle and daub structure at a cost of £100. The garden was now well established and producing blood oranges, raspberries, grapes, asparagus, figs and almonds. The first visitors to stay in the new building included Charles Darwin and Captain Robert FitzRoy, of HMS Beagle
The old thatched roof wattle and daub part of the main residence burned down in 1870. A second cottage was built by Charles Miner in the same year.
Francis Bird, the Chief Architect of Western Australia, acquired the property in 1889 and changed the name from Strawberry Hill to the Old Farm. His family retained ownership of the farm until the 1930s.
The site lay derelict for many years until purchased by the Federal Government in 1956 and it was then vested in the National Trust of Australia in 1964. Conservation work commenced shortly afterwards and it was later opened to the public.
Nearly half of 200 Australian species are threatened by climate change, according to our research published today in PLOS ONE.
Climate change is one of the major contributors to global biodiversity loss, and plant and animal species can be affected by climate change in different ways. Some may be directly affected by sea level rise or snow melt, whereas some may lose a pollinator or prey species that they rely on.
Species that cannot move to more suitable habitats, or who have no suitable habitat left, risk becoming extinct. Understanding how each of our species is affected by climate change means we can help them survive it.
We set out to document how many of Australia’s threatened species are likely to be impacted by climate change, and which aspects of their biology was leading to the vulnerability. We chose a balanced selection of species, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and plants for our analysis, and assess them using a method developed by NatureServe.
Over 45% of all the threatened species we assessed were moderately to highly vulnerable, including a wide range of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and plants.
The species most vulnerable to climate change was the Mountain Pygmy Possum, threatened by increased snow melt, and further habitat loss through development of ski resorts.
Overall, and perhaps not surprisingly, amphibians are most highly vulnerable to climate change. They have small and fragmented distributions, and rely heavily on particular moisture regimes and aquatic habitats.
Plants were the next most vulnerable group, because they often have low dispersal ability (they cannot move freely like animals) and rely on specific soil types. Birds, who are very good dispersers, were the least vulnerable group.
Where should we focus our efforts?
The three most pervasive factors for all the assessed threatened species were low genetic variation, dependence on particular patterns of disturbance (often fire, required for reproduction or to maintain suitable habitats), and reliance on particular patterns of rainfall or habitats.
Crucially, the reasons why threatened species are vulnerable to climate change varied markedly across Australia. Along the south-east coastline, the major driving factors were reliance on particular patterns of disturbance and low genetic variation, while in contrast one of key factors driving vulnerability of the species residing in the upper Northern Territory was reliance on particular moisture regimes and habitats.
Each of these regions will require a set of on-ground actions targeted specifically to address the factors causing climate change vulnerability of the species living there.
What can we do?
Once the drivers of climate change vulnerability are understood for different species, groups of species and regions, we can start to take action. Actions that are targeted to help species adapt to the changing climate and give them the best chance of surviving into the future.
We can target actions to specific sites. The south-east coastline for example could be benefited by having dedicated areas that are specially managed to maintain appropriate patterns of fire.
Other actions may be broader and target a larger number of species, such as habitat restoration, or corridors to counter increasing fragmentation. We need to identify and protect critical refuges for as many species as possible. Whatever the case, helping our species adapt to climate change is going to require novel and unique management strategies.
Now that we know which of our threatened species are being impacted by climate change and why, we can begin to design on-ground management strategies to start combating the impending changes.
In conjunction with increasing on-ground actions, we must keep in mind that the cost and difficulty of more intensive management to save threatened species underlines the importance of bringing about rapid and deep cuts to the greenhouse gas emissions that are creating this crisis.