A Bush Capital Year


The Australian Capital Territory is a treasure trove for naturalists, despite being without a coastline, without rainforest or without deserts. A wealth of biodiversity is found there, due to the close proximity of three major habitat types: the great western woodland grassy plains bump up against the inland edge of the coastal hinterland mountain forests, while the whole south-eastern Australian Alps system reaches its northern limit in the Brindabella Ranges. Each of these habitats has its own rich suite of ...
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A Bush Capital Year: A Natural History of the Canberra Region

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The Australian Capital Territory is a treasure trove for naturalists, despite being without a coastline, without rainforest or without deserts. A wealth of biodiversity is found there, due to the close proximity of three major habitat types: the great western woodland grassy plains bump up against the inland edge of the coastal hinterland mountain forests, while the whole south-eastern Australian Alps system reaches its northern limit in the Brindabella Ranges. Each of these habitats has its own rich suite of plants and animals, so a great diversity of life can be found within an hour’s drive of Parliament House.

A Bush Capital Year introduces the fauna, flora, habitats and reserves of the Australian Capital Territory and includes the most recent research available. It also emphasizes often unappreciated or even unrecognized urban wildlife.

For each month of the year there are 10 stories which discuss either a species or a group of species, such as mosses and mountain grasshoppers. While never anthropomorphic, many of the stories are written from the organism’s point of view, while others are from that of an observer. Beautiful paintings complement the text and allow better visualization of the stories and the subjects.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fraser, a natural history tour guide and conservationist who has lived in Canberra since 1980, introduces the wildlife and plants of the various habitats of the Australian Capital Territory in this color-illustrated work celebrating the biodiversity of the region. The book is organized by the 12 months of the year. For each month, 10 brief stories give insight on various species of the region's three major habitat types: woodland grassy plains, coastland mountain forests, and alpine environment. The stories integrate information on human history and natural history of species; some stories are written from the point of view of a human observer and some from the perspective of the plant or animal. Each story includes a color illustration, sometimes a full page, by Marsack, a natural history artist and illustrator."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780643101555
  • Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Fraser is a naturalist, conservationist, author, ABC broadcaster, natural history tour guide, environmental consultant and adult educator who has lived and worked in Canberra since 1980. He was awarded the Australian Native Plants Society’s Australian Plants Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to conservation and education.

Peter Marsack is a freelance natural history artist and illustrator, based in Canberra since 1994. He was senior artist on the final three of the seven volumes of the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, and his original plates from these volumes are now in the collection of the State Library of Victoria. He was a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in 2003 and 2004, winning a watercolor prize in 2003.

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Table of Contents

Artist’s acknowledgements
Author’s acknowledgements

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)
Snow Country Flowers
Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
Redeye Cicada (Psaltoda moerens)
Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii)
Common Bird Orchid (Chiloglottis valida/Simpliglottis valida)
Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)
Macleay’s Swallowtail (Graphium macleayanus)
Hunting Wasps
Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus)
Bogong Moths (Agrotis infusa)
Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)
Large Forest Bat (Vespadelus darlingtoni)
White-throated Gerygone (Gerygone olivacea)
Trigger Plants (Stylidium spp.)
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Little Marbled Scorpion (Lychas marmoreus)
Mountain Plum Pine (Podocarpus lawrencei)
Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)
Pea Flowers (Family Fabaceae)
Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar)
Meat Ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus)
Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera)
Dragonflies (Order Odontata)
Hobby (Falco longipennis)
Northern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi)
Mountain Grasshoppers
Common Bluebell (Wahlenbergia communis)
Glossy Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
River Oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana)

Greenhood Orchids (Pterostylis spp.)
White-throated Needletails (Hirundapis caudacutus)
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
Centipede (Scolopendra morsitans)
Galah (Cacatua roseicapilla)
Kangaroo Grass (Themeda australis)
Garden Spider (Eriophora sp.)
Grey Teal (Anas gibbosa)
Grey-headed Fruit Bat (Pteropus poliocephalus)
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops)
Brush-tailed Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
Anemone Fungus (Aseroe rubra)
Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea)
Crested Pigeon (Ochyphaps lophotes)
Sundews (Drosera peltata)
Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)
Two-spined Blackfish (Gadopsis bispinosus)
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
Termites (Nasutitermes exitiosus)
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)
Freshwater Crayfish (Euastacus armatus)
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)
Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus)
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)
Sphagnum Moss (Sphagnum cristatum)
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)
Cherry Ballart (Exocarpus cupressiformis)
Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata)
Blackwood Wattle (Acacia melanoxylon)

Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum)
Soft Tree-fern (Dicksonia antarctica)
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata)
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
Silverfish (Order Thysanura)
Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos)
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Spotted-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)
Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora)
Black-tailed Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) and Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)
Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Daddy Long-legs (Pholcidae sp.)
Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) and Striated Pardalote (P. striatus)
Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)
Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)
Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides)
Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora)
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
Black Cypress Pine (Callitris endlicheri)
Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) and Noisy Friarbird (Philemon corniculatus)
Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
Velvet Worm, or Peripatus (Euperipatoides rowelli)

Speckled Warbler (Pyrrholaemus saggitatus)
Red-stem Wattle (Acacia rubida)
Lathams Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)
Greater Glider (Petauroides volans)
Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus)
Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica)
Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) and White-throated Treecreeper (Cormobates leucophaeus)
Water Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster)
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)
Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen)
Swamp Frogs
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)
Mistletoes (Family Loranthaceae) and Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)
White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos)
Murnong; Yam Daisy (Microseris lanceolata)
Satin Bowerbird (Chlamydera violaceus)
Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii)
Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea australis)
Shingleback Lizard (Trachydosaurus rugosus)
White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis)
Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
Daisies (Family Asteraceae)
Praying Mantis (Orthodera ministralis)
Grassland Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla)
Boobook Owl (Ninox novaehollandiae)
Spring Orchids
Eastern Long-necked Turtle (Chelodina longicollis)
Appendix – species list
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