Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Goobang Mice

The Goobang is a stretch of hilly country that runs from just south of Dubbo to Parkes. It is covered in scrubby cypress, stringy grasses, rocks and sandy soil. It's useless for farmland and no one wanted it, so 10 years ago it was turned into a National Park.

A couple of years ago a survey of animals turned up a new species. At first the scientists thought the park was full of house mice, but a closer examination and DNA testing revealed it to be an entirely different species. The goobang mouse is the same size and colour as a house mouse, but its belly is a pale cream colour. It is a native rodent, and one of the few native utherians in the country.

And there's millions of them. They are everywhere in the Park. And here's the problem: The goobang mouse is quite common in The Goobang but they are found nowhere else.

Is it Rare, Common or Vulnerable?

But The Goobang National Park is burning. Strong winds rose last night and the fires burning yesterday are even more out of control today. From where I sit the southern horizon fades into a thick blue haze. Great billows of smoke reach high into the air. As they pass through the thermal layer they turn onto white clouds indistinguishable from normal clouds except for the long black columns anchoring them to the ground.

As of last night 200 square kilometres had burned. Latest reports say that much again will burn before they can get it under control.

Today's weather (3pm AEDT)

Bar.....1003mm (falling)

It might rain. It has to.

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