Habitat Glossary

In alphabetical order, the following terms are not intended to be absolute nor definitive, but to serve as a guide to enhance knowledge and to provide potent language for those advocating the values of native habitat.

Constructive critique, improvements to definitions and appropriate additional terms are welcome. Email the Editor: info AT habitatadvocate.com.au



Activism is a natural human response to perceived injustice.  Activism is not radical.  Remaining passive when confronted with injustice is insular complicity.

Simply, it is when someone feels committed enough to escalate a moral concern to demonstrate vocal protest in some form.   It is a conscious act of challenging a decision by an authority that one judges to be morally wrong.

But most people do not challenge authority, even though privately they may often express disquiet.  Traditionally, human challenge of authority has been met with violent punishment and so humans have been conditioned over successive autocracies to accept authority as absolute and without question or else be persecuted.  Logically, such austere rule has perpetuated human tolerance for immoral acts.

Activists are by definition not conditioned to such complicity like most people, but exude a free spirit. Activists are personally prepared not to remain silent and to risk challenging authorities over decisions and acts perceived to be immoral.  Activists are distinctively prepared to face personal risk for their commitment, whereas disaffected yet silent dissenters only undermine the cause.

Activists are brave, unlike most people.  They are free thinkers by actively challenging authority and so they are indeed brave.

Activism is not politically aligned and need not be ideologically motivated nor confined to one side of politics.  Activism is a human response about a feeling of injustice upon one’s core values.  The severity must be sufficient enough to motivate a moral person to question and reject the legitimacy of an authority, but to speak out and challenge the perpetration of undermining of one’s core values.

One of Australia’s most prominent environmental activists is Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery.

“Despite his scientific achievements, Flannery achieved prominence through his environmental activism. His advocacy on two issues in particular, population levels and carbon emissions, culminated in being named Australian of the Year at a time when environmental issues were becoming prominent in Australian public debate. Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007 and is presently a professor at Macquarie University. He is also the chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international climate change awareness group   His controversial views on shutting down conventional coal fired power stations for electricity generation in the medium term are frequently cited in the media.”

[Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Flannery]

Message:  no-one should shun from activism – it may just make one an influential and respected leader.

Comparable words for ‘activist’:

abolitionist, advocate (WE LIKE THIS ONE), opponent, revolutionary, fanatic (BIT HARSH), devotee, enthusiast, extremist (BIT HARSH), militant, radical, ultraist, visionary, zealot, lobbyist, mover and shaker, person of influence, powerbroker, pressure group, belligerent, combatant, demonstrator, fighter, objector, partisan, protester, rioter, warrior, diehard, nut, ultra*, young Turk, tree hugger, environmentalist, greenie, green panther, conservationist, ecologist, green activist, nature-lover, preservationist, advocator, apostle, missionary, proponent, protestor, objector, dissident.

If such labelling hasn’t put you off and you remain committed to challenge authority, chances are you deserve the label of ‘activist‘, a self-confident free human spirit, but realise you are rare, brave, and risk ostracism by moderates.

animal rights

Animal rights is the moral concept that non-human animals have existence and freedom rights –  right to live, freedom from captivity, freedom from suffering (in any form –  killing, injury, torture, experimentation, cruelty, stress, neglect, deprivation, etc), freedom from exploitation, right to roam freely in a natural habitat, right to socialize with like species.

Animal rights advocates argue that animals are sentient (have consciousness, feelings, sense emotions and pain).  Abolitionism goes further, reject the concept that animals can be treated as human property, in a similar way that human slaves were once considered human property.  Abolitionists such as Gary Francione argue that the key to reducing animal suffering is to recognize that legal ownership of sentient beings is unjust and must be abolished.

‘He argues that focusing on animal welfare may actually worsen the position of animals, because it entrenches the view of them as property, and makes the public more comfortable about using them. Francione calls animal rights group who pursue animal welfare issues, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the “new welfarists,” arguing that they have more in common with 19th-century animal protectionists than with the animal rights movement. He argues that there is no animal rights movement in the United States.’ [Source:  ^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights ]

In 1970, Oxford psychologist In 1970, Richard D. Ryder coined the phrase “speciesism” to describe the assignment of value to the interests of beings on the basis of their membership of a particular species (just as ‘racism’ applies to the membership of a particular human race).

[Related topics:‘animal liberation’,animal welfare’, ‘animal testing’, ‘ethology’, ‘aboloitionism’, ‘animal law’, ‘cruelty to animals’, ‘intrinsic value’ (animal ethics), ‘sentience’, ‘relative deprivation’  ].

Related sites:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)  ^http://www.peta.org/

Animal Liberation Victoria ^http://www.alv.org.au/

Animal Right Advocates Inc. ^http://www.ara.org.au/

Animal Liberation  ^http://animal-lib.org.au/

Animal Saviours ^http://animalsaviors.org/

Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad ^http://www.spana.org

Animal Liberation Front  ^http://www.animalliberationfront.com/

Animal Rights Militia ^http://animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Actions-UK/alfarm.htm

World Society for the Protection of Animals ^http://www.wspa-international.org/

No Compromise  ^http://www.nocompromise.org/

Bite Back ^http://www.directaction.info/

Barry Horne ^http://barryhorne.org/

animal sadism

Cruelty to animals deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure from being cruel to animals.  It includes any act of violence to an animal that causes it pain, such as wounding, or torture in whih the perpetrator derives satisfaction. Such cruelty is only be caused by humans and primates. ‘From the Latin crudelem, morally rough, cruelty is the deliberate—and often joyous—infliction of physical or psychological pain on other living creatures. Cruelty is today, and has throughout human history been, an overwhelming presence in the world; its uses are for punishment, amusement, and social control, and its medium is pain.’ [1] Animal sadism is prevalent in the many abuses by humans of animals including using animals for entertainment, animal experimentation, factory farming, fur farming, poaching, hunting, trapping, poisoning, wildlife smuggling and trade, live animal trade. Culling of an animal by a veterinary surgeon is not considered animal sadism.

beacon of mutilating depravity

A satirical term for an organisation that projects an image of harm-causing immorality based upon its actions, environmental damage, and/or immoral practices and products.  An example is Philip Morris International which produces and profits from cancer causing cigarette products.  Others include Monsanto which produces and profits from hazardous chemicals used in agriculture,  Textron which produces and profits from cluster bombs (e.g. the CBU-105), J.R. Simplot Co. which produces french fries to MacDonalds and has dumped phosphate, phosphorus, and nitrate into the Portneuf River in Idaho, as well as Chevron (for gross pollution), Sinar Mas Group (for extensive old growth deforestation in Indonesia), Wal-Mart (for gross pollution), DuPont (for gross pollution), General Electric (for gross pollution), Gunns Limited (for extensive old growth deforestation in Tasmania), Mitsubishi (for extensive old growth deforestation), Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) (for old growth deforestation of the Amazon), North Mt Lyell Copper Company (for gross pollution and deforestation in Tasmania) and the Chinese Government (for Three Gorges Dam causing mass flooding, and deforestation in China and Tibet), amongst others.    The antithesis of ‘a beacon of mutilating depravity‘ is ‘a beacon of probity‘.


Blatant bulldozing of a site of high biodiversity conservation value for land use development purposes.  [Similar to ‘eco-bulldoze‘]. Instead of the developer having to undertake and pass a rigorous and expensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) test, the biodiversity value of the ‘development site’ is ‘offset’ by choosing some other site, a ‘biobanking site,’ to otherwise protect and rehabilitate.   The government spin doctors have euphemised such deforestation as ‘bio-banking.’   Biodiversity values of the development site are ‘guestimated’ using convoluted multi-factor algebraic formulae which assign a Landscape Value Score to the development site.   Assessments and calculations are made by ‘darkside ecologists‘ who are paid by the developer.  Native species and ecosystems on the development site are assigned ‘biobanking credits’.  The developer  enters into a biobanking agreement with the Minister for Environment etc.  The development site is then bulldozed.

The calculated loss of biodiversity is recorded as biodiversity credits with the Minister for Environment etc, who holds the developer to account to use up the biobanking credits to improve the biodiversity on the biobanking site.   [Reference:  Department of Environment & Climate Change NSW, ‘BioBanking Assessment Methodology, July 2008, Australia. www.environment.nsw.gov.au ]


For definition of biodiversity, its crucial importance to maintaining the functioning of ecosystems’ services on which all life, including human life depends, see UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity etc. in ‘Biological Diversity‘, Ecos (magazine) Issue 16, Sumer 1993/94]


a truism for ‘biomass’.  Biomass is an industrial term referring to biological material derived from killed organisms such as wood and plant matter, which is then burnt as a ‘biofuel’ to generate electricity or produce heat.  The concept is as primitive as prehistoric man burning wood to keep warn or cook.  When burnt the wood or plant matter gives off smoke and carbon dioxide, which is neither a revelation.  The organisms had to be killed or ‘mashed’ to produce biomass so any argument that such practice is somehow a form of renewable energy is deceptive greenwashing.  Burning wood and plant matter pollutes the atmosphere.

Ethanol fuel is the most common biofuel worldwide, particularly in Brazil, derived from fermenting the sugars of crops such as wheat, corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, molasses.etc.  In order to grow such crops to commercially viable quantities, many thousands of hectares of native forest habitat has been destroyed along with the wildlife that lived in that habitat.

Biomass is biomash and is ecologically unsustainable, unethical and a retrograde alternative to fossil fuels.

bush immersion

Immersing oneself personally and physically in Nature, fully focused, appreciating, and observating/listening to the sounds of the bush (forest) and devoting a sensual connectedness (being at one) with Nature.  The timing for such activity is ideally at dusk when Nature’s creatures become more active.  Bush Immersion requires a genuine personal interest in natural aesthetics.  Sensual connectedness to Nature is enhanced by quiet active observation of sunlight, moonlight and forest climate – hot, cold, windy, rainy, no matter – the variety of climate and season experiences builds a richer insight into Nature.  Bush Immersion fosters a committed empathy with the natural landscape and by watching the goings on of natural animals, birds and creatures within that landscape – their natural home.  The experience can only be appreciated by maintaining a self-disciplined behaviour characterised by quietness, stillness and patience.  Repeated experiences in bush immersion build a deeper awareness of the majesty of Nature. A passive physical presence in a  natural world setting engenders a closer and richer respect, insight and wisdom into Nature’s marvels, and a spiritual affinity and respect for the sacredness of Nature.  ‘Bush Immersion’ has been recently espoused by Blue Mountains naturalist and historian, Dr Jim Smith, as an exploratory form of natural spiritual philosophy.  It is respectful of and derived from ancient Australian Aboriginal connectedness to the land and country.  Jim Smith delivered a presentation to over 300 local Blue Mountains residents on this subject in Wentworth Falls on Saturday 20110730.  As a form of spiritual and emotional therapy, Jim recommends that each of us forgo an hour a day of our mostly artificial world and routine to reconnect with Nature in this way.  [Compare: ‘Immersion in Nature’, ‘Spiritual Immersion’, ‘Cultural Immersion’]


Bushphobia is a composite term emanating from Australia, which combines two words ‘bush’ meaning the native forest and scrub environment of Australia’s unique animals and plants, with the non-clinical use of the term ‘phobia’.  Phobia (from Greek φόβος, phóbos: fear, phobia) is an anxiety association, a negative attitudes towards, a dislike, disapproval, prejudice, discrimination, or hostility of, aversion to, or discrimination against something.  Bushphobia is borne out of learnt acculturation adopting two distinct attitudes:

  1. A deep fear of the bush due to its propensity to burn and cause horrific wildfires
  2. A dislike of Australian native vegetation due to its wild untamed appearance which is so different to exotic trees and landscapes that have a more symmetrical and accessible character.

In this case a discrimination against the bush, where the word ‘bush’ is an Australian term for native forest and scrubland.  Bushphobia was first used with its modern meaning in 2008 in the Blue Mountains in eastern Australia which represents an intolerance and prejudice against the natural Australian bush vegetation mainly because of its susceptibility to burning in the case of bushfires and the consequential fire threat to life and private property.

The combined meaning is to have a persistent irrational fear specific fear or loathing of the natural (bush) environment.  There are three classes of phobias: agoraphobia, social phobia, and specific phobia (Wood 521).  Bushphobia is a specific phobia associated with a fear of natural environment.[19]

Bushphobia is a socially learnt fear and loathing toward the bush common amongst rural volunteer bushfire fighting organisations which is instilled in new recruits as part of the training tans assimilation process. Bushphobia has thus become a form of learned cultural prejudice amongst the rural fire fighting fraternity throughout Australia.  This attitude becomes deep seated and a motive to regard native forests, not as valued natural assets and habitat for native flora and fauna, but only as a combustible fuel that is prone to burn and thus a menace and ‘hazard’.  The standard myth conveyed about the bush that inculcates bushphobia is that if the bush is not destroyed and allowed to grow naturally then the bush will develop into an uncontrollable fuel that in the event of a bushfire will cause an horrific fire storm and Armageddon.  The issue of inadequate bushfire fighting capabilities is conveniently ignored.

Those who only see the bush through bushphobic mindset desire to burn it, bulldoze it and destroy it at any opportunity when weather permits such action to be done safely.  Deliberate burning of the bush has become a ‘prescribed burning’ policy of Australian governments at both state and federal level attracting massive resources. In New South Wales prescribed burning is labelled ‘hazard reduction’.  History however has shown repeatedly that many prescribed burning activities frequently escape control lines an end up destroying vast areas of bush.


carrying capacity


chain of extinction

Are the ecological negative impacts up and down food chain of a wildlife species becoming extinct (globally or locally).

The extinction of any one species can set off a chain reaction that affects many other species, particularly if the loss occurs near the bottom of the food chain. For example, the extinction of a particular insect or plant might seem inconsequential. However, there may be fish or small animals that depend on that resource for foodstuff. The loss can threaten the survival of these creatures, and larger predators that prey upon them. Extinction can have a ripple effect that spreads throughout nature.’ [17]

A ‘chain of extinction’ is one of the four most general reasons that lead to destruction of wildlife. All wild populations of living things have many complex intertwining links with other living things around them. Large herbivorous animals such as the hippopotamus have populations of insectivorous birds that feed off the many parasitic insects that grow on the hippo. Should the hippo die out so too will these groups of birds, leading to further destruction as other species dependent on the birds are affected. Also referred to as a Domino effect, this series of chain reactions is by far the most destructive process that can occur in any ecological community.’ [13]

colonistic plunder

Exploitative theft by invading colonists of the natural elements of a natural environment.  This includes the soil, water, flora, fauna.  The impact is worse than human disturbance and ecological damage.  It involves deliberate plundering of the natural environment typically for commercial gain and is committed by people that are not indigenous to a place.   Colonistic plunder is a legacy of human colonisation that accelerated with the European Industrial Revolution which instigated mass deforestation for housing construction and ship building.  Subsequently, colonistic plunder has involved deforestation, mining, commercial farming, dam building, wildlife poaching and poisoning, eco-arson,  road-making, and other forms of land use development for commercial gain.  Importantly, it excludes  human use of nature by traditional/indigenous peoples for local consumption.  It also excludes tribal-scale ‘eco-commerce’ such as eco-logging practises by traditional/indigenous people who cut only to order and who will bring a small portable mill to a particular tree.


An organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats.   Typically such an organisation is independent and not-for-profit.  Their activities can include acquiring land to establish sanctuaries for the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems, on-ground conservation programs, conducting scientific research into specific wildlife, and undertaking public education programs to promote awareness of the plight of wildlife.

Examples of conservancy organsations include ^Australian Wildlife Conservancy,  ^The Nature Conservancy based in the US, the ^Tasmanian Land Conservancy (based in Australia),  the ^Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical Queensland (based in Australia), ^Australian Platypus Conservancy (based in Australia), and ^The Snow Leopard Conservancy (based in the US near San Francisco).

These organisations highlight the problem of National Parks listing not being sufficient to stem the tide of extinctions of wildlife and ecosystems and that active conservation management of dedicated sanctuaries has become critical.

cornucopian myth


cumulative impact

The combined incremental effects of human activity on the environment.

[Source: ‘Consideration of Cumulative Impacts in EPA Review of NEPA Documents’, Office of Federal Activities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, May 1999]

darkside ecology

A hybrid term of ‘darkside’ and ‘ecology’.  It is the deceptive and perverted abuse of ecological science deliberately for selfish corporate ends that results in harm to ecology.  It typically involves a land use developer employing an ecologist with a mandate to ensure the ecologist’s environmental assessment will show that intended land use development of a subject site will not cause significant adverse impact on wildlife, native flora or ecology.  Hence the legitimacy of the ecologist is undermined by conflicting goals of ‘proper scientific procedure’ and commercial imperative (positive ecology report, approval, profit), which creates a real and/or perceived inherent conflict of interest.  The practice is one of bad ecological science and deliberate bias, yet it such practice is rampant and not exposed to peer scrutiny.

An environmental consulting firm that renders an opinion about the environmental effects of the latest subdivision may not give a completely accurate assessment. The future work that this firm receives from developers is likely to depend on what they say. If the developers don’t like the assessment, they will likely find another environmental consultant next time. Thus there is a conflict between obtaining an unbiased model, and making the largest profit possible. In these cases, the scientists are motivated to present biased arguments.” [22]

Darkside ecology bias can manifest from overemphasizing the positives, understating the negatives, concealing threats and impacts, making an unfair appraisal, avoid the scientific method entirely, or violating one or more elements of the scientific method (models, data, evaluation, revision).  Other methods include:

  • Error by understatement;
  • Error by omission;
  • Error by selective sampling, small sampling, inappropriate sampling;
  • Non-scientific arguments (blatant bias) – lines of reasoning and argumentation that are clearly in violation of science;
  • Appeal to authority relying upon by a recognized authority, irrelevant to the assessment instead of the assessment itself standing on its own merits;
  • Character assassination of opponent to discredit someone’s character;
  • Refusal to admit error in the face of evidence against it, thus obscuring fair appraisal;
  • Identify trivial flaws in an opponent’s model (a common trick of lawyers to discredit counter claims);
  • Defending an unfalsifiable model – one that cannot be refuted no matter how the data turn out;
  • Refuting all alternatives;
  • Using anecdotes and post hoc observations selecting unrepresentative data;
  • Biased model evaluation by throwing out some of the results or using a statistical test to support a desired outcome. [23]


To diminish or destroy natural qualities of an ecosystem.  A natural landscape that has seen humans destroy it. The adverse effect is to make a natural place less fit for wildlife habitation.  It results in a natural place being disturbed by human damage, including subtle characteristics such as the microclimate such that its natural qualities are diminished.

This includes destruction of vegetation, including logging, removal of topsoil and bush rock, subsoil and rock excavation,

In a terrestrial setting, it typically involves human damage to vegetation, soils and rockform, which can be by manual or mechanical means or by burning vegetation.  It also includes planting exotic species, introducing feral and exotic animals such as cattle and sheep.   Examples of denaturing include human damaging practices such as bulldozing for any reason (land use development, road making, utility corridors, deforestation (‘land clearing’ is a euphemism comparable with ‘ethnic cleansing’), mining, farming, hazard reduction and associated deliberate setting fire to flora (eco-arson), dam building and artificial flooding for hydro, groundwater tampering, sewage pollution, stormwater runoff, trampling from tourism and recreation, and war.

In a riparian or marine setting, denaturing typically involves human caused water pollution, bank erosion, sedimentation, water flow and any human-caused (artificial) alteration to natural hydrology.

Strickly speaking, natural damage by natural events such as storms, wildfire, floods, land slides and not a process of denaturing, but a consequence of Mother Nature.

Denaturation may be reversible to flora species but the extent of reversibility is the time to restore nature to its pre-denatured complex biodiverse condition, so that the complete food chain to top order predator natural numbers is established.  This can take centuries.  Whereas often those species toward the top of the food chain, notably fauna species never recover and so are condemned to local extinction.


The dependency of ground-dwelling native animals to dense native vegetative undergrowth and ground cover for habitat, food, survival and defence from predators.  Dense undergrowth provided reduced daylight intensity and restricts movement, which give native animals a natural defence against predators.

According to Douglas Morris, University of Oslo, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) in his article ‘How dense is habitat selection?’ :

habitat preference and quality depend on density and behaviour. So we should be able to use our understanding of evolutionary behavioural ecology and density dependence to develop quick and reliable methods for estimating habitat quality…experiments reaffirm a pivotal role for density-dependent habitat selection in the local distribution of species.”

Many native ground-dwelling mammals in Australia have no natural defence against introduced predation from foxes, domestic and feral cats and dogs.  When that dense vegetation is destroyed by human deforestation or by fire, ground-dwelling mammals are completely exposed to predation.

Australia’s endangeres Long-footed Potoroo is narrowly restructed to dense temperate rainforests of East Gippland particulrly along moist gullies with dense undergrowth.  The Superb Lyrebird or Weringerong (Menura novaehollandiae) is found in areas of dense rainforest in Victoria, New South Wales and south-east Queensland, and Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti) is only found in a very small area of dense Southern Queensland rainforest.  Flightless birds, such as those native to Australia and New Zealand are density-dependent especially for nesting.  The kiwi and the rifleman are two native New Zealand birds habitat density-dependent.  The Orange-headed Thrush native to the Indian subcontinent through to southern China and Southeast Asia is density-dependent on habitat of moist broadleaved evergreen woodlands, with a medium-density undergrowth of bushes and ferns.*

Faunal habitat studies by Fox & Monamy, 2007; Monamy & Fox, 2010 have confirmed that Tasmania’s native Swamp Rat prefers areas with dense habitat and Helen Stephens, PhD candidate, School of Plant Science at the University of Tasmania is currently undertaking research into the dependency of swamp rats to discover the importance of vegetation cover (level of overhead cover) and touch (level of structural complexity) in predicting the threshold at which swamp rats will move between forest fragments.  [Source: Swamp Rats Explore new Territories]

*Source:  Peter Clement, Ren Hathway, Jan Wilczur, (2000). Thrushes (Helm Identification Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. pp. 229–232. ISBN 0-7136-3940-7.



Destruction of the natural environment to the extent that it is unable to support life.   [Source: The Penguin Dictionary, Penguin Books, 2001]

According to Scottish environmentalist campaigner and barrister, Polly Higgins, the legal definition of ecocide is “The extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystems (s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of a territory has been severely diminished”.  It includes damage done to any species, not just to human.  [Source: Polly Higgins, ‘Universal  Declaration for Planetary Rights’ presented to the United Nations, April 2010;  ‘Rights for a living Planet’, Share International, Vol 29, No 6; ‘Greening the Law‘, New Internationalist, October 2009;  ‘Putting the ‘I’ in ecocide‘, New Internationalist, April 2012]

ecological bastardry

Human-caused destruction/killing of an ecological community.  The destruction/killing is so reprehensible as to be deemed more than environmental exploitation or vandalism, but an act of bastardry – wicked, morally illegitimate, malicious and cruel.  Examples include chainsawing a native forest, bulldozing native vegetation, setting fire to native vegetation, polluting a watercourse, poaching wildlife, submersing a valley for damming, mining in native habitat, etc.

ecological community

An ecological community is defined as a group of actually or potentially interacting species living in the same place. A community is bound together by the network of influences that species have on one another. Inherent in this view is the notion that whatever affects one species also affects many others — the “balance of nature“.   [Source: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/ecol_com/ecol_com.html]


The immoral crime of intentionally and maliciously setting fire to native vegetation.  Eco-arson caused by an arsonist is referred to ‘bushfire arson’ in Australia, since it is associated with arson caused to the ‘bush’ (a colloquial term for native vegetation).  Starting of bushfire is legislated as a crime in Australia at federal level only if it entails ‘intentionally destroying or damaging any Commonwealth property’ under the Commonwealth’s Crimes Act 1914. Otherwise starting of bushfire is considered an indictable offence under each State jurisdiction.

For instance, in the State of New South Wales under its Crimes Act 1900 Section 203E, anyone who ‘intentionally causes a fire and is reckless as to the spread to vegetation’ is liable to a penalty of 14 years gaol.  In addition under the Rural Fires Act 1997 100(1) anyone  who ‘sets fire to land and permits fire to escape so as to cause or be likely to cause damage’ is liable for a penalty of 5 years gaol or 1,000 penalty units.

Similarly, in the State of Victoria under its Crimes Act 1958 Section 201A, anyone who “intentionally or recklessly causing a bushfire Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire, and being reckless as to the spread of the fire to vegetation on property belong to another” is liable to a penalty of 15 years gaol.  In addition under the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 Section 39C anyone “causing fire in a country area with intent to destroy any vegetation, produce, stock, crop, fodder or property belonging to another” is liable for a penalty of 12 months to 20 years goal.     [Source: http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_types/property%20crime/arson/arson%20legislation/indictable.aspx]

However, the more controversial yet more widespread and frequent form of eco-arson is the State-planned deliberate setting of fire to vast areas of bushland under the pretext of ‘hazard reduction’.  The theoretical basis for hazard reduction is to reduce a perceived bushfire hazard by destroying flammable native vegetation (labelled as ‘fuel‘) by setting fire to it under controlled conditions.  The intention is that with less native vegetation (the fuel), the risk of wildfire is reduced because less native vegetation is left to burn.

Hazard reduction theory in practice has shown mixed results.  In small scale bushfires, previously burnt native vegetation has allowed bushfires to be more controllable; but during extreme wildfires, fire embers typically travel many kilometres ahead of a fire front igniting spot fires and so udnermine hazard reduction efforts.  The theory promulgates ecological bastardry and is defeatist, since by deliberately setting fire to native vegetation that vegetation is destroyed and fauna displaced and put at risk of local extinction.    The ‘eco-logic‘ is that the bush is deliberately burnt before it accidentially burns.

The effect on the native vegetation and fauna can be just as destructive as that caused by criminal arsonists or by naturally caused wildfire, especially given the repeated history of escaped burns.  The only difference between eco-arson started by arsonists and that started by fire authorities is that that latter is exempt under ‘lawful authority’.   Hazard reduction theory is contrary to the objects of rural fire legislation which across all States consistently provides for the prevention, mitigation and suppression of bushfires and the protection of the environment.


Blatant bulldozing of ecology, typically for land use development purposes.  Similar to ‘bio-bulldoze‘.   The ‘eco’ prefix is to highlight the oxymoronic association of bulldozers with ecology.  The combined term ‘eco-bulldoze’ is intended to satarise the greenwashing abuse of the ‘eco’ prefix used corporate/government marketing to downplay ecological harm.  Comparable greenwash terms include:  ‘eco-tourism’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘eco-conscious’, ‘eco-tours’, ‘eco-adventures’,  ‘eco-retreat’, ‘eco-lodge’, ‘eco-recruitment’, ‘eco-wear’, ‘eco-construction’, ‘eco-commerce’, ‘eco-sustainable’, ‘eco-living’, and even ‘eco-dumping’, ‘eco-farming’, ‘eco-mining’, ‘eco-oil’,  ‘eco-logging’, ‘eco-forestry’, ‘eco-pollution’ and ‘eco-nuclear’.   [See ‘eco-con’]



Eco commerce claims to be “a business, investment, and technology-development model that employs market-based solutions to balancing the world’s energy needs and environmental integrity. Through the use of green trading and green finance, eco-commerce allows for the further development of clean technologies such as wind power, solar power, biomass, and hydropower.”  [^Wikipedia].  We have our doubts and since it has such loose standards, parameters and rules, and a track record of greenwash, we suggest it is just another ‘eco-con’.  [See ‘eco-con‘].



A confidence trick, act of deception or artifice that purports to respect and or protect natural ecological values.  Examples include ‘eco-tourism’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘eco-conscious’, ‘eco-tours’, ‘eco-adventures’,  ‘eco-retreat’, ‘eco-lodge’, ‘eco-recruitment’, ‘eco-wear’, ‘eco-construction’, ‘eco-commerce’, ‘eco-sustainable’, ‘eco-living’, ‘eco-logic’, and even ‘eco-dumping’, ‘eco-farming’, ‘eco-mining’, ‘eco-oil’, ‘eco-logging’, ‘eco-forestry’, ‘eco-pollution’ and ‘eco-nuclear’.


‘Any act or activity committed against natural ecology.  The impact or harm caused may be explicit or implicit, irreparable or temporary.   Technically it tends to mean a breach of a statute enacted to protect the natural environment, but so frequently such statutes are weak.  (See ecological crime, speciesism, global harm, environmental damage).

More explicitly, according to [ Robert Bartz, Ulrich Heink and Ingo Kowarik, 20091209, ‘Proposed Definition of Environmental Damage Illustrated by the Cases of Genetically Modified Crops and Invasive Species‘)… “we suggest defining environmental damage as a significant adverse effect on a biotic or abiotic conservation resource (i.e., a biotic or abiotic natural resource that is protected by conservational or environmental legislation) that has an impact on the value of the conservation resource, the conservation resource as an ecosystem component, or the sustainable use of the conservation resource. This definition relies on three normative assumptions: only concrete effects on a conservation resource can be damages; only adverse effects that lead to a decrease in the value of the conservation resource can be damages; and only significant adverse effects constitute damage to a conservation resource.” (Conservation Science (Wiley Online, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01385.x/full)



A short version of ‘ecological exploitation’.   Eco-exploit is to exploit ecology for commercial gain or any other purpose that is not with the aim of respecting the integrity and sanctity of ecology.  To ‘eco-exploit’ is to take from ecology, misuse it, damage it, make money from it in some way – such as Spanish-Agentine oil giant Repsol and Chinese-owned Andes Petroleum extraction of oil from the Amazon Rainforest region in Ecuador, and Japanese whale poaching in the Southern Ocean, kangaroo poaching in western Queensland and logging old growth forests in Tasmania.

A similar term is ‘environmental exploitation’, however, the term ‘environment‘ has long been linguistically misappropriated by corporate marketing to mean business ‘surroundings‘, ‘conditions‘, ‘context‘, etc.


The taking of ecology by humans some component that is seen as having value, including the entire land itself.  This can be selective such as taking its wildlife (fauna or flora), soils, bush rocks, and even the entire ecosystem such as by bulldozing, chainsawing, slashing, trittering, burning.   In the case of a riparian ecosystem it includes the taking of the water itself such as by irrigation.  In the case of a marine ecosystem it includes scouring the seabed with chains such as by prawn fishing where the entire sea floor life is scraped away.   The term is derived from ‘land grab’ – the aggressive taking of land, especially by military force, in order to expand territorial holdings or broaden power’ [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/land+grab].


A marketing label on consumer products to portray teh image of being ‘environmentally friendly’;  whether or not it is may be questionable, since the rules vary and often there are no rules.  It tends to be a form of greenwashing to appeal to ‘environmentally-aware consumers in order to sell more product.  Perhaps some of the few with any legitimacy are those compliant with the ISEAL Alliance rules or the ISO 14042 standard, in which any breach attracts withdrawal of licensing.


(You’ve got to be kidding).   ‘Eco-logging’ is an oxymoron intended as a satirical quip directed to loggers who try to excuse their tree killing tree/deforestation activity as anything other killing trees and collectively, deforestation.  Chainsawing/hacking one tree or a thousand trees is just plain logging.  To chainsaw a living tree till it falls and dies, yes is called ‘logging’. ‘Killing’ is a more generic word, which equally applies.

No amount of greenwashing spin can see logging be ecological.  Eco-logging holds the same debased absurdity as  ‘consensual rape’.    Some loggers trying to con naive media, will use a similar term ‘eco-friendly logging’ as a euphemism for killing trees for commercial exploitation.  It’s just that lumberjacks find it harder to say so many words together, so eco-friendly logging is used instead.  If any human activity in anyway causes harm to an part of an ecosystem it ain’t eco-friendly.  Thsi is the test of harm, and may be equated to someone hurting another person and labelling the act as friendly.    the concept of ‘sustainable’ logging practices is only about sustainability for a logger as a viable going concern; it;s just that the word sustainable has been pilfered in teh name of good greenwashing.  We know it is all crap.  For greenwashing entertainment on how the logging industry manipulates the term ‘logging’, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logging .  Hey, they even don’t call themselves ‘loggers’; instead they call themselves ‘forestry’ – as if they actually create forests. We know it is all crap.


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A tourist organisation or government authority with entrusted custodial care of a natural area of high conservation value, which exploits the natural values of that area for self-gain and in the process causes harmful impact to those natural values.  An eco-pimp is derived from the colloquial term ‘pimp‘, being an agent for prostitutes who lives off their earnings.  Instead of profiting from a prostitute, an eco-pimp profits from ecology.  An eco-pimp procures visitation to a protected area that exploits and harms fragile ecology for commercial gain.

A natural land manager that procures visitation and, in the process, damages the natural values of a protected area, would be deemed an eco-pimp.  Tourist operators that brand themselves as offering ‘ecotourism’, profiting from ecology while damaging that ecology would be deemed eco-pimps.  The test is one of ecological harm.  Ethical ecotourism operators and ethical natural land managers that consistently adhere to the universal national parks tenet – ‘to take only photos and leave nothing but footprints‘., would not be deemed eco-pimps.   ‘Self- reliant bushwalking‘ on defined tracks would be expected to satisfy the definition of ethical ecotourism.


Is a hybrid field of psychology embraces nature and explores the human-nature relationship, or ‘the synergistic relation between planetary and personal well being; that the needs of the one are relevant to the other’.  Eco-psychology ‘is situated at the intersection of a number of fields of enquiry, including environmental philosophy, psychology, and ecology, but is not limited by any disciplinary boundaries‘. [Source: International Community for Ecopsychology].

‘Ecopsychology connects psychology and ecology.  Theodore Roszak is credited with coining the term in his 1992 book, The Voice of the Earth. This was a call for the development of a field in which psychology would go out of the built environment to examine why people continue to behave in “crazy” ways that damage the environment, and the environmental movement would find new ways to motivate people to action, ways more positive than protest.

The basic idea of ecopsychology is that while the human mind is shaped by the modern social world, it can be readily inspired and comforted by the wider natural world, because that is the arena in which it originally evolved.

Mental health or unhealth cannot be understood simply in the narrow context of only intrapsychic phenomena or social relations. One also has to include the relationship of humans to other species and ecosystems. These relations have a deep evolutionary history; reach a natural affinity within the structure of their brains and they have deep psychic significance in the present time, in spite of urbanization. Humans are dependent on healthy nature not only for their physical sustenance, but for mental health, too. The destruction of ecosystems means that something in humans also dies.

Ecopsychology explores how to make links and bonds with nature. It considers that this is worth doing, because when nature is explored and viewed without judgment, it gives the sensations of harmony, balance, timelessness and stability. Ecopsychology largely rejects reductionist views of nature that focus upon rudimentary building blocks such as genes, and that describe nature as selfish and a struggle to survive.

Ecopsychology considers that there has been insufficient scientific description and exploration of nature, in terms of wildness, parsimony, spirituality and emotional ties.  In its exploration of how to bond with nature, ecopsychology is interested in the examples provided by a wide variety of ancient and modern cultures that have histories of embracing nature. Examples include aboriginal, pagan and Hindu cultures, and shamanism.

Roszak refers to a variety of other names used to describe this field: psychoecology, ecotherapy, environmental psychology, green psychology, global therapy, green therapy, Earth-centered therapy, reearthing, nature-based psychotherapy, shamanic counselling, sylvan therapy’. [Wikipedia]


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edge effects

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environmental campaign

An organised political effort which seeks to influence the decision making process associated with a particular environmental cause, typically one that is place-based.

environmental cause

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environmental campaign episode

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exploitive colonialism


Land use of natural areas that exploits nature for commercial gain, including many of rural practices under the umbrella classification of ‘primary industry’.  This includes, logging, mining, bush arson, poaching, damage to native vegetation, flooding associated with irrigation or dam construction.  The outcome of such human practices is the exploitation of the natural environment.  The environmentally destructive result is a carry over from the mass destruction of forests and extensive topsoil depletion inflicted by the British-lead colonial invasion of Australia.  Neo-colonialism is simply a repetitive form of past colonialism.


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forest eco-theft

Forest eco-theft involves the immoral taking of timber from a native forest, especially in large industrial quantities, for commercial gain and incurring no or little economic cost to the taker. The intended or actual use of the timber is irrelevent, but may include logs, firewood, craft timber, or woodchips. The greater the timber volume taken, the greater impact upon a forest and so the more serious the Eco-theft.

‘Eco-theft’ is only different to criminal theft because of the colonist exploitative mindset of current governments rejecting native forest having ecological value worthy of protection under the Crimes Act.

forest floor sterilisation

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forest home invasion

The forced access and damage to forest habitat including logging, slashing and or burning of forest vegetation (trees and ground cover), soil disturbance, track and road construction, water pollution, water diversion, introducing feral animals and the spread of weeds.  Like the human form of home invasion, forest home invasion is a human act of violent forced entry to wildlife habitat and its seizure, domination and subjugation.  It can involve habitat destruction, wildlife killing and denaturing.

Such practice is morally illegitimate and unjust under Natural Law and the principle ‘Ex injuria jus non oritur‘ – illegal acts cannot create law.  Humans immorally justify such practice under Man-Made Law, while comparable to such perverted human justifications as the ‘Right of Conquest’, ‘Victor’s Rights’, ‘Trial by Battle’, ‘Might is Right’, Victor’s Justice (in German, Siegerjustiz).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law]

Forest Certification

According to the Forest Stewardship Council, forest certification is the process of inspecting particular forests or woodland to see if they are being managed according to an agreed set of (FSC) standards.Natural Forest

Forest areas where many of the principal characteristics and key elements of native ecosystems such as complexity, structure and diversity are present, as defined by FSC approved national and regional standards of forest management.

[Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]

‘Regrowth Forest’ #1

A forest which has had many if not most of its mature trees cleared or cut and felled for timber or woodchips. Often, the area will be burned after logging before the regrowth can take place.

Any large holes in the forest canopy as a result of logging, etc, may allow the too-vigorous regrowth of certain understorey species such as creepers, which can smother young trees. These same holes allow the invasion of potentially destructive weed species and greater susceptibility to fire and disease.

Therefore, regrowth forests are often places where, due to human intervention, there has been a species-shift towards an unnatural dominance of any one or several species – particularly in a situation where the species-shift creates a forest type that is antagonistic to the primary forest that most closely resembles the nearest ‘best example reference-site’. For example, the intrusion of eucalypt species into what were originally rainforest areas, due to a deliberate program of logging then burning-off by State Forests or private foresters can permanently block-out the regeneration of the species indigenous to a particular region. In such instances, ‘regrowth’ should indicate the need for the forest to be assisted to grow more biodiverse, not just for each tree to grow in height and girth.

‘Regrowth Forest’ #2

“A native forest dominated by early stages of succession following natural or artificial disturbance.” – Clark, 1995.

It has been suggested that there is a strong case for logging of some regrowth forest by removing a portion of the dieback trees, whenever they occur. Much of the dieback in regrowth forest is due to inappropriate, unnatural burning regimes with consequent exposure of the trunks of once-healthy trees to disease organisms. By removing these trees (but not habitat trees), utilising them as a valuable timber resource, and re-planting or re-seeding the site with those rainforest species which so often were endemic to the area, the threat of fire could be progressively reduced while the forest biodiversity could steadily increase. This could create a ‘well managed’ forest from one which was previously mismanaged. (There has been the suggestion put forward that the logging of regrowth forest could sometimes be greatly preferable to plantation establishment and harvesting, due to many plantations causing far more damage to the ecosytem than would a native (regrowth) forest logging operation.)

Virtually all ‘regrowth’ forest areas ­ to which access for restoration forestry practices might be justified on ecological grounds ­ are areas where human intervention to cause species-shift has taken place. Consequently, appropriate human interaction could greatly assist in restoring endemic species and species biodiversity. (See also the references to species-shift in the article Eucalypt Plantations in NSW in this section.)

Note: Any logging or thinning of so-called regrowth forest would need to be carried out on the say-so of independent expert forest ecologists (such as Lindenmeyer, Norton, Kirkpatrick, etc). A forest that an ecologist deems to be ‘old growth’ may be called ‘regrowth’ by the timber industry, since it would be in their interests to do so. The industry has a vested interest in being reductionist and minimalist in its definitions of the so-called “resource”.

In NSW, much of our soon-to-be-classified High Conservation Value forest areas run the risk of being defined as ‘regrowth’ or ‘secondary’ forest and even ‘plantation’ by big industry players and bureaucrats. Thus the traditional cynicism shown by green groups to the use of the words ‘regrowth’ and ‘sustainable’ in the same sentence. The Guide looks forward to the time when ‘well managed regrowth forest’ means universally that human interaction is causing forest health and biodiversity to be restored in an area which is still producing timber.

[Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]

governance on paper

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“The new trend of business (and government bodies) to promote themselves and their products as ‘eco-friendly’ ‘green’ ‘sustainable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ when this really isn’t the case.  Facing an ever more discerning public, greenwashing has turned into a billion dollar public relations machine. Eco-shout aims to expose the greenwash so that people looking for sustainable alternatives have the knowledge to make an informed decision.”   [^http://www.eco-shout.org/greenwash.php]

greenwash scullduggery

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‘A habitat is an area of the environment where an organism lives, feeds and breeds.’ – University of Reading, England, ^http://www.ecifm.reading.ac.uk/habitat.htm).

The area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs. The word is Latin for ‘it inhabits’.  Native habitat is the natural home of wildlife.  For forest fauna, it is the forest still in its valuable wild state, undisturbed by humans, pest-free, biodiversity rich, and within a complex resilient ecosystem.

‘Native habitat’ can be described as an ‘ecosystem’ – the biological and physical components of a natural environment.  This website focuses on the ecology of flora and fauna and regards an ecosystem as the natural home or ‘habitat’ of flora and fauna.  Native habitat is an holistic ‘natural home, natural life’ view of nature.  We advocate a habitat-centric view of the natural landscape, not an anthropocentric (human needs) view.

habitat advocacy

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habitat conservation

“Habitat conservation is a land management practice that seeks to conserve, protect and restore, habitat areas for wild plants and animals, especially conservation reliant species, and prevent their extinction, fragmentation or reduction in range. It is a priority of many groups that cannot be easily characterized in terms of any one ideology.”   [4]

habitat corridor

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habitat degradation

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habitat destruction and fragmentation

Respectively, the destruction or fragmentation by humans of the area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs.  Cumulatively, these threats (which translate into actual habitat destruction and death to wildlife) are causing local and global extinctions of wildlife species.   It is a global ecological and moral priority for mankind to stop, prevent and reversing this trend.

The array of types of habitat destruction and fragmentation are numerous and include Bushfire Management (including changes to natural fire regimes), Deforestation, Land Use Development, Landfill and Dumping, Farming, Feral Predation, Groundwater Tampering, Hydro-electricity and dams, Industrial Pollution, Mining, indirectly from Overpopulation, Pacohing and Poisoning, Road Making, indirectly from Selling Public Land, Sewage, Stormwater Runoff, Tourism and Recreation, Utility Corridors, War and from Weeds.  Increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.

At the top of the food chain top order predators (typically ‘carnivores’) hold territories (‘home ranges’) which can cover a large area in order for the predator to survive with sufficient food stocks and without encroaching upon neighbouring predators.   In south-eastern Australia, the endangered Spotted-Tailed Quoll has a estimated home range of approximately 500 hectares (2.2km x 2.2km)  which may overlap with others.[18]

There is a maximum density of predators in a given territory.  Destruction or fragmentation of habitat within a predator territory causes negative impacts and disrupts the behaviour of the predation processes – leading to crowding (increased population densities) and to increased competition in a smaller territory.   The preferred area or territory of top order predators has a natural carrying capacity limit.  Destruction or fragmentation of habitat can lead to reduced offspring, reduced population sizes, reduced genetic diversity and reduced fecundity (survivability) and ultimately to local extinction and a chain of extinction down the food chain.  Some predators are more density-dependent that other species and more susceptible to local extinction when that density is exceeded. Conflict with people on reserve borders is the major cause of mortality in such populations, so that border areas representpopulation sinks.  These negative impacts are referred to as ‘edge effects’.  [15]

habitat ecology

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habitat mapping

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habitat quality

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habitat restoration

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habitat selection

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habitat threat

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habitat values

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habitat vs ecosystem

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habitat vs niche

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habitat zones

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hazard reduction

A government euphemism for deliberately setting fire to native vegetation based on the premise that by burning vegetation it won’t burn as fiercely in the event of a wildfire.  Hazard reduction is a bushfire prevention theory that rejects the conservation value of native forests and instead only regards native forests as ‘fuel’ in the three component ‘fire triangle’ that requires the presence of fuel, oxygen and heat for a fire to occur.  Other terms for hazard reduction are ‘prescribed burning’, ‘control burning’, and ‘fuel reduction burning’.  Defacto hazard reduction has been found to be applied during actual bushfire fighting operations by the use of deliberate backburning that is allowed to cover a broad area of bushland well away from the front of a wildfire.

Hazard reduction has become inculcated by Australian Government policy to being a cultural pastime  by State bushfire authorities across Australia.   It has become a convenient substitute for true rural fire fighting.  Rural fire fighting is a government responsibility and true rural fire fighting demands massive government standby resources to ensure fast detection and effective suppression of ignitions.

The effects of hazard reduction on biodiversity, especially in the short term and to native fauna, are devastating.   Vast areas of rich forest ecosystems across Australia  have been frequently destroyed by the State-sanctioned practice of hazard reduction, which have left behind sterile forests devoid of wildlife.   Like forestry clearfelling, the landscape become devoid of groundcover.  Refuges such as hollow logs used by ground dwelling mammals and reptiles are burnt and destroyed.  Natural food sources are destroyed.  Fire-sensitive and fire-intolerant flora are eliminated.  The landscape remains devoid of ground cover for months preventing animals that could flee the fire from returning.  Many territorial mammals cannot recover and so die out due to lack of food, and lack vegetation denying shelter and making them susceptible to feral predators.  Fire resistant flora slowly regrows over months following a fire but in disproportion to natural biodiversity.  Hazard reduction has become a threatening process that has contributed to more local species extinctions than any other human impact on the natural landscape.      “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34 – inspired by Richard Werrell, Wentworth Falls].

high-conservation-value forest

…those that possess one or more of the following attributes:

  1. Forest areas containing globally, regionally or nationally significant concentrations of biodiversity values (e.g. endemism, endangered species, refugia), and/or large landscape level forests, contained within, or containing the management unit, where viable populations of most if not all naturally occurring species exist in natural patterns of distribution and abundance;
  2. Forest areas that are in or contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems;
  3. Forest areas that provide basic services of nature in critical situations (e.g. watershed protection, erosion control);
  4. Forest areas fundamental to meeting basic needs of local communities (e.g. subsistence, health ) and/or critical to local communities’ traditional cultural identity (areas of cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance identified in cooperation with such local communities).

[Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]

home range

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industrial poaching

Industrial-scale killing of wildlife.  An example is the outback Queensland kangaroo poachers who have set up an efficient means of mass slaughter of Australia’s native kangaroos on an industrial scale. Poaching and processing equipment includes telescopic rifles, custom designed utility vehicles with framing designed to cart dozens of kangaroo corpses, mobile skinning machines, refrigerator trucks with racking for multiple kangaroo corpses, mincing machines and meat packing factories.

Industrial poaching does not include killing one or two native animals for daily personal consumption by persons indigenous living a traditional subsistence.  But industrial poaching does include killing of wildlife by persons indigenous not for personal consumption but for commercial gain.  The distinction is both the purpose of the wildlife killing and the scale of the wildlife killing.

introduced species impact

An introduced species is a species living outside its native distributional range that was introduced by humans.  Similar terms include ‘exotic’, ‘non-indigenous’, ‘non-native species’.[20]  The introduction could have been either deliberate or accidental.  The species can be animal, plant or any other organism. Many introduced species are classified as cultivated or as ‘livestock’ which are generally controlled from spreading into an ecosystem; whiles others are are classed as ‘pests’ – typically animals which have a direct effect on human standard of living or the environment/ecosystems in areas where they are present; or ‘ferals’ – animals for domestic purposes (cats, wild dogs, boars, horses, camels, etc) which have gone wild; or in the worst case, ‘invasive’ – which have spread in plague numbers due to adaption and high reproductive rate causing harmful impacts to the ecosystem they are introduced into (e.g. mice, cats, rabbits, dandelions, poison ivy and cane toads.[16]

industrial poaching

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issues and impacts

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khaki green

A form of ‘Green’ ideological movement which has grassroots origins and relates to hard-hitting Green activism involving participating in public protests, protest marches, demonstrations, blockades, canopy camping.  It is at the more extreme end of environmental activism and not for the faint hearted.

kit kat orphans

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listening post

Traditionally ‘listening post’ refers to a concealed position maintained to obtain information. It is derived from military use referring to a post or position in advance of a defensive line, established for the purpose of listening to detect the enemy’s movements. It provides a source of intelligence about the enemy to be kept informed of revolutionary activities. In light of the many human threats to wildlife habitat, we consider the term very appropriate for our news update page.

monsanto scientist

A mad scientist engaged in unscrupulous experimentation such as genetic manipulation, animal testing, etc. A gene known as cry1Ac from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, and sourced from Monsanto has been introduced into eggplant (brinjal) to help it fend off common borer pests.

mutual interdependence

national park tenet

The universal national park tenet is to “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints“.

natural world

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non-violent direct action

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Human killing of more of a wildlife species than the reproductive capacity of the population can tolerate to survive extinction.  ‘Overkill occurs whenever hunting occurs at rates greater than the reproductive capacity of the population is being exploited. The effects of this are often noticed much more dramatically in slow growing populations such as many larger species of fish. Initially when a portion of a wild population is hunted, an increased availability of resources (food, etc) is experienced increasing growth and reproduction as Density dependent inhibition is lowered. Hunting, fishing and so on, has lowered the competition between members of a population. However, if this hunting continues at rate greater than the rate at which new members of the population can reach breeding age and produce more young, the population will begin to decrease in numbers.[14] Populations become confined to islands, surrounded by areas of habitat destruction and where there has been unsustainable hunting.’


paparazzi tourism

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Accepts and reveres the universe and nature just as they are, and promotes an ethic of respect for human and animal rights and for lifestyles that sustain rather than destroy the environment.  At the heart of pantheism is reverence of the universe as the ultimate focus of reverence, and for the natural earth as sacred.

The basic concepts comprise:

  • Reverence for Nature and the wider Universe.
  • Active respect and care for the rights of all humans and other living beings.
  • Celebration or our lives in our bodies on this beautiful earth as a joy and a privilege.
  • Realism – acceptance that the external world exists independently of human consciousness or perception.
  • Strong naturalism, without belief in supernatural realms, afterlives, beings or forces.
  • Respect for reason, evidence and the scientific method as our best ways of understanding nature and the Universe.
  • Promotion of religious tolerance, freedom of religion and complete separation of state and religion.

parsley smile

An obvious lie or clearly deceitful statement. A statement of false hope and promise that is so obvious as to be clearly unbelievable at the moment uttered. It is typically an exaggeration, or a downplaying understatement, or an ambiguous or indirect statement, an omission of vital information, or an outright lie.[1]

Disingenuous propaganda typically provided by a government department about its commitment to environmental conservation. A positive spin is put on an issue providing false hope of positive environmental outcome to the community. The falseness of the offer is so obvious as to be like a piece of parsley on the teeth of the person uttering the false promise.

A parsley smile can be in the form of an assertion [an enthusiastic or energetic statement presented as a fact and implied it be accepted without question. Glittering generalities have a positive spin link to a valued concept which encourage approval without thinking, simply because such an important concept is involved.

For example, when a person is asked to do something in “defence of democracy” they are more likely to agree. The concept of democracy has a positive connotation to them because it is linked to a concept that they value. Words often used as glittering generalities are honor, glory, love of country, and especially in the United States, freedom. When coming across with glittering generalities, we should especially consider the merits of the idea itself when separated from specific words. These are propaganda techniques.[2]

In an article by Simon Butler, 13 September 2009, entitled The false hope of ‘clean coal’[3], Butler argues that the clean coal myth is useful to the wealthy elites because it provides an excuse to governments and the big polluters to avoid real action on climate change.

planet parasite

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pringle orphans

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This forest requires a high level of soil moisture. The canopy is virtually continuous but may be arranged in severals distinct layers. A prominent feature is the frequent presence of epiphytes and vines on the tree trunks. Because of the thick canopy of the leaves, little sunlight penetrates to the forest floor, so there is an absence of grasses and herbage.   [Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]

rational avoidance of accountability

An application of Rational Choice theory applied by Mark Launchs (2006) to government public servants.  Launchs interprets Rational Choice theory to mean that  a rational person is motivated by self-interest and will try to meet their own desires in preference to those of others, and that such rational persons would attempt to obtain these desires in the most efficient manner possible.   Launchs posits that rational choice is predominant in government public service and contends that public servants and politicians perform acts of corruption and maladministration in order to efficiently meet their desires.  Thus publci service accountability becomes an outcome of the self-interest of the public servant, not the public. [25]

restoration forestry

[definition quoted from Michael Pilarski, Rainforest Information Centre, Nimbin, Australia.  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/rest_for.htm ]

“Restoration Forestry means working with nature to restore the world’s forests to their former grandeur and function. The forests are the world’s humidifiers, lungs, oxygen producers, soil producers, biomass producers and carbon cyclers. Forests are the basis for much of life on earth. Assuring humanity of a steady supply of wood products is only part of the goal of restoration forestry.

…Forest ecosystems are not simple. They are extremely complex and always changing. Each forest is unique. Restoration forestry is not a set of of simple rules. It is an art as well as a science. It must come from a place of awe, wonder and humility. The forest is the best forester. Left to herself, nature increases the forests’ richness of biomass, biodiversity, complexity, and soil. We must listen to the forest. This means we must spend much time in observation. It means getting to know a forest personally. It means having fewer acres per forester, locally-based forestry, and resident forest stewardship.

…Restoration Forestry enables a strong web of functional symbiotic relationships within the ecosystem. All the parts are there. A forest without its bird component, without its insects, or mycorrhiza or mammals is not a whole being. Expecting a forest to function productively without all of its components is like expecting the human body to perform well without kidneys, thyroid, adrenals, white corpuscles, etc. Forests, like bodies, are self-healing to a certain extent. Trees die, forests seldom do, although they might have to move to a new location if growing conditions change radically.

Restoration forestry assists nature to heal degraded forests and bring them back to a state of biological productivity, biodiversity, ecological stability and resilience.

Restoration forestry means increasing the area under forest cover and increasing the age classes, the standing volume and the diversity of forest ecosystems. It means careful harvesting methods that minimise disturbance of soil and plant communities. It means that many more people will have to be employed in the woods, not less; using smaller machines and more reliance on draft animals. It means smaller mills and more value-added processing close to the wood source. It means minimal waste, maximum recycling, and the development of non-tree paper pulp and alternative building materials. It means more people caring for the forest and researching its complex processes, so that we can ever refine our management/dance with the forest.

Restoration forestry leads to a steady yield of high value timber. Clearcutting and/or short-rotation forestry leads to a periodic return of low-quality timber. Restoration forestry makes much better ecological sense and it makes better economic sense.

…Restoration forestry leads to healthy forest across the world producing an abundance of high-quality timber and myriad other forest products. Restoration forestry practised on the broad scale would lead to a landscape containing old growth forests and big trees. Restoration forestry promises self-reliant communities with healthy, diverse economies based on self-employed individuals, small companies, and worker-owned enterprises. Wide-scale tree plantings in cities, towns, villages and homesteads provide more agreeable, healthful and beautiful places to live.

Restoration forestry can aid agriculture in many ways. Maximal use of trees, agroforestry, shelterbelts, windbreaks and hedgerows can increase world food production, significantly increasing fruit and nut crops. Large amounts of marginal farm and grazing land can be retired from agriculture for restoration reforestation. Over the course of several centuries, more of the world can be allowed to revert towards wilderness. The world’s forest cover could be doubled and the natural productivity of the world’s ecosystems restored in large part.

…Restoration forestry offers methods to restore the forests, but it will only become a reality if society commits the resources to do it. Restoration forestry can only happen as part of a greater paradigm shift away from the parth of exploitation, war and death, and towards a path based on love, caring, and stewardship. Restoration forestry is part of a life-affirmative world-view which is manifesting worldwide. The numbers of individuals and organisations consciously working toward peace on earth and goodwill towards trees increases daily. Our combined small daily efforts hold the promise of peaceful, forested future.


A form of khaki green front-line  environmental activism.  It involves excavating a section of a road (entire width) as it passes over a natural watercourse. It allows the watercourse below to be reinstated. The choice of location needs to be one of a key access road at a point above where a natural watercourse has good constant flow at a point where a detour would not be possible. The timing needs to be just before forecast heavy rain. The effect is to wash away the key access road akin to a landslide, such to prevent all vehicular use.   The purpose could be to prevent logging kill of forests of high conservation value and of native habitat.  It is a less confrontational approach than blockading bulldozers.


A ringbarker is a person or an organisation that sadistically kills trees, either for commercial gain or as act of bushphobia.  The traditional agrarian technique of ringbarking is to cut a complete ring around the bark at the girth of a tree so that the life giving secondary phloem tissue is severed.  Phloem is a tree’s outer vascular tissue that allows for transportation of sucrose from the leaves to the roots by osmosis.  Ringbarking causes slow death in a tree.  Since the inner vascular tissue (the xylem) is not damaged, water and minerals from the tree roots continues to be transported up through the tree.  But once the roots die so too does the tree.  ‘Death occurs when the roots can no longer produce ATP and transport nutrients upwards through the xylem.’ [7]

A ringbarker is a colloquial label that can refer more broadly to anyone or organisation that kills trees in any manner, not just by the traditional technique.   It includes chain sawing, burning, bulldozing, cable logging, trittering, poisoning and basically any for of killing trees.  Typically ringbarkers are loggers killing trees for direct commercial gain, farmers killing trees to extract greater pasture or tillage area from native forests area.  It also includes rural fire authorities and National Parks Services that either allow a wildfire to burn through a native forest or else deliberately set fire to a native forest as an act of bushphobia.

satellite pristine

(definition tba)

scorched earthed

(definition tba)

species shift

The still-current practice of “species-shift” plantation-establishment is by no means an acceptable method. The species-shift method involves firstly the extraction of a majority of viable sawlogs and then leaving seed-producing trees of only desired species. Fire is used to kill-off all other unwanted species, leaving only the very few adult specimens to propagate themselves and thus replace the original, diverse forest ecosystem with a virtual monoculture. This attack on the biodiversity of our native forests is still continuing!

[Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]



stihl forestry

Destroying native forests using chainsaws.  Term derived from ‘still birth’.  Just as giving birth to a stillborn baby is undoubtedly one of the most devastating experiences a parent could ever have to face, chainsawing a forest results in utter destruction to forest habitat and the likelihood of localised mammalian extinction.

strategic incompetence

Purposely performing a task so poorly as to discourage being assigned this task again, but not poorly enough to be fired.  [24] This typically applies to government departments and agencies that have delegated responsibilities or environmental management and environmental protection that find ways to avoid good governance of that responsibility.  The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and local governments are classic examples.

strategic procrastination

Stone-walling – being to engage in delaying tactics; stalling.  [8]  A euphemism for not completing a task or responding to an invitation because of the possibility it will go away.  This is typically of government departments when challenged by the community to be held account for assigned responsibilities.  The duration of ignoring a request can persist for many months or even years.  It is a proven unethical strategy by governments seeking to remain unaccountable to the public. Often only media exposure or legal action against the intransigent government agency can end the stone-walling.  Not completing a task or responding to an invitation because of the possibility it will go away.[24]  [Refer:  Rational Avoidance of Accountability]

symbiosis  (mutualism)


tim tam orphans


(definition tba)

toxic tourism


(definition tba)

tree sitting

(definition tba)

tyranny law

(definition tba)

virgin experience

Various forms of adventure tourism and extreme sports that seek to encroach further into pristine wilderness with the aim of experiencing new frontiers.
In so doing, unspoilt virgin wilderness becomes disturbed, perpetuating the loss of undisturbed wilderness.

web of life


well-managed (forest)

On the face of it, ‘well managed’ would appear to be a fairly nebulous term. However, in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s Principles & Criteria, this term describes a process which will: “…meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations”.
…seems rather anthropocentric.
[Source:  http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/glossary.htm,  ‘Wood in Australia’ by Keith Bootle]


Wilderness comprises that last substantial remnants of the ecologically complete environment that once covered the earth.”  [Source:  Alex Colley O.A.M., The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Inc., 1996.]

Wilderness is ‘land free from development!’ It is an area that is, or can be restored to be of sufficient size to enable the long term protection of its natural systems and biological diversity; and substantially undisturbed by modern society; and remote at its core from points of mechanised access and other evidence of society.‘  [Source:  Australian Heritage Commission’s National Wilderness Inventory].

In New Zealand, designated wilderness are remote blocks of land (generally over 40,000 ha) that have high natural character, where there is no human intervention (access by vehicles and livestock, the construction of tracks and buildings), and where all indigenous natural resources are protected.

The United States was the first country to officially designate land as “wilderness” through the Wilderness Act of 1964, which defined wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammelled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”  Wilderness designation helps preserve the natural state of the land and protects flora and fauna by prohibiting development and providing for non-mechanized recreation only. The first wilderness refuge designation was for the Great Swamp in New Jersey.

The IUCN Protected Areas Classification System defines wilderness as “A large area of unmodified or slightly modified land, and/or sea retaining its natural character and influence, without permanent or significant habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition (Category 1b).” [Source: ^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness]

The term ‘wilderness’ is a human construction.’  [Source: http://wilderdom.com/wilderness/WildernessDefinition.html ]

All the Earth was originally a natural place or ‘wilderness’ – area untouched by humans.  It is only those places left that humans have not disturbed that humans assign the label of ‘wilderness’.

wilderness protection

Preventing any form of unnatural disturbance to wilderness.  ‘Wilderness protection is a basic environmental requirement. But without active Government support the work toward wilderness protection grinds to a halt. It follows that failure to recognise, protect and manage valuable wilderness is a sure indicator of a Government’s poor overall environmental performance.’

‘The main criticism of technical definitions of ‘wilderness’ being based upon remoteness from access, is that most wilderness is not remote from access by 4WD vehicle. Maps of such ‘remote’ areas are essentially ‘inverted road maps’ featuring vast areas of desert, while many forested areas are excluded simply because of the presence of 4WD dirt tracks.’

As Myles Dunphy said,

The only way to conserve valuable wilderness is to place an embargo on roads in relation to it” (1934).

[Source: The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Inc. http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/whatiswilderness.htm ]


Undomesticated forms of life.  ‘Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms.’   Generally plants ans animals that have not been behaviourally modified, interbred or genetically modified by humans; The term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors. [9]

Australia has many species of wildlife, including 450 species of mammals, 300 species of lizards, 140 species of snakes, 2 species of crocodiles, 2,000 species of bony sea fish, 180 species of fresh water fish, 100 species of sharks, 50 species of rays, 750 species of birds, 2,000 species of flies, 5,000 species of bees, 110,000 species of insects and 2,000 species of spider.[10]  The kangaroo is an iconic member of Australia’s wildlife – a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning ‘large foot’), which have adapted to the harsh Australian environment over eons.[11]  Despite the kangaroo being recognised as a national symbol of Australia, on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as the symbol of tourism and for Qantas, the kangaroo remains persecuted throughout Australia – many being shot for commercial gain for pet meat, leather hides and as a sadistic sport.

wildlife destruction

Wildlife destruction is mass killing of wildlife by humans, either targeting a particular species or multiple species.

Exploitation of wild populations has been a characteristic of modern man since our exodus from Africa 130,000 – 70,000 years ago. The rate of extinctions of entire species of plants and animals across the planet has been so high in the last few hundred years it is widely considered that we are in the sixth great extinction event on this planet; the Holocene Mass Extinction.

Destruction of wildlife does not always lead to an extinction of the species in question, however, the dramatic loss of entire species across Earth dominates any review of wildlife destruction as extinction is the level of damage to a wild population from which there is no return.  The four most general reasons that lead to destruction of wildlife include overkill, habitat destruction and fragmentation, impact of introduced species and chains of extinction.'[12]


The natural untamed quality of being wild.

Henry David Thoreau wrote the famous phrase, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

The benefits of reconnecting with nature by seeing the achievements of wildness is an area being investigated by ‘ecopsychology‘.

Wildness is that part of nature which is not controllable by humans. Nature retains a measure of autonomy, or wildness, apart from human constructions (Evanoff, 2005). Another version of this theme is that wildness produces things that are natural, while humans produce things that are artificial (man-made).

An ecological perspective sees wildness as “(the degree of) subjection to natural selection pressures”, many of which emerge independently from the biosphere. Thus modern civilization – contrasted with all humanity – can be seen as an ‘unnatural’ force (lacking wildness) as it strongly insulates and its population from many natural selection mechanisms, including interspecific competition such as predation and disease, as well as some intraspecific phenomena.

The importance of maintaining wildness in animals is recognized in the management of Wilderness areas. Feeding wild animals in national parks for example, is usually discouraged because the animals may lose the skills they need to fend for themselves. Human interventions may also upset continued natural selection pressures upon the population, producing a version of domestication within wildlife (Peterson et al. 2005).

Tameness implies a reduction in wildness, where animals become more easily handled by humans.

Feral organisms are members of a population that was once raised under human control, but is now living and multiplying outside of human control. Examples include mustangs. [Wikipedia]

“Do something for wildness and make the mountains glad.” – John Muir



Enraged citizen.  The German Language Society (GfdS) in December 2010 crowned ‘Wutbürger’, or “enraged citizen,” as the most important German word of 2010. The choice reflected a year in which the angry masses took to the streets in protest of several hot-button issues.  In particular, the word was coined to describe the irate residents of Stuttgart, who gathered week after week to demonstrate against a controversial rail project in the Baden-Württemberg capital.   It stands for the population’s fury over “political decisions made above their heads,” the GfdS said in their annual announcement.









[1] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deception

[2] ^ http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm

[3] ^ http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/810/41662

[4] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_conservation

[5] ^ http://www.pantheism.net/manifest.htm

[6]    ‘Using Pedagogy of Place in Conservation Education’, Rick Mrazek, [Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Association For Environmental Education, Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 13-Nov-07]. ^ http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/8/7/2/3/p187232_index.html

[7] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girdling

[8] ^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stonewalling

[9] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife

[10] ^ Australian Wildlife, http://www.apex.net.au/~mhumphry/austwild.html

[11] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo

[12] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife

[13] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife

[14] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife

[15] ^ Rosie Woodroffe, Joshua R. Ginsberg, ‘Edge Effects and the Extinction of Populations Inside Protected Areas’, ‘Science’ 26-Jun-98, Vol. 280. no. 5372, pp. 2126 – 2128, DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2126, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/280/5372/2126

[16] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildlife

[17] ^ http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/3027/Extinction-Endangered-Species.html

[18] ^ http://www.home.acenet.net.au/rhysparry/Tiger%20quoll%20facts.htm

[19] ^ Erin Gersley, 17-Nov-01, ‘Phobias: Causes and Treatments’ in AllPsych Journal, http://www.allpsych.com/journal/phobias.html

[20] ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasive_species_in_Australia

[21]  ^http://www.australianwildlife.org/,  ^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nature_Conservancy, ^http://www.australianhimalayanfoundation.org.au/html/s02_article/article_view.asp?art_id=174&nav_cat_id=163&nav_top_id=50

[22] ^http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html

[23] ^http://law-and-science.net/Science4BLJ/Scientific_Method/Deliberate.bias/Text.htm

[24]  Urban Dictionarym, ^ http://www.urbandictionary.com/

[25]  Mark Lauchs, ‘Rational avoidance of accountability by Queensland governments’ , 2006, [Queensland University of Technology], Thesis,^ http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16368/

– End of webpage –

Definition: trick
Synonyms: bluff, cheat, crime, deception, double-cross, dupe, fraud, gold brick, graft, mockery, swindle, take in
Antonyms: honesty, truthfulness
Main Entry: con
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: deceive, defraud
Synonyms: bamboozle*, bilk, cajole, cheat, chicane, coax, double-cross, dupe, flimflam, fool, hoax, hoodwink, hornswoggle, humbug, inveigle, mislead, rip off, rook, sweet-talk, swindle, trick, wheedle
Antonyms: be forthright, be honest
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Main Entry: against
Part of Speech: preposition
Definition: opposite to
Synonyms: across, adjacent, con, contra, contrary to, counter to, facing, in contrast to, in opposition to, opposed to, opposing, versus, vs
Main Entry: artifice
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: hoax; clever act
Synonyms: con , contrivance, device, dodge, expedient, gambit, gimmick, machination, maneuver, play, ploy, racket, ruse, savvy, scam*, stratagem, subterfuge, tactic, wile
Antonyms: candor, frankness, honesty, honor, ingenuousness, innocence, openness, reality, sincerity, truthfulness
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