Have you ever wondered why some years we have lots of rain, some years it’s really dry? There are a lot of different things happening in the sky that create our weather, and sometimes it’s so complicated we don’t know what to expect.
Luckily, we have some clever climate dogs to help us understand Victoria’s weather a little more.
As we head into spring, keep an eye on the weather and see if you think it is a wet spring or a dry spring, and what you think this means the climate dogs have been up to.
Victorians are lucky to boast a unique and diverse coastline. From rugged cliffs to surf beaches to bays, our coastline has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, Victorians also have a lot to offer with tonnes of rubbish accidently flowing through storm water systems and into the sea.
Plastic pollution poses a major threat to the marine ecosystem. Plastics don’t break down like organic materials (e.g. wood or leaves). Instead, plastic hangs around for a very long time. For example, a plastic water bottle will last for 450 years. In the ocean, plastics get bumped around and broken into tiny pieces, but never fully disappear. These tiny pieces are easily mistaken for food and can clog up marine animals’ digestive systems. This causes serious tummy aches and is sometimes fatal!
Once plastic gets into the ocean it is hard to remove. However, we can help by reducing the amount of water that washes into the sea in the first place. For example, everyone can reduce the amount of plastic they use by remembering green bags at the shops, reusing take-away containers, and refilling water bottles instead of buying a new one. If every Victorian made even a small effort, it would add up to a big difference for marine animals.
A weed is a plant that is growing where it’s not wanted. Weeds cause problems in our parks for many reasons:
Did you know that Many weeds can produce large amounts of seed which help their spread via wind, waterways, people (bottom of shoes), vehicles, birds and other animals. Willow trees for example have winged seeds that are carried on the wind tens of kilometres from their source.
When weeds become a problem in your school or garden it can be very helpful to develop a weed management plan. Things to include in a weed management plan include: learning about weeds in your area and how they are spread. Tell people about weeds and discuss problems and solutions. For more information, replacement plant ideas and disposal methods:
Fire, both as a natural event and its use by Aboriginal people has been a part of the Australian environment for thousands of years. It has shaped our plants and animals into the unique ecosystems we have today; its effects in many areas of Victoria are important for the health of our plants and animals. But is it good or Bad?
Well – it can depend. Most major parks in Victoria require periodic fire to ensure the survival of certain plants and animals. A number of native plants and animals have developed specific ways of surviving fire, in fact many including plants such as banksias and grass trees rely on fire to regenerate seeds and survive.
Today the term ‘prescribed burning’ refers to the use of fire to achieve planned land and resource management objectives. Depending on the environment type, some parks need more frequent fire than others. There are two main reasons that Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability conduct prescribed burns in Victoria’s parks:
Prescribed burns are usually conducted in autumn or spring when the weather is milder. Keep an eye out when you’re travelling around at this time of year for the large plumes of smoke coming from the burns.