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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Lord Howe Island phasmid (stick insect).

IdratherbeclimbingM9
17/08/2012
6:21:48 PM
Tonight on Ch 9 news Sir David Attenborough championed the Lord Howe Island stick insect breeding programme at Melbourne Zoo.
He was filmed handling the insect, and the footage went on to explain that the zoo has been successful in breeding 10,000 of the insects, and they are expected to be re-introduced to their original habitat soon, (implied this year?).
~> Presumably this means Lord Howe Island?

I don't know what this means for Balls Pyramid and the climbing ban there due to same...

kuu
17/08/2012
7:17:34 PM
It's interesting that the current notion being peddled is that this relic population of the Lord Howe Island phasmid was discovered only ten or so years ago. This quote from ABC Online News ...

"But almost 10 years ago a small colony was found on a cliff face on a rocky outcrop."

Whereas in fact one such individual was discovered on Balls Pyramid many years earlier by Dr David Roots when he was part of a climbing expedition before such activities became illegal. Years later the insect's survival was confirmed when a formally sanctioned scientific party visited the Pyramid and collected living specimens that have subsequently provided the basis for this "resurrection" of the species.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
17/08/2012
7:27:59 PM
On 17/08/2012 kuu wrote:
>This quote from ABC Online News ...
>
>"But almost 10 years ago a small colony was found on a cliff face on a
>rocky outcrop."
>
Ch 2 news tonight mentioned Balls Pyramid, and reckoned 9,500 phasmids have been bred, plus their reintroduction to (quote) 'Lord Howe Island' could take up to three years!

~> It doesn't look like the ban on climbing Balls Pyramid will be lifted any time soon...




















Given the Balls Pyramid experience, if I find anything unusual at Mt Buffalo, I shall be remaining quiet about it! ;-)
One Day Hero
17/08/2012
8:25:23 PM
Dude, we're talking about 20ish individual bugs which represent the entire wild population on the planet........that's important. I'd be rather keen to climb that crazy thing, but don't you reckon it's pretty reasonable to wait until the phasmids are actually established somewhere else first?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
17/08/2012
8:36:04 PM
On 17/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>Dude, we're talking about 20ish individual bugs which represent the entire
>wild population on the planet........that's important. I'd be rather keen
>to climb that crazy thing, but don't you reckon it's pretty reasonable
>to wait until the phasmids are actually established somewhere else first?

That was certainly the case at a point in time quite a while back.
Another interesting fact is that, that small population of phasmids was geographically isolated to about 12 sq m of Balls Pyramid real estate (totally dependent on two or three food supply bushes and the leaf litter from them), and the established climbing route on BP was further than that distance off to one side...

Whether or not the present number in the zoo is 9,500 or 10,000, is a mute point when it comes to an expansion from the original handful...
~> As soon as they are established on Lord Howe, I shall be petitioning the NSW govt to re-open climbing on Balls Pyramid!

Are you going to join kuu and I on the next ascent*?
(*We are not getting any younger while we wait around you know!)
;-)
One Day Hero
17/08/2012
9:09:36 PM
On 17/08/2012 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>
>Whether or not the present number in the zoo is 9,500 or 10,000, is a
>mute point when it comes to an expansion from the original handful...

However, I think all of those captive ones came from one breeding pair. Not that you'd expect too much extra genetic diversity in the wild population, but still......

> As soon as they are established on Lord Howe, I shall be petitioning
>the NSW govt to re-open climbing on Balls Pyramid!

I wouldn't put money on any sort of rapid success with the reintroduction plan. My understanding is that rats just smash the things.......good luck de-ratting all of Lord Howe.

>Are you going to join kuu and I on the next ascent*?
>(*We are not getting any younger while we wait around you know!)
>;-)

Yep, if it gets to a point where an ascent is ethically (as well as legally) ok, I'd be up for it.
citationx
17/08/2012
10:41:06 PM
On 17/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>On 17/08/2012 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Yep, if it gets to a point where an ascent is ethically (as well as legally)
>ok, I'd be up for it.

OK. Who managed to hack ODHs account? there isn't even a swear word in this thread and his account has posted TWO times...

ajfclark
17/08/2012
10:42:45 PM
f--- f---.

Better?

ajfclark
18/08/2012
9:39:40 AM
This article ( http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/this-is-better-than-a-poke-in-the-eye-with-a-sharp-stick-insect-for-sir-david-20120817-24e6s.html ) give 2015 as the reintroduction target.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/08/2012
11:23:59 AM
Thanks for that link ajf.

Here is a link (that contains some good photos, plus further links), to one of a number of older threads on Chockstone regarding Balls Pyramid.

There are 10 messages in this topic.

 

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