The December blog post about the forgotten fauna of the Fleurieu Peninsula stimulated some great feedback from some of our newsletter subscribers with an interest in ecological change and the value of historical accounts for aiding our modern understanding of the environment.
For example, Graham Carpenter kindly shared a couple of early references to bird sightings in the Mount Compass district. The first of these, an 1883 article (shown below), by F.W. Andrews, gives an interesting early first-hand account of a range a species and what was involved in the field collection of birds specimens at that time. But a word of caution – field ecology “1880s style” involved the use of firearms!
For more detailed information about F.W. Andrews and his early contribution to natural history science in Australia, see this summary article. Sadly, as the linked article states, he died somewhat mysteriously while in the field on the Fleurieu Peninsula in 1884 – but he certainly left us with an incredibly important early perspective that is still of great value today.
If anyone has any early accounts (including articles, diaries, photographs, maps or other material) of Fleurieu Swamps, particularly in the Tookayerta catchment around Mt Compass and Nangkita, please get in touch – it would be great to hear from you (so that we could make a copy and incorporate any key information it provides into the catchment assessment currently underway).