Researchers are scrambling to save the native fauna on Christmas Island, a remote paradise with one of the worst extinction records in the world.
Christmas Island sits about 1,500km west of the Australian mainland. When it was first settled in the late 19th century, the island was celebrated for its pristine wilderness and unique wildlife, including an annual migration in which tens of millions of red land crabs return to the ocean to breed.
Today, Christmas Island is under serious threat. Four of its five endemic mammal species are now extinct, and the fifth is critically endangered. The island’s land crabs are being decimated by plagues of aggressive, acid-spraying invasive ants. And then there’s Gump, the world’s last Christmas Island forest skink, who sat alone in her enclosure awaiting her species’ extinction.
This episode features the following guests:
- Prof John Woinarski, conservation biologist at Charles Darwin University
- Dr Peter Green, conservation ecologist at Latrobe University
- Dion Maple, Natural Resource Manager at Christmas Island National Park
- Melissa Wynn, PhD candidate at Australian National University
- Christopher Todd, PhD candidate at University of Western Sydney (@CIFlyingFox)
Aeronaut (In Paler Skies); Dana Boul (At Dawn); Jaap Blonk’s Iles Flottantes (Har); Kevin MacLeod (Colorless Aura, Decline, Heart of Nowhere, Marty Gots a Plan, Mary Celeste, Mysterioso March, Our Story Begins, Seven March, Steel and Seething, Terminal); Salomé Lego Playset (Seinshuct)
dobroride (Teeth chatter); Frank R. Lambert (Christmas Hawk-owl, Ninox natalis – Recording AV#5344, Christmas Imperial Pigeon, Ducula whartoni – Recording AV#5081); Glenn Ehmke (Flying foxes); Lisa Redfern (Scratching); Mike Koenig (2 minute storm, Bite, Blood squirts, Bubbling, Cicada 3, Dump truck, Helicopter approach, Mosquito buzzing, Sea waves, Small airplane long flyby, Spit splat, Suck up, Underwater pool); Zabuhailo (ratSqueak)