David Muirhead

הצטרפ.ה ב:אוק' 22, 2016 פעילות אחרונה: ספט' 26, 2022 iNaturalist Australia

Experienced amateur citizen scientist age 67 currently living in Normanville South Australia 5204.
Keen snorkeler from childhood, scuba from age 16.
Motto for most of my diving life: " Stay South, Young Man".
My interest in tropical diving waned quite early . Hooked on the golden browns and reds of temperate macroalgae, after a few tropical dive trips(eg Fiji, Bali,GBR,Sri Lanka*) stony coral reefs all looked much the same. The fish move but most corals don't. Sunlit kelp's bedazzling fluidity is otherworldly. (A recent Ningaloo trip softened my stance somewhat.)
I prefer observing and photographing South Australian marine life, alive or not, with terrestrials (non human) a close second.
Ever dived a temperate algal 'rainforest' ? There's no going back...it'll change you.
(*Wearing my tattered medical hat reminds me: life expectancy drops if you're in the herd of troppo leisure divetrippers. Greater risk of harm on tropic jaunts ,with higher health costs:cheap packages only tell half the story.Amoebic dysentery,civil wars, MVAs...hmm).
The under-researched temperate rocky reefs of Southern Australia fascinate me. The Great Southern Reef is larger, contributes more to carbon fixation,generates more oxygen and is more biodiverse than any tropical reef system, including the GBR.
Because 'Dive' and 'Reef' are almost synonymous in the community mindset many divers neglect the rich variety of benthic habitats providing unparalleled opportunities inThe Unique South.The world's most diverse near-shore temperate marine habitat choices occur right here,and most have shore access.Shallow bays, crystal rock pools ,some tidal, others deep yet amenable to safe exploration even as massive swells hammer the outer ramparts in spectacular fashion. Remote rocky headlands with splendid platform reefs, the world's most southerly mangroves,vast seagrass beds(seagrass meadows now rank top for carbon fixation ahead of tundra- melting-and way ahead of all rainforests ),sponge gardens, amazing bryozoan reefs, you name it we've got it.And our continental shelf's so wide, with remote offshore isles.
Shore snorkeling's a euphoric thrill along our thousands of km of accessible coastline.
Southern Australia has the world's highest temperate marine biodiversity,and the world's PEAK ENDEMISM! (Goodbye Galapagos). Platypuses, roos, koalas, echidnas,peak avian and botanical terrestrial diversity are nice enough, but they're really one huge arrow pointing to the world's marine life frontier here in my backyard (Unless you have a bathyscope.I only have SCUBA). The proportion of marine species here in the middle of the world's longest south facing coastline that are undiscovered, undescribed, or known only from 1-2 museum specimens beggars belief.
Life's ours for the making, and eternity's waiting in the carbon cycle.

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