Island Life is a six-part series exploring some of Australia's most remarkable islands - from the Tropics to the Antarctic – and the interaction of their human and animal inhabitants.
Rising out of the blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the north of Cooktown, Lizard Island is the perfect spot (for tourists and scientists alike) from which to explore the coral wonderland. For nearly three decades, the waters around Lizard have been attracting the world's top marine biologists – and the island has become home to one of the most important reef research stations in the world. Now, with summer on the way, it's the perfect time to follow some of those researchers and share their amazing discoveries.
The extraordinary Christmas Island spectacle of 120 million migrating red crabs is facing a terrible threat. Super-colonies of an island invader, the yellow crazy ant, are spreading across the Indian Ocean island, wiping out huge numbers of red crabs in their path.
Australia's second biggest oil mining operation, sharing precious territory with an A-Class Conservation Reserve. How do populations of some of Australia's rare marsupials, and oilmen, live side by side?
In a grand experiment, animals threatened on the Australian mainland were released onto an island which had been isolated for 8000 years. The management issues with a population of feral 'native' animals are provoking strong debate, as sentimentality and the tourist dollar conflict with the need to reduce numbers.
Torres Strait Island
Each year as the Monsoon sweeps across Australia's ruggedly beautiful Torres Strait Islands, the battle is on to prevent potentially fatal exotic diseases carried by migrating birds, animals and insects, reaching the mainland. Prepared for the worst, quarantine officers and scientists keep the islands and surrounding waters under tight surveillance.
Macquarie Island is a tiny fragment of land between Tasmania and Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. Each Spring, thousands of sea birds and mammals converge on the island in order to breed and this seasonal explosion of life makes Macquarie a Mecca for biologists. With the creative application of technology, those scientists are gaining fascinating insight into the mysterious ocean-going lives of the island's seasonal visitors.
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