It’s an annual event at Parliament House in Australia’s capital city, Canberra – the bogong moth migration onslaught.
According to the CSIRO, as the weather warms in south east Australia, bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) fly to the high country of the Snowy Mountains in southern New South Wales and the Victorian Alps. In winter they make the return journey. This is something they’ve been doing for thousands of years.
Bogongs, while considered a pest in some parts of the country, are an important food source for many animals. Our indigenous peoples also prized them as tucker.
Unfortunately for the bogongs, Parliament House in Canberra was built right in their migration path – the rest of Canberra remains pretty much unaffected. I grew up in Canberra and remember Capital Hill as being quite a lovely place, covered in trees with a great observation point at the top.
When plans were announced to build the new Parliament House on it, we were under the impression it would just involve a bit of a slice off the top to level it out. They instead pretty much leveled the hill.
ABC political correspondent Louise Yaxley has published an interesting story on the love/hate relationship between bogong moths and humans at the building during this time of the year.
I wonder how many of the poor critters are destroyed by humans or human related activity at Parliament House annually.
There’s likely not much that can be done about it, but it’s just another example of how we can really interfere with the environment – even by placing a building in the wrong location. What puzzles me is that this wasn’t considered in the first place as the bogong infestation doesn’t just kill moths, it costs the Australian taxpayer a bunch to deal with it.