As you all know Australia is sweltering through one of the worst summer seasons we have ever experienced and suffering through one of our worst fire seasons with tragic loss of human lives and properties along with the loss of enormous numbers of farm animals and native flora and fauna. We have also lost forests that are millions of years old and not meant to burn.
The rainforests along the spine of the Great Dividing Range, between the Hunter River and southern Queensland, are remnants of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that broke up about 180 million years ago.
"Listening to the dawn chorus in these forests is literally an acoustic window back in time," ecologist Mark Graham tells RN's Saturday Extra.
"It's like listening to what the world sounded like in the time of the dinosaurs."
The forests are mountaintop islands that have been "permanently wet" for tens of millions of years.
But now, some of these forests are being burnt for the first time.
Follow this link to learn more and also to see images of a couple of the most ancient birds in the world. Ann Arnold brings us:
Did you know that Australian Mountain Ash Forests are the best in the world at locking up carbon? Anna Salleh from the ABC explains more in Australian forests lock up most carbon.
I am constantly reminded of the beauty and importance of our forests as I can see the Dandenong Ranges (Victoria) from my home.
The Dandenong Ranges are located at the south end of the Great Dividing Range which runs for more than 3,500 kilometres down the east coast of Australia and is the fifth longest land-based range in the world. The fires being experienced in New South Wales and Victoria are predominatly in the forests of this beautiful range. Research conducted by Australian scientists has found that it takes 80 to 150 years for forest soil to recover after a fire.
One of my favourite spots in our end of the Great Dividing Range is Maroondah Reservoir Park which I photographed a little over a month ago when I was having a day in the mountains.
I have made a little show below to illustrate the beauty of my favourite tree: the Australian Eucalyptus of which there are more than 800 varieties.