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WTF???

 
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twoiron
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WTF???
« on: September 29, 2009, 08:01:14 PM »

Tourists using Uluru as toilet may have killed off shrimp

Tourists may have killed off a rare species of shrimp by relieving themselves on Australia's iconic Uluru, or Ayers Rock, a report said yesterday.

Biologist Brian Timms said his research had showed one species of small inland shrimp living in pools atop the monolith had become extinct while another had thrived.

"The people going up the rock somehow have affected the animals which live in the pools, possibly by peeing on the rock and pooing on the rock," Timms told state radio.

The Branchinella latzi species had not been seen on Uluru since the 1970s, and would have been susceptible to "enrichment" of the pool's water, he added.

"Certainly if (tourists) go up, they should be behaving themselves, not pooing on the rock," Timms said.

However, a species of fairy shrimp had survived, probably because it was "widespread and tough," according to Timms.

Australia is mulling a ban on tourists climbing the rock, which is a sacred part of Aboriginal tribes' creation mythology.

Tour operators claim visitors are often caught short on the arduous climb, and most had a "toilet roll tucked away" in case of emergency.

Park officials in July announced plans to end the popular climb on cultural and safety grounds, a stance endorsed by Peter Garrett, Australia's environment minister and former frontman of rock band Midnight Oil.

Signs at the site ask people not to climb the rock, out of respect for the Aboriginal community, but one-third of the 350,000 annual visitors still do so.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said it would be "very sad" if tourists were kept off the desert icon, which was handed back to Aborigines in 1985 and is one of the nation's most recognisable landmarks.
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