Off Track - Full program podcast

Off Track - Full program podcast


Complete episode: Venture Off Track as ABC Radio National heads outside. Off Track speaks for places beyond policy and politics: environments loved and lived in.


Eat poo, have sex and die happy as a beetle in dung  

Living out almost their entire life within cow pats, dung beetles are the unlikely heroes of both biological control AND Australian barbecues. This is a repeat episode from the Off Track archives.

How to hand mine rare Tasmanian Sapphires  

Dressed like an abalone diver in a rainforest ravine, the search for Tasmanian sapphire involves a lolly-scoop, a crow bar and physical endurance beyond the norm. This is a repeat episode from the Off Track archives.

Dining with Killer Whales  

The water turns red and smells of fish. It's the blood of the prey of a pod of Orcas. This is a repeat episode from the Off Track archives.

In the cockpit for one of the planet's biggest wildlife surveys  

For more than three decades, this man has spent hundreds of hours each year with his forehead pressed to a plane window counting birds. It's one of the longest running and largest wildlife surveys on the planet.

If I could talk to the animals  

Every day, tiny brightly coloured birds are offering a critique of environmental management, if only we could understand what they were saying.

In the shadow of the caterpillars  

This program has been selected from the rich archives of Off Track for your listening pleasure.

The strange case of the peppered tree frog  

Jodi Rowley is a frog detective from the Australian Museum and she’s sewing together a patchwork of clues to try and find the peppered tree frog in the New England Tablelands.

The colourful life of the Australian Magpie  

We love them, we fear them and we probably don’t know as much about the Australian Magpie as we should, considering their range covers most of the continent and they live out their life in our front yards.

The happiest animal in the world  

The internet thinks that Quokkas are the happiest animals in the world, but what's the real life of a quokka like?

Navigation by smell  

Seabirds rely on their nostrils to guide them across the world’s oceans for years at a time. 

Skimming across the earth's anaemic oceans  

An ocean that is starved of iron is like a garden without fertiliser: there will be no photosynthesis and no phytoplankton blooms. And whether phytoplankton blooms or not could have an impact on the earth's future.

All aboard Australia's super science ship  

This is the RV Investigator, the newest of Australia’s national scientific vessels, built in a Singapore Shipyard and worth $120 million. What's it like on board?

Conservation and the act of the kill  

‘I'd much rather be growing things than killing things,’ says Geoff Williams on the eve of a deer hunt. ‘I'd love to come down here and just walk around in the scrub, but I spend too many hours chasing these other bloody animals.’

Saving Victoria's endangered orchids  

Ten years in the making, today is the day that 100 rare orchids will be planted into a rabbit proof enclosure, locked down inside cages. They're delicate and they are disingenuous when it comes to reproduction. Ladies and gentlemen: the Yellow-lip Spider-orchid.

Modern day orchidelirium  

Cheap supermarket orchids may act as a 'gateway drug' to the exotic and challenging world of orchidelirium.

The engineering mouse builds its dream house  

The northern hopping-mouse is a master builder. It's barely big enough to fill the palm of your hand, yet it digs metres worth of burrows with multiple secret entrances AND it cleans up after itself.

Custard for numbats and names for nudibranchs  

Move over Masterchef. Here's a recipe sure to please any numbats in your life - custard with a garnish of fresh termites.

What does a dibbler have for breakfast?  

Behind the scenes at Perth Zoo is a room full of small glass aquariums. And within each enclosure is one of Australia's rarest marsupials. The dibbler.

Meet the Nameless Nudibranch  

It is covered in flamboyantly coloured sausages, it’s a hermaphrodite, breathes through its skin, goes through metamorphoses AND this new species needs a name.

The amphibious, fluffy, golden-bellied Rakali  

The largest rodent in Australia is amphibious, fulfils the same niche as an otter and could be used to get rid of the pest black rat. AND, it's got a golden, fluffy belly. It's the water rat.

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